(19)
(11)EP 3 813 196 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.10.2023 Bulletin 2023/43

(21)Application number: 19837191.6

(22)Date of filing:  02.04.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H01Q 3/44(2006.01)
H01Q 15/00(2006.01)
H01Q 19/13(2006.01)
H01Q 1/24(2006.01)
H01Q 15/08(2006.01)
H01Q 19/19(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
H01Q 3/44; H01Q 1/246; H01Q 19/19; H01Q 15/08; H01Q 15/0086; H01Q 19/13
(86)International application number:
PCT/CN2019/080933
(87)International publication number:
WO 2020/015386 (23.01.2020 Gazette  2020/04)

(54)

MICROWAVE DEVICE AND NETWORK SYSTEM

MIKROWELLENVORRICHTUNG UND NETZWERKSYSTEM

DISPOSITIF À MICRO-ONDES ET SYSTÈME DE RÉSEAU


(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: 19.07.2018 CN 201810793800

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.04.2021 Bulletin 2021/17

(73)Proprietor: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Longgang District Shenzhen, Guangdong 518129 (CN)

(72)Inventors:
  • TANG, Xianfeng
    Shenzhen, Guangdong 518129 (CN)
  • LIU, Yu
    Shenzhen, Guangdong 518129 (CN)
  • LI, Kun
    Shenzhen, Guangdong 518129 (CN)

(74)Representative: Grünecker Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 
Leopoldstraße 4
80802 München
80802 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
CN-A- 102 904 043
CN-A- 106 099 377
CN-A- 107 425 279
FR-A1- 2 858 469
US-A1- 2017 329 127
CN-A- 102 904 043
CN-A- 106 450 765
CN-B- 104 966 905
US-A1- 2017 271 762
US-A1- 2018 109 002
  
      
    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

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] This application relates to the communications field, and in particular, to a microwave device and a network system.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Microwave backhaul, featuring fast deployment and flexible installation, is one of solutions for mobile backhaul. With development of mobile and fixed networks, common-band (6 GHz to 42 GHz) microwave backhaul faces the following challenges: With large-scale deployment of 4G networks and evolution to 5G networks, a bandwidth requirement continuously increases. For example, a macro base station requires a gigabit (Gbps)-level bandwidth. More frequency resources are consumed for an increase in bandwidth. This causes a gradual shortage of spectrum resources in common bands (6 GHz to 42 GHz), and it is difficult to obtain the frequencies and meet the bandwidth requirement. To greatly increase the bandwidth and reduce the occupation of spectrum resources in common bands, E-band (71 GHz to 76 GHz/81 GHz to 86 GHz) microwave with 10 GHz spectrum resources will become an important solution to the bandwidth and spectrum resources.

    [0003] CN 102 904 043 A discloses a feed-ward microwave antenna comprising a metamaterial sheet for dispersing electromagnetic waves.

    [0004] CN 106 450 765 A discloses a millimeter wave antenna comprising liquid crystal materials with dielectric constants varying dependent on applied voltages in order to control output phases and, thus, antenna beam patterns/directions. US 2018/109002 A1 discloses a reflector antenna that includes a feed for generating an RF signal, and a metasurface reflector for reflecting the RF signal originating from the feed. The metasurface reflector includes an array of cells each having a volume of liquid crystal with a controllable dielectric value enabling a reflection phase of the cells to be selectively tuned to effect beam steering of the reflected RF signal.

    [0005] US 2017/271762 A1 discloses a 5G communication system comprising an apparatus in a wireless communication system comprising an antenna array configured to steer a first beam using antenna elements, and a lens including a first focal point and a second focal point. The lens is configured to generate a second beam of a plane wave by compensating for a phase error of the steered first beam passing through at least one of the first focal point or the second focal point.

    [0006] FR 2 858 469 A1 discloses an antenna having a cavity with an assembly including a pair of semi-reflecting plane metallic mirror grids that are perpendicular to an axis of the antenna. The assembly has two zones of active material layer placed adjacent to the respective mirror grids. The layers are controlled by respective polarization zones defined by metallic patterned layers that are subjected to an electric control potential. The patterns are juxtaposed with the layers and are directly fabricated on the surface of the active layer.

