(19)
(11)EP 2 862 228 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 13730065.3

(22)Date of filing:  17.06.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01P 5/10  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/GB2013/051571
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/190275 (27.12.2013 Gazette  2013/52)

(54)

BALUN

BALUN

SYMÉTRISEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 19.06.2012 GB 201210816

(43)Date of publication of application:
22.04.2015 Bulletin 2015/17

(73)Proprietor: BAE Systems PLC
London SW1Y 5AD (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • NGUYEN, Mark, Christopher
    Chelmsford Essex CM2 8HN (GB)
  • LEWIS, Gareth, Michael
    Chelmsford Essex CM2 8HN (GB)
  • HARPER, Richard John
    Chelmsford Essex CM2 8HN (GB)

(74)Representative: BAE SYSTEMS plc Group IP Department 
P.O. Box 87 Warwick House
Farnborough Aerospace Centre Farnborough Hampshire GU14 6YU
Farnborough Aerospace Centre Farnborough Hampshire GU14 6YU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-00/46921
US-A1- 2007 001 779
WO-A1-2011/094471
US-A1- 2009 140 823
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] This invention relates to a balun, antenna arrangements incorporating a balun, and to associated methods of manufacturing of a balun, with particular, but not necessarily exclusive, reference to microwave baluns.

    [0002] Baluns are well known passive electrical devices. The term "balun" is derived from the abbreviation of the two terms "balance" and "unbalanced". Baluns are 3-port devices which convert signals from an unbalanced transmission line to a balanced transmission line and vice-versa. The two balanced ports should provide a signal equal in amplitude with a 180 degree phase difference.

    [0003] Microwave balun devices can be implemented in various ways, (see for example US2009/0140823 A1) such as in transformer-type arrangements, coupled transmission lines (see for example WO00/46921) and transmission line junctions. It is known from US2005/0105637 and Bialkowski and Abbosh (ME Bialkowski and AM Abbosh, IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, Vol. 17, No. 4, April 2007) how to implement baluns using microwave techniques involving microstrips and slotlines. However, it would be desirable to improve the characteristics of these devices. In particular, it would be desirable to reduce the dimensions of these devices, and to provide relatively small scale baluns which can be effectively used in arrays.

    [0004] The present invention, in at least some of its embodiments, addresses the above described desires.

    [0005] According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a balun according to claim 1.

    [0006] In this way, electric field lines which might otherwise appear in the air surrounding the slotline (so-called 'fringing fields') can instead be enclosed within the dielectric material. This increases the effective dielectric constant, resulting in the ability to utilise smaller slotline dimensions. A further advantage is that coupling to adjacent baluns or other devices or microwave features is reduced.

    [0007] The balun may be of the type for dividing an input electrical signal to produce first and second output electrical signals which are substantially out of phase, the balun further including: an input port for receiving the input electrical signal, a first output port and a second output port; wherein the output line has a junction with the slotline;
    in which: the input line couples the input electrical signal to the slotline; the slotline couples the input electrical signal to the junction, the junction acting as a divider to produce the first and second output electrical signals; and the output line couples the first and second output electrical signals to, respectively, the first output port and the second output port. Baluns of this type are known from US 2005/0105637, Bialkowski & Abbosh, and our co-pending application entitled "A Balun", filed on the same day as the present application. Generally with such devices, the first and second output electrical signals are substantially 180° out of phase, and are of substantially equal amplitude. However, the invention can be applied to other types of balun.

    [0008] The skilled reader will appreciate that in general a slotline includes at least one dielectric substrate on which a slot feature is formed. It is understood that both the first and second layers of dielectric material provided by the present invention are additional to the substrate dielectric material which forms part of the slotline.

    [0009] In some embodiments, the slotline includes at least one substrate formed from a dielectric material, and the first and second layers of dielectric material are formed from the same dielectric material as the substrate. In general, this is desirable since it provides optimal impedance matching.

    [0010] The balun may be in the form of a printed circuit board (PCB).

    [0011] The balun may be a microwave balun device. The balun may be in the form of a microwave laminate structure. Microwave laminate structures are understood to comprise one or more dielectric substrates with one or more layers of a conductor, typically copper, formed thereon in a desired pattern.

