Flexible, Conformal Phased Arrays with Dynamic Array Shape Self-Calibration

A. C. Fikes, A. Safaripour, F. Bohn, B. Abiri, A. Hajimiri

Flexible and conformal phased arrays enable a broad range of novel applications. One of the major challenges for such systems is that they experience a change in their behavior when bent or deformed. A self-calibrating flexible phased array can overcome this by estimating the relative position change of its elements as they undergo local deformations. In this work, we demonstrate a dynamically flexible and conformal 8-element phased array based on a custom CMOS transceiver unit. Beam-steering is demonstrated with the flexible array flat and with the array conformed to convex and concave bend radii of ±120 mm. In addition, we propose and test a shape calibration method that uses only the coupling between elements, using the flexible phase array.