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Customisable antenna array for SILIKA

Submitter: Jorrit Siebenga
Description: The SILIKA project research objective is to develop innovative integrated antenna systems for future 5G base stations operating at millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequencies utilising highly-integrated and cost-effective silicon (Bi-) CMOS technologies. Within that context, the research group aims to investigate and demonstrate different architectures for antenna arrays, from Irregular Sparse Arrays to Focal Line/Plane Array. To be able to realise that, they have developed a single antenna module (10x10x20mm!). However, to build the different array configurations, the development of a mechanical assembly was needed.

That is where the ASTRON Mechanical Department comes in!
We provided the full package: from initial general plan of approach to - at times, even daily - mutual consultation and feedback, followed by CAD designs and finally, of course, the delivery of a full assembly of the frame including basic custom-made tooling.

As presented in the pictures, we designed a fully customisable LEGO-like assembly with a base, antenna clamps and a coupler to extend the array.
All CAD designs will be released and forwarded to the research group. In this way, they can simply manufacture the parts themselves by using an FDM 3d-printer. The integrated level of customisation of the parts within the assembly goes as far as digitally and effortlessly extending the base, adding more antenna clamps and building any desired configuration.

To the satisfaction of the SILIKA research group at TU/e Eindhoven, last month we completed and delivered the design and the first operational array assembly.
We look forward to more of such fruitful collaborations in the (near) future!
Copyright: ASTRON Mechanical Department
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