    [0012] The first layer of dielectric material may be formed on an upper surface of the PCB, and the second layer of dielectric material may be formed on a lower surface of the PCB.

    [0013] In some embodiments, at least one of the input line and the output line is a microstrip or a stripline. Both of the input line and the output line may be a microstrip or a stripline.

    [0014] In some embodiments, the entire slotline is sandwiched between the first and second layers of dielectric material. In other words, each of the first and second layers of dielectric material have a surface area which extends over the entire surface area of the slotline.

    [0015] The dielectric material of the first and second layers may be of any suitable type. Dielectric materials which are commonly employed in microwave laminate structures or which are well known in microwave applications may be utilised. As noted above, it is generally preferred that the dielectric material of the first and second layers is the same as the dielectric material used as the substrate for the slotline.

    [0016] The first and second layers of dielectric material may include a ceramic material.

    [0017] The first and second layers of dielectric material may be laminates.

    [0018] Suitable dielectric materials can be obtained from a variety of manufacturers who will be well known to the skilled reader, such Rogers Corporation (Rogers CT 06263 USA) and Taconic (Petersburg, NY 12138, USA). An example of a suitable dielectric material is produced by Rogers Corporation under the trade name RO 4000 (RTM) series high frequency circuit materials. These are glass-reinforced ceramic filled thermoset laminates. Other glass based laminates may be contemplated.

    [0019] The first and second layers of dielectric material are of any suitable thickness. Typically, the first and second layers of dielectric material are each of the thickness in the range 50 - 500 microns, preferably 80 - 250 microns. However, the skilled reader will appreciate that the thickness employed will usually be influenced by parameters such as the frequency of operation and the dielectric constant of the dielectric material.

    [0020] In certain embodiments, the output line is substantially symmetrical about the slotline. The output line may be substantially U-shaped so as to provide output ports that are opposite the input port.

    [0021] The slotline may have two ends which are each terminated by a termination such as an open circuit termination.

    [0022] The input line may have a first end which is coupled to the input port and a second end which is terminated by an open circuit termination or a short circuit termination.

    [0023] The balun may have a plurality of vias formed therein. The vias may be disposed so as to suppress parallel plate modes, for example parallel plate modes caused by asymmetry in components of the balun, particularly layer structures.

    [0024] The balun may operate at input frequencies in the range 1 to 40 GHz or thereabouts. In some embodiments, the balun operates at frequencies in the range 2 to 18 GHz. Higher frequencies than 40 GHz may be possible with appropriate manufacturing techniques.

    [0025] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided an array of baluns according to the first aspect of the invention.

    [0026] It is advantageous that the present invention can provide reduced coupling between adjacent baluns.

    [0027] According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided an antenna arrangement including at least one antenna which is fed electrical signals from a balun according to the first aspect of the invention or an array of baluns according to the second aspect of the invention.

    [0028] According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a method of manufacturing a balun including the steps of:

    providing a balun structure having a slotline which is coupled to an input line and an output line; and

    forming a first and a second layer of dielectric material on at least a portion of the slotline so as to sandwich at least a portion to the slotline between said first and second layers.



    [0029] The first and second layer of dielectric material can be formed on the slotline in any suitable manner. Typically, the first and second layers of dielectric material are adhered or otherwise attached to the slotline using a suitable intermediate layer, such as bond-ply.

    [0030] Whilst the invention has been described above, it extends to any inventive combination of the features set out above, or in the following description, drawings or claims.

    [0031] Embodiments of devices in accordance with the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

    Figure 1 shows (a) a plan view of a balun of the invention and (b) a cross sectional view along the line A-A'; and

    Figure 2 shows cross sectional views of (a) a microstrip, (b) a stripline and (c) a slotline.



