Analysis of Multi-Conductor Coupled Microstrip Lines with an Aperture in the Ground Plane for Compact Broadband Microwave Components
In recent years, the wireless industry has witnessed tremendous development for the defense and commercial segments. The explosive growth in the modern radio frequency and microwave systems leads to an increased interest in the research of miniaturized microwave circuits with superior performance. Broadband components, in particular band pass filters (BPFs) and couplers are some of the widely used components in the modern communication systems, software defined radios, cognitive radios, imaging systems and positioning radars. In order to meet these requirements, the use of innovative geometries, a thorough understanding of their behavior by appropriate analytical techniques and the use of appropriate fabrication approaches are essential. This thesis is an effort in this direction. In this thesis work, an aperture in the ground plane is used to achieve the tight coupling in the edge and broadside-coupled coupled lines which may be otherwise difficult due to the fabrication limitations. Since microstrip lines with an aperture in the ground plane are found to be very useful in various MIC and MMIC components, closed form analytical expressions developed here will be useful for their initial synthesis. The performances of components using these are enhanced using open/short circuited resonators, spurlines and stubs. A quasi-static approach has been investigated to obtain simple closed form expressions for a microstrip line with a rectangular aperture in the ground plane. The effect of a rectangular aperture in the ground plane has been incorporated in the commonly used expressions of a regular microstrip line by introducing the concept of an equivalent effective height. The expressions for the effective height microstrip geometries with defected ground are obtained and this has been further extended to various possibilities of two-conductor and three-conductor coupled lines. Analysis of the filters and the couplers are mainly based on the even and odd mode propagation characteristics of coupled lines. This approach is extended in this thesis for three conductor coupled lines. Novel broadband BPFs and couplers and dual band pass filters employing various coupled line configurations and defected ground have been developed in this research work. Most of these components have been implemented on a regular microwave laminate or LTCC medium (planar or multi-layer) and tested for the required RF performances. The experimental results were compared against the analytically computed results based on the circuit models and the full wave simulations using electromagnetic (EM) simulations for the validation. The results are in good agreement. With practical requirements of the organization in mind, additional design elements such as open circuit stubs have been incorporated in some of these designs to achieve the desired performance. It is expected that the wideband filter (3.0GHz to 3.8GHz) and the broadband coupler (4GHz to 6GHz) developed in this thesis work would be deployed in systems developed at the Central Research Laboratory, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore, India. In summary, the present doctoral work strives to (i) establish a simplified analysis method for the microstrip lines and coupled microstrip lines with a rectangular aperture in the ground plane, (ii) extend the even and odd mode analysis of the coupled lines for several new coupled line configurations, (iii) design novel broadband microwave filters, dual band filter and couplers using both these, (iv) fabricate these devices using the planar technologies including LTCC, and (v) validate the analysis and design with important practical applications.
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