    [0007] CN 104 966 905 B discloses a voltage control wave beam adjustable lens antenna based on electromagnetic materials. The antenna comprises a lens main body, impedance matching layers, and a feed source. The refractive index of the lens main body and the refractive index of the impedance matching layers are gradually changed in a radial direction and are evenly distributed in an axial direction. The lens main body and the impedance matching layers are made from electromagnetic materials, and the distribution of the refractive indexes of both the lens main body and the impedance matching layers are adjusted through external voltage signals.

    [0008] The E-band microwave can be applied to long-distance backhaul of macro base stations (for example, a backhaul distance of more than 7 km). However, when the E-band microwave is applied to the long-distance backhaul of macro base stations, the following problems exist: Long-distance E-band requires that an antenna has high gain. A high-gain transmit antenna has a sharp beam, and the sharp beam makes the antenna sensitive to shaking (for example, if the antenna is installed on a tower, the antenna is sensitive to shaking of the tower). Consequently, gain of a receive antenna decreases, and a microwave transmission distance is affected.

    [0009] Therefore, how to design a beam reconfigurable antenna and enhance a capability of resisting shaking of the antenna becomes a technical problem to be resolved.

    SUMMARY



    [0010] In view of this, this application provides a a microwave device and a network system, to resolve a problem that the antenna is sensitive to shaking.

    [0011] According to a first aspect, this application provides a microwave device comprising a first unit, a second unit, and an antenna, wherein

    the second unit is configured to convert a baseband digital signal into an intermediate frequency analog signal;

    the first unit is configured to: receive the intermediate frequency analog signal, and convert the intermediate frequency analog signal into a radio frequency signal;

    the first unit is an outdoor unit and the second unit is an indoor unit or both the first unit and the second unit are one of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit; and

    the antenna comprises a feed, a liquid crystal metasurface array, a liquid crystal bias control circuit, and a beam transformation structure, wherein the liquid crystal metasurface array comprises MxN liquid crystal metasurface array units, and M and N are positive integers greater than or equal to 2;

    the feed is configured to generate a radio frequency signal, illuminating the liquid crystal metasurface array;

    the liquid crystal bias control circuit is configured to: determine a to-be-adjusted beam angle, and load a voltage bias value on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in the liquid crystal metasurface array based on the beam angle;

    the liquid crystal metasurface array is configured to: transmit the radio frequency signal, and generate a lateral offset of a feed phase center based on the voltage bias value; and

    the beam transformation structure is configured to emit the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array.



    [0012] In a possible implementation, the liquid crystal bias control circuit changes, based on the loaded voltage bias value, a transmission phase generated when the radio frequency signal is transmitted through each liquid crystal metasurface array unit. The transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit is changed, so that the feed phase center is laterally offset, thereby implementing reconfiguration of an antenna beam.

    [0013] In a possible implementation, the liquid crystal bias control circuit changes a dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit based on the loaded voltage bias value. The liquid crystal dielectric constant is changed based on the voltage bias value, so that the transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit is changed.

    [0014] In a possible implementation, the liquid crystal bias control circuit is further configured to determine the lateral offset of the feed phase center based on the to-be-adjusted beam angle. According to an antenna scanning principle, a relationship between a deflection angle of the antenna beam and the lateral offset of the feed phase center can be obtained. The deflection angle of the antenna beam is the same as the to-be-adjusted beam angle, but the directions are opposite.

    [0015] In a possible implementation, the beam transformation structure may include a primary reflector and a secondary reflector, the feed and the liquid crystal metasurface array are located between the primary reflector and the secondary reflector, and the liquid crystal metasurface array is located between the feed and the secondary reflector. A beam reconfigurable Cassegrain antenna is implemented by placing the feed and liquid crystal metasurface array between the primary reflector and the secondary reflector.

    [0016] According to a second aspect, this application provides a network system comprising a microwave device according to the first aspect or any implementation thereof.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



    [0017] To describe the technical solutions in the embodiments of the present invention more clearly, the following briefly describes the accompanying drawings used for describing the embodiments of the present invention.

    FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a microwave network architecture according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 2a is a diagram of an initial state of a feed phase center;

    FIG. 2b is a diagram of a lateral offset state of a feed phase center;

    FIG. 3 is a location relationship diagram of a lateral offset state of a feed phase center;

    FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a liquid crystal metasurface array;

    FIG. 5 is a structural parameter diagram of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit usable in an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 6 is a curve chart of a relationship between a transmission phase of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit and a frequency under different liquid crystal dielectric constants;

    FIG. 7 is a diagram of a correspondence between a lateral offset Δd of a feed phase center and a liquid crystal dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit;

    FIG. 8 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 9 is an example flowchart of a beam reconstruction method that can be realized in an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 10 is an example flowchart of a beam reconstruction method that can be realized in an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 11 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 12 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention; and

    FIG. 13 is a schematic structural diagram of a microwave device according to an embodiment of the present invention.


    DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0018] To make the obj ectives, technical solutions, and advantages of the present invention clearer and more comprehensible, the following further describes the present invention in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings and embodiments.

    [0019] First, a possible application scenario of the embodiments of the present invention is described. FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a microwave network architecture according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, a beam reconfigurable antenna 103 or 104 (which may be referred to as an antenna for short) provided in this embodiment of the present invention may be assembled in a microwave device 101 and a microwave device 102, and communication is performed through the antenna 103 or 104. For example, the microwave device 101 generates a transmit beam 105 through the antenna 103, and the beam 105 is received by the antenna 104 of the microwave device 102 through spatial transmission of a specific distance. The beam herein may be formed by a radio frequency signal (an electromagnetic wave). The beam reconfigurable antenna is a pattern-reconfigurable antenna, that is, a maximum gain direction or direction of a beam may be flexibly changed. Therefore, when an antenna at a transmit end and/or an antenna at a receive end shake/shakes, and a beam cannot be aligned by the antenna at the receive end for receiving, the beam reconfigurable antenna may adjust a beam direction, to re-implement alignment.

    [0020] The antenna usable in this embodiment of the present invention may include a feed, a liquid crystal metasurface array, a beam transformation structure (for example, a reflector or a lens), and the like. The following describes a working principle of the beam reconfigurable antenna usable in this embodiment of the present invention: A beam emitted by the feed is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array, a resonance characteristic of the liquid crystal metasurface array is used, and a liquid crystal dielectric constant is controlled by using a voltage bias value, to change a transmission phase of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit, and implement a lateral offset of a feed phase center, so that the antenna beam can be reconstructed. The lateral offset of the feed phase center (or the reconfigurable phase center) means that a lateral position of the feed phase center changes, for example, the phase center moves on a plane parallel to the feed aperture plane. The following describes the lateral offset of the feed phase center with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 2a is a diagram of an initial state of a feed phase center. As shown in FIG. 2a, after a beam radiated by a feed 201 is away from the feed for a specific distance, an equiphase surface 202 of the feed is approximately a sphere, and a sphere center of the sphere is an equivalent phase center (or a phase center) of the feed. The equivalent phase center is at point A, and total phases generated after a beam is transmitted through liquid crystal metasurface array units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ..., n are ϕA11, ϕA22, ϕA33, ϕA44, ϕA55, ..., ϕAnnAn is a spatial phase generated from the point A to the unit n, and ϕn is a transmission phase generated from the unit n). FIG. 2b is a diagram of a lateral offset state of a feed phase center. After a liquid crystal bias voltage is changed, transmission phases of the liquid crystal metasurface array units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ..., and n are respectively increased by Δϕ1, Δϕ2, Δϕ3, Δϕ4, Δϕ5, ..., and Δϕn. In this case, the equivalent phase center is at a point B, and total phases generated after the beam is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ..., and n are respectively ϕB11 + Δϕ1, ϕB22+Δϕ2, ϕB33+Δϕ3, ϕB44+Δϕ4, ϕB55+Δϕ5, ..., and ϕBn + ϕn + Δϕn. After the equivalent phase center moves from the point A to the point B, the equiphase surface moves from 202 to 203, that is, ϕAnnBnn+Δϕn. Therefore, ϕAn - ϕBn = Δϕn (n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...).

    [0021] FIG. 3 is a location relationship diagram of a lateral offset state of a feed phase center. As shown in FIG. 3, based on a position relationship between a feed 301 and a liquid crystal metasurface array 302, and the lateral offset state of the feed phase center, the following relationship may be deduced:
    A distance (d) between a horn aperture surface of the feed and the liquid crystal metasurface array and a side length (L) of the liquid crystal metasurface array meet the following condition:

    where
    θ is a half illuminating angle of the feed.

