A Master of Science thesis in Electrical Engineering by Eiman Ayman Mahmoud ElGhanam entitled, “5G User Equipment Phased Array Antenna Architecture for Millimeter Wave Beamforming Applications”, submitted in December 2018. Thesis advisor is Dr. Lutfi Albasha and thesis co-advisors are Dr. Nasser Qaddoumi and Dr. Hassan Mir. Soft and hard copy available.
With the increase in demand for higher capacities and enhanced coverage, extensive research is conducted towards addressing this demand through the upcoming fifth generation of mobile networks, also known as 5G. In order to achieve the desired coverage enhancement, beamforming techniques are gaining increasing momentum in the cellular industry, particularly with the interest in utilizing millimetre waves as new cellular spectrum bands with wide bandwidths. Different beamforming architectures are currently being investigated to provide optimized performance in terms of gain, beam-steerability and hence, improved coverage. This thesis proposes a novel, small-sized, low-cost continuous phase shifter-based phased array antenna architecture to be integrated into the frontend module of a user equipment to perform high efficiency RF beamforming at certain 5G-candidate millimeter wave frequency bands, particularly 18 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz. The proposed architecture is designed such that it utilizes less than N phase shifters to drive N antenna elements while achieving high linearity and reduced power consumption. The topology is simulated on Keysight ADS Software and is optimized to achieve 50 Ω characteristic impedance matching, wideband behavior and optimal spacing to fit into a 5G user equipment. Nevertheless, due to the large microstrip losses at millimeter waves, the proposed architecture exhibits suboptimal behavior for the insertion loss and the achievable phase shift range. Despite partially meeting the design specifications, the obtained results provide a proof of concept of the ability to use the proposed architecture in millimeter wave beamforming for 5G user equipment.