    [0032] Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a balun of the invention, depicted generally at 10, in the form of a PCB. The balun 10 has an input port 12 leading to an input line 14 which can be a microstrip or a stripline. The input line 14 terminates in an open circuit stub 16. The balun 10 further comprises a slotline 18. The slotline 18 is terminated at both of its ends by open circuits 20, 22. Just prior to its termination by the stub 16, the input line 14 crosses the slotline 18 substantially at right angles to form an input line - slotline junction. This junction is formed towards the end of the slotline 18 which is closest to the input port 12. The balun 10 further comprises a generally U-shaped output line 24. The output line 24 can be in the form of a microstrip or a stripline. The output line 24 crosses the slotline 18 substantially at right angles to form a junction. This junction is formed towards the end of the slotline 18 which is nearer to output ports 26, 28. The output line 24 can be regarded as comprising two arms 24a, 24b. The arm 24a connects the junction of the output line 24 with the slotline 18 to the output port 26. The arm 24b connects the junction of the output line 24 with the slotline 18 to the output port 28. The balun 10 further comprises a plurality of circular vias 30 which, as would be readily understood by the skilled reader, are plated through holes in the PCB structure.

    [0033] The PCB comprises a dielectric substrate 32 which is made up of a first substrate layer 32a and a second substrate layer 32b which can be attached in a suitable manner, such as by bond-ply. Layers of copper present are shown with thick lines and denoted by the numeral 34. A copper layer 34a is part of the microstrip 14. The copper layers 34 are removed in the central region of the dielectric substrate 32 as shown in Figure 1(a) to leave a slot 35 which corresponds to the open circuit 20.

    [0034] The balun 10 can be considered to have two sections, namely an input section which includes a transition from the input line 14 (a stripline or microstrip track) to the slotline 18, and an output section which includes a transition from a slotline 18 to the output line 24 (two stripline or microstrip tracks 24a, 24b). In use, an input electrical signal is inputted at the input port 12 and is coupled via the input line 14 and the slotline 18 to the junction between the slotline 18 and the output line 24. At this junction substantially identical contra-propagating electrical signals of opposite polarity are created which are coupled by the arms 24a, 24b to the output ports 26, 28.

    [0035] The balun 10 further comprises two discrete, additional layers of dielectric material. In particular, the balun 10 comprises a discrete upper layer 38a of a dielectric material which is provided on an upper face of the PCB, and a discrete lower layer 38b of a dielectric material provided on a lower face of the PCB. It is preferred that the upper and lower layers 38a, 38b are formed from the same dielectric material as used in the PCB. The upper and lower dielectric layers 38a, 38b are formed so as to entirely cover the slotline structure 18, 20, 22. The upper layer of dielectric material 38a is shown in Figure 1(a) where it is seen to be in the form of a rectangle. Other shapes may be utilised, and the area of the device covered by the upper and lower layers of dielectric material 38a, 38b may be varied. Typically, the upper 38a and lower 38b layers of dielectric material are in register with each other, but it is not necessary that this is so.

    [0036] In a typical prior art slotline structure, a slot is formed in a copper surface on one face of a microwave laminate. Typically this face has a dielectric substrate on one side and air on the other. This results in an effective dielectric constant which is of a value somewhere between that of the substrate and that of air. The dielectric constant of air is assumed to have a value of one, wherein the dielectric constant of a typical microwave substrate material is usually greater than 2.2. The effective dielectric constant for this type of slotline is lower than that for the substrate because some of the field lines formed by a signal propagating along the transmission line appear in the substrate and some appear in the air surrounding the slot. The additional layers of dielectric material provided by this aspect of the present invention has the effect that field lines which would otherwise appear in the air surrounding the slotline are instead enclosed within the dielectric material. The air-dielectric boundary creates an impedance mismatch which limits propagation of field lines beyond this boundary. Accordingly, the effective dielectric constant is increased. This has the advantage that smaller slotline dimensions can be employed, which in turn enables baluns of reduced dimensions to be provided. A further advantage is that, because there is reduced propagation away from the transmission line structure, coupling to any adjacent baluns (or other microwave features or devices) is also reduced. This is particularly advantageous when multiple baluns are used in arrays. An example of this is when multiple baluns are used in arrays of antennas where the radiating elements spacing is limited and signal coupling between baluns may affect performance. Similar advantages may arise in other devices which feature slotline structures.

    [0037] Typical dimensions for the stub and other terminations are of the order of a quarter of a wavelength or less at the centre frequency. Representative but non-limiting dimensions for a balun operating up to 18 GHz are ca. 9mm x 18 mm x 1 mm, although the skilled reader will appreciate that the dimensions utilised depend upon the dielectric constant and the thickness of the laminate and substrate materials used. A representative but non-limiting thickness for each of the upper and lower layers of dielectric material are ca. 100 - 200 microns.

