Nicolas Garcia passes his candidacy proposal

Author: Jonathan Chisum


On September 4, 2020, Nicolas Garcia submitted a Ph.D. thesis proposal entitle, "High-efficiency, Wideband Beamscanning Grin Lenses for Millimeter Wave Communications " and passed the Candidacy proposal examination.

Abstract:   As a result of frequency congestion and data demands, wireless communications and sensing systems alike require higher frequency operation across larger bandwidths. At the antenna level, these applications typically require high gain to overcome the greater path loss. However, these applications also require spatial/angular   flexibility and relevant antenna systems must be able to scan highly directive beams. This burgeoning wireless landscape is very diverse and though it is unlikely that all relevant antenna systems will require extreme performance in both bandwidth and scannability, it is expected that the antenna environment of the future will be dominated by antenna systems with substantial degrees of both. Furthermore, many applications - such as low Earth orbit satellite communications and 5G terrestrial communications - require that the system hardware be small, lightweight, cheap, and with low power consumption (ie, low SWaP-C: size, weight, power and cost).

This thesis proposal presents GRadient INdex (GRIN) lens antenna systems as a suitable antenna morphology for low SWaP-C applications in communications and defense. GRIN lens systems demonstrate wide-bandwidth, high gain, and beamscan potential with low power-consumption and complexity compared to other antenna systems. In addition, recent improvements in fabrication techniques allow GRIN lenses to realize high performance in a compact form factor.
The proposed thesis outlines the design and demonstration of a wide-angle, wideband GRIN lens system. The application-dependent performance metrics and relevant theory are provided and the completed research tasks are presented. Remaining research items are then proposed and a timeline for project completion is provided.