The performance of multibeam focal plane arrays feeding a single aperture is usually reduced due to conflicting requirements on the feed elements. Dense packing is usually required to minimize the beam separation, while typically large feed apertures are needed to provide the high feed directivity to reduce spillover losses from the reflector. In this paper the use of dielectric super-layers to shape the radiation pattern of each feed is demonstrated. The shaping is obtained by exciting, according to design, a pair of TE/TM leaky waves. The spillover from the reflector is reduced without physically increasing the dimensions of each single element aperture. A prototype of a feed array composed of 19 waveguides arranged in a hexagonal lattice was designed, manufactured and tested. The measured embedded patterns provided an increase of the edge of coverage gain, with respect to the free space case, of at least 0.6 dB in an operating bandwidth (BW) of ap12%. Moreover when reactive loading of adjacent feeds is adopted the increase in the edge of coverage with respect to the free space case was demonstrated to be larger than 1.6 dB over a 3% BW.
Llombart, N., Neto, A., Gerini, G., Bonnedal, M., & de Maagt, P. J. I. (2008). Leaky wave enhanced feed arrays for the improvement of the edge of coverage gain in multibeam reflector antennas. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 56(5), 1280-1291. https://doi.org/10.1109/TAP.2008.922680