    [0038] The vias 30 are disposed as to suppress parallel plate modes caused by slight asymmetry in the layers making up the PCB structure.

    [0039] Baluns such as those described with reference to Figure 1 can be fabricated using standard microwave PCB manufacturing techniques. For microwave baluns, PCBs are generally of the type known as microwave laminates which make use of low-loss copper-clad dielectric substrates. Suitable PCBs can be obtained from a variety of manufacturers who will be well known to the skilled reader, such as Rogers Corporation (Rogers CT 06263, USA) and Taconic (Petersburg, NY 12138, USA). The device structure can be produced by removing copper from desired areas of one or both sides of the laminate. It is also possible to bond laminate sheets together to form multi-layer structures. Multi-layer structures may have multiple combinations of microstrip, stripline or slotline transmission lines. Copper removal is performed to provide copper patterns which are used to form the desired microstrip, stripline or slotline features. Figure 2 shows generalised cross sectional views of (a) a microstrip, (b) a stripline and (c) a slotline. Figure 2 (a) shows a microstrip formed from a microwave laminate comprising a dielectric substrate 40 having a full copper layer 42 on a lower face thereof. Copper has been removed on the upper face of the dielectric substrate 40 to leave a copper track 44. Figure 2(b) shows a stripline formed as a multi-layer structure comprising a first microwave laminate 46, and second microwave laminate 48, and a bond-ply sheet 50 which is used to secure the laminates 46, 48 to each other. The first microwave laminate 46 comprising a dielectric substrate 52 having a complete copper layer 54 formed over a lower face thereof. Copper is removed on the upper face of the dielectric substrate 52 to leave a copper track 56. Copper is removed entirely from a lower face of a dielectric substrate 58 of the microwave laminate 48. The upper face of the dielectric substrate 58 retains a complete copper layer 60. Typically, vias (also known as Plated Through Holes (PTH)) are used to limit the propagation of parallel plate loads resulting from the asymmetry caused by the bond-ply 50. Figure 2(c) shows a slotline formed from a microwave laminate which comprises a dielectric substrate 62 having a copper layer 64 on an upper face thereof. Copper is removed from the copper layer 64 to create a slot. The copper on the lower face of the dielectric substrate 62 may be removed entirely.

    [0040] Baluns of the invention are particularly suitable for use in feeding an antenna. An array of baluns may be utilised. However, the baluns of the invention may be used for other purposes such as in a microwave circuit.


    Claims

    1. A balun for feeding an antenna in an array of antennas, the balun including:

    a PCB comprising a first substrate layer (32a) and a second substrate layer (32b),

    an upper layer (38a) of dielectric material formed on the upper face of the first substrate layer (32a),

    a lower layer (38b) of dielectric material formed on the lower surface of the second substrate layer (32b),

    an input line (14), partly sandwiched between the first and second substrate (32a, 32b) layers of the PCB,

    an output line (24),

    a slotline (18) formed on an upper surface of the first substrate layer (32a), wherein the upper layer (38a) of dielectric material entirely covers the slotline (18), and wherein the slotline (18) is coupled to the input line (14) and the output line (24),

    the balun further including:

    an input port (12) for receiving an input electrical signal wherein the input line (14) defines a first junction with the slotline (18) towards the end of the slotline (18) closest to the input port (12),

    a first output port (26) and a second output port (28); wherein the output line (24) defines a second junction with the slotline (18) towards the end of the slotline (18) closest to the output ports (26, 28);

    in which: the input line (14) couples the input electrical signal to the slotline (18) at the first junction; the slotline (18) couples the input electrical signal to the second junction, the second junction configured to act as a divider to produce a first and

    second output electrical signal; and the output line (24) couples the first and second output electrical signals to, respectively, the first output port (26) and the second output port (28).
     
    2. A balun according to claim 1 in which and the first (38a) and second (38b) layers of dielectric material are formed from the same dielectric material as the substrate layers (32a, 32b).
     
    3. A balun according to any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein the balun is a microwave laminate structure.
     
    4. A balun according to any previous claim in which the first and second layers of dielectric material include a ceramic material.
     
    5. A balun according to any previous claim in which the first and second layers of dielectric material are laminates.
     
    6. A balun according to any previous claim in which the first and second layers of dielectric material are each of a thickness in the range 50 - 500 microns, preferably 80 - 250 microns.
     