    [0022] It can be learned from ϕBn - ϕAn = Δϕn, (n=1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...) that, a spatial phase change is equal to a transmission phase change ϕn (n=1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...) of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit:

    where
    Sn is a distance from the feed phase center A to the nth unit; k = 2πf/c is a quantity of waves in free space, f is a working frequency of an electromagnetic wave, and c is the speed of light; and Δd is the lateral offset of the feed phase center.

    [0023] The following parameters are used as an example for quantitative analysis: the working frequency is 73.5 GHz, the half illuminating angle of the feed θ is 35 degrees, and a longitudinal spacing d between the horn aperture surface of the feed and the liquid crystal metasurface array is 6.5 mm. According to the foregoing parameters and with reference to formula (2), a transmission phase change Δϕn, of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be obtained through simulation when phase centers of different feeds are laterally offset Δd .

    [0024] The relationship between the liquid crystal dielectric constant and the transmission phase, and the relationship between the liquid crystal dielectric constant and the lateral offset of the phase center can be obtained through simulation after quantitative analysis. FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a liquid crystal metasurface array. The liquid crystal metasurface array may be of a planar structure, or may be of a curved surface structure. The liquid crystal metasurface array may include a liquid crystal layer, a metasurface layer, and a medium layer. The following parameters are used as an example for simulation:
    1. (1) A size of a cross section of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit is 1 mm x 1 mm;
    2. (2) Liquid crystal layer: The liquid crystal layer is made of liquid crystal with a thickness of 0.1 mm, the relative dielectric constant is between 2.6 and 3.4, and the relative permeability is 1;
    3. (3) Metasurface layer: The metasurface layer is made of oxygen-free copper with a thickness of 0.01 mm, and includes 9 x 9 liquid crystal metasurface array units (also referred to as metal resonance units). For detailed parameters of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit, refer to FIG. 5; and
    4. (4) Dielectric layer: The dielectric layer is made of Rogers RT5880LZ with a thickness of 0.4 mm, the relative dielectric constant is 1.96, and the relative permeability is 1.


    [0025] It is assumed that initial states of the liquid crystal metasurface array units are as follows: Dielectric constants of the liquid crystal metasurface array units are equal and each is 3. Simulation is performed based on the foregoing parameters of the liquid crystal metasurface array, to obtain a variation relationship between a transmission phase of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit and a frequency under different liquid crystal dielectric constants. FIG. 6 is a curve chart of a relationship between a transmission phase of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit and a frequency under different liquid crystal dielectric constants. In FIG. 6, a horizontal coordinate indicates a working frequency, and a vertical coordinate indicates a transmission phase. FIG. 6 shows two curves whose liquid crystal dielectric constants are 2.6 and 3.4. If the selected working frequency is 73.5 GHz, when the liquid crystal dielectric constant is 2.6, the transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit is 118 degrees; and when the liquid crystal dielectric constant is 3.4, the transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit is 66.73 degrees. Therefore, it can be learned that the transmission phase decreases by 6.4 degrees for every increase of 0.1 of the liquid crystal dielectric constant.

    [0026] Under the lateral offsets Δd of different feed phase centers, the liquid crystal dielectric constants of the metasurface array units are obtained according to the simulation analysis. FIG. 7 is a diagram of a correspondence between a lateral offset Δd of a feed phase center and a liquid crystal dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit. In FIG. 7, a horizontal coordinate indicates a number of the liquid crystal metasurface array units, and a vertical coordinate indicates a liquid crystal dielectric constant. FIG. 7 shows corresponding liquid crystal dielectric constants of nine liquid crystal metasurface array units when Δd is 0.1, 0.3, or 0.5. When Δd is one of the values of 0.1, 0.3, or 0.5, the liquid crystal dielectric constants of the liquid crystal metasurface array units are different.

    [0027] There is a fixed relationship between the liquid crystal dielectric constant and the liquid crystal bias voltage. For example, voltage bias values corresponding to different liquid crystal dielectric constants may be obtained through actual engineering testing with reference to the liquid crystal dielectric constant and a liquid crystal model. Alternatively, the liquid crystal voltage bias values corresponding to different liquid crystal dielectric constants may be obtained by looking up a table with reference to a specific liquid crystal model.

