1Introduction to Reflectarray Antennas

1.1 Reflectarray Concept

Communicating over long distances had long been a dream for mankind until 1901 when Marconi demonstrated the first cross Atlantic wireless signal transmission. Since then, long distance communications have evolved to a degree where mankind can communicate wirelessly across the Solar System and beyond. Long distance communication requires large antennas in order to establish the wireless link between the transmitter and receiver. One of the most practical types of electrically large antennas are reflectors. While reflectors were originally built as optical devices [1], the discovery of electromagnetic waves by Maxwell, began a new era for communication with these antennas. The first experimental demonstration of wireless communication by Hertz in 1887, used a dipole‐fed cylindrical parabolic antenna, which is believed to be the first reflector antenna operating at non‐optical frequencies. Since then, reflectors have become the most widely used high‐gain antenna in communications, radio astronomy, remote sensing, and radar [2].

An alternative approach to realization of a large antenna is by using several smaller antennas in the form of an array [3]. The first antenna array was built over 100 years ago [4]. In order to increase the directivity of a single monopole, Brown used two vertical antennas separated by half a wavelength and fed them out of phase [5]. He and several other notable scientists such as Marconi, ...

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