    7. An array of baluns according to any one of claims 1 to 6.
     
    8. An antenna arrangement including at least one antenna and a balun according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or an array of baluns according to claim 7, wherein the at least one antenna is fed by electrical signals from the balun or from the array of baluns.
     
    9. A method of manufacturing a balun (10) including the steps of:
    providing a balun structure having a slotline (18) which is coupled to an input line (14) and an output line (24) the balun (10) further including:

    a PCB comprising a first substrate layer (32a) and a second substrate layer (32b),

    an upper layer (38a) of dielectric material formed on the upper face of the first substrate layer (32a),

    The input line (14) being partly sandwiched between the first and second substrate (32a, 32b) layers of the PCB,

    The slotline (18) being formed on an upper surface of the first substrate layer (32a), wherein the upper layer (38a) of dielectric material entirely covers the slotline (18),

    an input port (12) for receiving the input electrical signal wherein the input line (14) defines a first junction with the slotline (18) towards the end of the slotline (18) closest to the input port (12),

    a first output port (26) and a second output port (28); wherein the output line (24) defines a second junction with the slotline (18) towards the end of the slotline (18) closest to the output ports;

    in which: the input line (14) couples the input electrical signal to the slotline (18) at the first junction; the slotline (18) couples the input electrical signal to the second junction, the second junction acting as a divider to produce the first and second output electrical signals; and the output line (24) couples the first and second output electrical signals to, respectively, the first output port (26) and the second output port (28); and

    forming a first (38a) and a second (38b) layer of dielectric material on at least a portion of the slotline (18) so as to sandwich at least a portion of the slotline (18) between said first (38a) and second (38b) layers.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Balun zum Speisen einer Antenne in einer Gruppe von Antennen, wobei der Balun umfasst:

    eine PCB, die eine erste Substratschicht (32a) und eine zweite Substratschicht (32b) umfasst,

    eine obere Schicht (38a) aus dielektrischem Material, die auf der Oberseite der ersten Substratschicht (32a) ausgebildet ist,

    eine untere Schicht (38b) aus dielektrischem Material, die auf der Unterseite der zweiten Substratschicht (32b) ausgebildet ist,

    eine Eingangsleitung (14), die teilweise sandwichartig zwischen die erste und die zweite Substratschicht (32a, 32b) der PCB eingefügt ist,

    eine Ausgangsleitung (24),

    eine Schlitzleitung (18), die auf einer Oberseite der ersten Substratschicht (32a), ausgebildet ist, wobei die obere Schicht (38a) aus dielektrischem Material die Schlitzleitung (18) zur Gänze bedeckt, und wobei die Schlitzleitung (18) mit der Eingangsleitung (14) und der Ausgangsleitung (24) gekoppelt ist,

    wobei der Balun ferner umfasst:

    einen Eingangsport (12) zum Empfangen eines elektrischen Eingangssignals, wobei die Eingangsleitung (14) eine erste Verbindungsstelle mit der Schlitzleitung (18) in Richtung des Endes der Schlitzleitung (18) am nächsten zum Eingangsport (12) definiert,

    einen ersten Ausgangsport (26) und einen zweiten Ausgangsport (28); wobei die Ausgangsleitung (24) eine zweite Verbindungsstelle mit der Schlitzleitung (18) in Richtung des Endes der Schlitzleitung (18) am nächsten zu den Ausgangsports (26, 28) definiert;

    wobei: die Eingangsleitung (14) das elektrische Eingangssignal an der ersten Verbindungsstelle in die Schlitzleitung (18) einkoppelt; die Schlitzleitung (18) das elektrische Eingangssignal in die zweite Verbindungsstelle einkoppelt, wobei die zweite Verbindungsstelle so ausgelegt ist, dass sie als ein Teiler zum Erzeugen eines ersten und eines zweiten elektrischen Ausgangssignals fungiert; und die Ausgangsleitung (24) das erste und das zweite elektrische Ausgangssignal in den ersten Ausgangsport (26) bzw. den zweiten Ausgangsport (28) einkoppelt.