    [0028] The liquid crystal metasurface array usable in an embodiment of the present invention may be applied to a plurality of types of antennas, for example, a Cassegrain antenna, a reflector antenna, and a lens antenna. FIG. 8 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, the antenna 800 is a Cassegrain antenna, and may include a feed 801, a liquid crystal metasurface array 802, and a beam transformation structure. The beam transformation structure includes a primary reflector 803 and a secondary reflector 804. The feed 801 and the liquid crystal metasurface array 802 are located between the primary reflector 803 and the secondary reflector 804. The liquid crystal metasurface array 802 includes MxN liquid crystal metasurface array units, and M and N are positive integers greater than or equal to 2. M may be equal or unequal to N. The antenna 800 may further include a liquid crystal bias control circuit (not shown in the figure), and may include a plurality of voltage control units, for example, MxN voltage control units. In this case, one voltage control unit may control a voltage bias value of one liquid crystal metasurface array unit.

    [0029] When the antenna 800 is applied to the device at the transmit end shown in FIG. 1, that is, when the antenna 800 is used as the transmit antenna 103 of the microwave device 101 at the transmit end in FIG. 1, a method 900 for beam reconstruction shown in FIG. 9 may be performed. FIG. 9 is an example flowchart of a beam reconstruction method that can be implemented in an embodiment of the present invention. The method may include the following steps. 901: A feed generates a radio frequency signal.

    [0030] An input port of the feed is configured to receive a radio frequency signal from the outdoor unit or the radio frequency module of the microwave device 101, and the radio frequency signal is transmitted to a radiation aperture of the feed through a waveguide tube. The radiation aperture of the feed may be a primary horn antenna that radiates a radio frequency signal towards a secondary reflector of a beam transformation structure. The radio frequency signal may be a microwave signal, that is, an electromagnetic wave of a specific frequency.

    [0031] 902: A liquid crystal bias control circuit determines a to-be-adjusted beam angle, and loads a voltage bias value on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in the liquid crystal metasurface array based on the beam angle.

    [0032] According to a calculation formula of an antenna scanning principle, a relationship between a deflection angle of an antenna beam and a lateral offset of a feed phase center may be expressed by using the following formula:

    where
    F is an equivalent focal length of the Cassegrain antenna, and D is an aperture of the Cassegrain antenna. The deflection angle α of the antenna beam may be determined by a microwave device at a receive end. For example, a primary feed and a secondary feed are disposed in a receive antenna of the microwave device at the receive end, and a plurality of (for example, four) secondary feeds are placed around the primary feed. When the beams are aligned, receive powers of the secondary feeds are the same. When the beam is offset, receive powers of the secondary feeds are different. The deflection angle α of the antenna beam may be calculated based on changes of the receive power. After determining the deflection angle α of the antenna beam, the microwave device at the receive end may notify the microwave device at the receive end of the deflection angle α'.

    [0033] A deflection angle α of the antenna beam of a liquid crystal bias circuit at the receive end and a to-be-adjusted beam angle may be two angles whose angle values are equal but directions are opposite. A voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be determined based on the to-be-adjusted beam angle or the deflection angle α of the antenna beam. There are a plurality of implementations for determining the voltage bias value, and three of the implementations are listed below:

    First implementation: First, it can be learned from formula (3) that, the lateral offset Δd of the feed phase center may be determined based on the deflection angle α of the antenna beam. Then, it can be learned from formula (2) that changes of a transmission phase Δϕn of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be determined according to Δd. Then, it can be learned from FIG. 6 that a dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit is determined according to Δϕn. Finally, based on the dielectric constant of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit, the voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit is determined through engineering testing or table lookup.

    Second implementation: First, it can be learned from formula (3) that, the lateral offset Δd of the feed phase center may be determined based on the deflection angle α of the antenna beam. Then, it can be learned from FIG. 7 that a correspondence diagram or a correspondence table between Δd and a dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be calculated and stored in advance. When the beam angle needs to be adjusted, the dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be learned according to Δd. Finally, based on the dielectric constant of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit, the voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit is determined through engineering testing or table lookup.

    Third implementation: A correspondence between a deflection angle α of an antenna beam and a voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be calculated and stored in advance based on a deduction process in the first implementation. When the beam angle needs to be adjusted, the voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be learned according to α'. Finally, based on the dielectric constant of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit, the voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit is determined through engineering testing or table lookup.



