Meta-Gaps for Mechanically Reconfigurable Phased Arrays

E. Williams, A. Hajimiri

Meta-material inspired switched passive networks on flexible sheets can be placed in the unused area between antennas in Origami and Kirigami shape-changing arrays. These meta-gaps can manipulate the near-field environment in order to compensate for the increased spacing in these arrays. Their flexibility allows meta-gaps to easily fold and deploy in both deployable arrays and mechanically shape-changing phased arrays. This work explores the promise of meta-gaps through the measurement of a 5-by-5 element λ-spaced array with 40 meta-gap sheets and 960 switches. The complexity of optimizing such a high-dimensional system is discussed and solutions are proposed. Measurement results demonstrate that in our implementation, meta-gaps increase the broadside main beam power by 0.9 dB, suppress the sidelobes by 4.6 dB, and enhance the field-of-view by 23 degrees compared to a ground plane.