     
    2. Balun nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste (38a) die zweite (38b) Schicht aus dielektrischem Material aus dem gleichen dielektrischen Material wie die Substratschichten (32a, 32b) gebildet sind.
     
    3. Balun nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, wobei der Balun eine Mikrowellen-Laminatstruktur ist.
     
    4. Balun nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite Schicht aus dielektrischem Material ein Keramikmaterial umfassen.
     
    5. Balun nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite Schicht aus dielektrischem Material Laminate sind.
     
    6. Balun nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite Schicht aus dielektrischem Material jeweils eine Dicke im Bereich von 50 bis 500 Mikrometer, vorzugsweise 80 bis 250 Mikrometer aufweisen.
     
    7. Gruppe von Baluns nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6.
     
    8. Antennenanordnung, umfassend mindestens eine Antenne und einen Balun nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6 oder eine Gruppe von Baluns nach Anspruch 7, wobei die mindestens eine Antenne durch elektrische Signale vom Balun oder der Gruppe von Baluns gespeist wird.
     
    9. Verfahren zur Herstellung eines Baluns (10), umfassend die folgenden Schritte:
    Bereitstellen einer Balunstruktur mit einer Schlitzleitung (18), die mit einer Eingangsleitung (14) und einer Ausgangsleitung (24) gekoppelt ist, wobei der Balun (10) ferner umfasst:

    eine PCB, die eine erste Substratschicht (32a) und eine zweite Substratschicht (32b) umfasst,

    eine obere Schicht (38a) aus dielektrischem Material, die auf der Oberseite der ersten Substratschicht (32a) ausgebildet ist,

    wobei die Eingangsleitung (14) teilweise sandwichartig zwischen die erste und die zweite Substratschicht (32a, 32b) der PCB eingefügt ist,

    die Schlitzleitung (18) auf einer Oberseite der ersten Substratschicht (32a) ausgebildet ist, wobei die obere Schicht (38a) aus dielektrischem Material die Schlitzleitung (18) zur Gänze bedeckt,

    einen Eingangsport (12) zum Empfangen des elektrischen Eingangssignals, wobei die Eingangsleitung (14) eine erste Verbindungsstelle mit der Schlitzleitung (18) in Richtung des Endes der Schlitzleitung (18) am nächsten zum Eingangsport (12) definiert,

    einen ersten Ausgangsport (26) und einen zweiten Ausgangsport (28); wobei die Ausgangsleitung (24) eine zweite Verbindungsstelle mit der Schlitzleitung (18) in Richtung des Endes der Schlitzleitung (18) am nächsten zu den Ausgangsports definiert;

    wobei: die Eingangsleitung (14) das elektrische Eingangssignal an der ersten Verbindungsstelle in die Schlitzleitung (18) einkoppelt; die Schlitzleitung (18) das elektrische Eingangssignal in die zweite Verbindungsstelle einkoppelt, wobei die zweite Verbindungsstelle als ein Teiler zum Erzeugen des ersten und des zweiten elektrischen Ausgangssignals fungiert; und die Ausgangsleitung (24) das erste und das zweite elektrische Ausgangssignal in den ersten Ausgangsport (26) bzw. den zweiten Ausgangsport (28) einkoppelt; und

    Bilden einer ersten (38a) und einer zweiten (38b) Schicht auf mindestens einem Abschnitt der Schlitzleitung (18), um mindestens einen Abschnitt der Schlitzleitung (18) sandwichartig zwischen die erste (38a) und die zweite (38b) Schicht einzufügen.


     


    Revendications

    1. Balun pour alimenter une antenne dans un réseau d'antennes, le balun comprenant :

    une carte PCB comprenant une première couche de substrat (32a) et une deuxième couche de substrat (32b),

    une couche supérieure (38a) de matériau diélectrique formée sur la face supérieure de la première couche de substrat (32a),

    une couche inférieure (38b) de matériau diélectrique formée sur la surface inférieure de la deuxième couche de substrat (32b),

    une ligne d'entrée (14), partiellement prise en sandwich entre les première et deuxième couches de substrat (32a, 32b) de la carte PCB,

    une ligne de sortie (24),

    une ligne à fente (18) formée sur une surface supérieure de la première couche de substrat (32a), dans lequel la couche supérieure (38a) de matériau diélectrique recouvre entièrement la ligne à fente (18), et dans lequel la ligne à fente (18) est couplée à la ligne d'entrée (14) et à la ligne de sortie (24),