    [0034] 903: The liquid crystal metasurface array transmits the radio frequency signal, and generates the lateral offset of the feed phase center based on the voltage bias value.

    [0035] The radio frequency signal emitted by the feed is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array, and the liquid crystal dielectric constant is controlled by using the voltage bias value, to change the transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit, and implement the lateral offset of the feed phase center. The voltage bias value loaded on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit can change the transmission phase of radio frequency signals transmitted through each liquid crystal metasurface array unit.

    [0036] 904: The beam transformation structure emits the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array.

    [0037] The beam transformation structure in FIG. 8 includes a primary reflector and a secondary reflector. Radio frequency signals can be reflected on the primary reflector and the secondary reflector, and directional gain can be provided. The reflected radio frequency signals have certain directivity. The radio frequency signals generated by the feed are transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array, reflected by the secondary reflector, reflected by the primary reflector, and then transmitted in a certain direction in the air. After the beam angle is adjusted, the beam direction can be aligned with the receive antenna at the receive end.

    [0038] When a direction of the receive beam is not aligned with the antenna at the receive end, the voltage bias value of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna at the transmit end may be adjusted, and the lateral offset of the feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value, to implement reconfiguration of the feed phase center and reconfiguration of an antenna beam, thereby implementing beam alignment. According to the foregoing method, in an embodiment of the present invention implements a beam reconfigurable antenna with low costs and low complexity, to resolve a problem that the antenna is sensitive to shaking.

    [0039] When the antenna 800 is applied to the device at the receive end shown in FIG. 1, that is, when the antenna 800 is used as the receive antenna 104 of the microwave device 102 at the receive end in FIG. 1, a method 1000 for beam reconstruction shown in FIG. 10 may be performed. FIG. 10 is an example flowchart of a beam reconstruction method that can be implemented in an embodiment of the present invention. The method may include the following steps.

    [0040] 1001. A beam transformation structure receives a radio frequency signal.

    [0041] The beam transformation structure in FIG. 8 includes a primary reflector and a secondary reflector. The primary reflector and the secondary reflector reflect radio frequency signals received in a relatively large area and focus the signals on the radiation aperture of the feed. The radio frequency signal is first received by the primary reflector, reflected by the primary reflector to the secondary reflector, reflected by the secondary reflector, transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array, and received by the feed.

    [0042] 1002: A liquid crystal bias control circuit determines a to-be-adjusted beam angle, and loads a voltage bias value on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in the liquid crystal metasurface array based on the beam angle.

    [0043] The deflection angle α of the antenna beam may be determined by a microwave device at a receive end. For example, the deflection angle α is detected by setting a primary feed and a secondary feed. For a specific implementation, refer to step 902. Details are not described herein again. For determining the voltage bias values of the liquid crystal metasurface array units respectively based on the to-be-adjusted beam angle or the deflection angle α of the antenna beam, refer to the implementation of step 902. Details are not described herein again.

    [0044] 1003: The liquid crystal metasurface array transmits the radio frequency signal, and generates a lateral offset of a feed phase center based on the voltage bias value.

    [0045] The radio frequency signal received by the beam transformation structure is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array, and the liquid crystal dielectric constant is controlled by using the voltage bias value, to change the transmission phase of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit, and implement the lateral offset of the feed phase center. The voltage bias value loaded on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit can change the transmission phase of radio frequency signals transmitted through each liquid crystal metasurface array unit. Optionally, transmission phases generated by the radio frequency signal in the liquid crystal metasurface array units are different.

    [0046] 1004: The feed receives the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array.

    [0047] The radio frequency signal received by the feed may be sent to the outdoor unit or the radio frequency module of the microwave device 102. After the beam angle is adjusted, the beam direction can be aligned with the receive antenna at the receive end.

    [0048] When a direction of the receive beam is not aligned with the antenna at the receive end, the voltage bias value of the liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna at the receive end may be adjusted, and the lateral offset of the feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value, to implement reconfiguration of the feed phase center and reconfiguration of an antenna beam, thereby implementing beam alignment. According to the foregoing method, in an embodiment of the present invention a beam reconfigurable antenna with low costs and low complexity can be used, to resolve a problem that the antenna is sensitive to shaking.