    le balun comprenant en outre :

    un port d'entrée (12) pour recevoir un signal électrique d'entrée, dans lequel la ligne d'entrée (14) définit une première jonction avec la ligne à fente (18) vers l'extrémité de la ligne à fente (18) la plus proche du port d'entrée (12),

    un premier port de sortie (26) et un deuxième port de sortie (28) ; dans lequel la ligne de sortie (24) définit une deuxième jonction avec la ligne à fente (18) vers l'extrémité de la ligne à fente (18) la plus proche des ports de sortie (26, 28) ;

    dans lequel : la ligne d'entrée (14) couple le signal électrique d'entrée à la ligne à fente (18) au niveau de la première jonction ; la ligne à fente (18) couple le signal électrique d'entrée à la deuxième jonction, la deuxième jonction est configurée pour agir en tant que diviseur pour produire des premier et deuxième signaux électriques de sortie ; et la ligne de sortie (24) couple les premier et deuxième signaux électriques de sortie, respectivement, au premier port de sortie (26) et au deuxième port de sortie (28).


     
    2. Balun selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les première (38a) et deuxième (38b) couches de matériau diélectrique sont formées à partir du même matériau diélectrique que les couches de substrat (32a, 32b).
     
    3. Balun selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 et 2, dans lequel le balun est une structure stratifiée hyperfréquence.
     
    4. Balun selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les première et deuxième couches de matériau diélectrique comprennent une céramique.
     
    5. Balun selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les première et deuxième couches de matériau diélectrique sont des stratifiés.
     
    6. Balun selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les première et deuxième couches de matériau diélectrique ont chacune une épaisseur dans la plage de 50 à 500 microns, de préférence de 80 à 250 microns.
     
    7. Réseau de baluns selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6.
     
    8. Agencement d'antenne comprenant au moins une antenne et un balun selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6 ou un réseau de baluns selon la revendication 7, dans lequel ladite au moins une antenne est alimentée par des signaux électriques provenant du balun ou provenant du réseau de baluns.
     
    9. Procédé de fabrication d'un balun (10) comprenant les étapes :
    de fourniture d'une structure de balun comportant une ligne à fente (18) qui est couplée à une ligne d'entrée (14) et à une ligne de sortie (24), le balun (10) comprenant en outre :

    une carte PCB comprenant une première couche de substrat (32a) et une deuxième couche de substrat (32b),

    une couche supérieure (38a) de matériau diélectrique formée sur la face supérieure de la première couche de substrat (32a),

    la ligne d'entrée (14) étant partiellement prise en sandwich entre les première et deuxième couches de substrat (32a, 32b) de la carte PCB,

    la ligne à fente (18) étant formée sur une surface supérieure de la première couche de substrat (32a), dans lequel la couche supérieure (38a) de matériau diélectrique recouvre entièrement la ligne à fente (18),

    un port d'entrée (12) pour recevoir le signal électrique d'entrée, dans lequel la ligne d'entrée (14) définit une première jonction avec la ligne à fente (18) vers l'extrémité de la ligne à fente (18) la plus proche du port d'entrée (12),

    un premier port de sortie (26) et un deuxième port de sortie (28) ; dans lequel la ligne de sortie (24) définit une deuxième jonction avec la ligne à fente (18) vers l'extrémité de la ligne à fente (18) la plus proche des ports de sortie ;

    dans lequel : la ligne d'entrée (14) couple le signal électrique d'entrée à la ligne à fente (18) au niveau de la première jonction ; la ligne à fente (18) couple le signal électrique d'entrée à la deuxième jonction, la deuxième jonction agissant en tant que diviseur pour produire les premier et deuxième signaux électriques de sortie ; et la ligne de sortie (24) couple les premier et deuxième signaux électriques de sortie, respectivement, au premier port de sortie (26) et au deuxième port de sortie (28) ; et

    de formation de première (38a) et deuxième (38b) couches de matériau diélectrique sur au moins une partie de la ligne à fente (18) de manière à prendre en sandwich au moins une partie de la ligne à fente (18) entre lesdites première (38a) et deuxième (38b) couches.


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description