    [0049] FIG. 11 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 11, the antenna 1100 is a single reflector antenna (for example, a paraboloidal antenna), and may include a feed 1101, a liquid crystal metasurface array 1102, and a reflector 1103. The liquid crystal metasurface array 1102 is located between the feed 1101 and the reflector 1103. The liquid crystal metasurface array includes MxN liquid crystal metasurface array units, and M and N are positive integers greater than or equal to 2. The antenna 1100 may further include a liquid crystal bias control circuit (not shown in the figure), and may include a plurality of voltage control units, for example, MxN voltage control units. In this case, one voltage control unit may control a voltage bias value of one liquid crystal metasurface array unit. The antenna shown in FIG. 11 may be used as a beam reconfigurable antenna. A principle of beam reconstruction is similar to that of the antenna shown in FIG. 8: A voltage bias value of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna is adjusted, and a lateral offset of a feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value, to implement reconfiguration of the feed phase center and reconfiguration of an antenna beam, thereby implementing beam alignment. The antenna shown in FIG. 11 may perform the method shown in FIG. 9 or FIG. 10. Details are not described herein again. According to the foregoing method, a beam reconfigurable antenna with low costs and low complexity is implemented, to resolve a problem that the antenna is sensitive to shaking.

    [0050] FIG. 12 is a schematic structural diagram of an antenna usable in an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, the antenna 1200 is a lens antenna, and may include a feed 1201, a liquid crystal metasurface array 1202, and a lens 1203. The liquid crystal metasurface array 1202 is located between the feed 1201 and the lens 1203. The liquid crystal metasurface array includes MxN liquid crystal metasurface array units, and M and N are positive integers greater than or equal to 2. The antenna 1200 may further include a liquid crystal bias control circuit (not shown in the figure), and may include a plurality of voltage control units, for example, MxN voltage control units. In this case, one voltage control unit may control a voltage bias value of one liquid crystal metasurface array unit. The antenna shown in FIG. 12 may be used as a beam reconfigurable antenna. A principle of beam reconstruction is similar to that of the antenna shown in FIG. 8: A voltage bias value of a liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna is adjusted, and a lateral offset of a feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value, to implement reconfiguration of the feed phase center and reconfiguration of an antenna beam, thereby implementing beam alignment. The antenna shown in FIG. 12 may perform the method shown in FIG. 9 or FIG. 10. Details are not described herein again. According to the foregoing method, a beam reconfigurable antenna with low costs and low complexity is implemented, to resolve a problem that the antenna is sensitive to shaking.

    [0051] FIG. 13 is a schematic structural diagram of a microwave device according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 13, the microwave device 1300 may include an outdoor unit (outdoor unit, ODU) 1301, an indoor unit (indoor unit, IDU) 1302, an antenna 1303, and an intermediate frequency cable 1304. The ODU 1301 and the IDU 1302 may be connected through the intermediate frequency cable 1304, and the ODU may be connected to the antenna through a feeding waveguide.

    [0052] The ODU 1301 may include an intermediate frequency module, a sending module, a receiving module, a multiplexer, a duplexer, and the like. The ODU 1301 performs conversion between an intermediate frequency analog signal and a radio frequency signal. In a transmit direction, the ODU 1301 performs up-conversion and amplification on the intermediate frequency analog signal from the IDU 1302, converts the intermediate frequency analog signal into a radio frequency signal of a specific frequency, and sends the radio frequency signal to the antenna 1303. In a receive direction, the ODU 1301 performs down-conversion and amplification on the radio frequency signal received from the antenna 1303, converts the radio frequency signal into an intermediate frequency analog signal, and sends the intermediate frequency analog signal to the IDU 1302.

    [0053] The IDU 1302 may include a board such as a system control, switching, and timing board, an intermediate frequency board, or a service board, and may provide a plurality of service interfaces such as a gigabit Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet, GE) service, a synchronous transfer mode-1 (synchronous transfer module-1, STM-1) service, and an E1 service. The IDU 1302 mainly provides services such as processing a baseband signal and performing conversion between a baseband signal and an intermediate frequency analog signal. In a transmit direction, the IDU 1302 modulates a baseband digital signal into an intermediate frequency analog signal. In a receive direction, the IDU 1302 demodulates and digitizes the received intermediate frequency analog signal and decomposes the intermediate frequency analog signal into baseband digital signals.

    [0054] The antenna 1303 may be any one of the antennas shown in FIG. 8, FIG. 11, and FIG. 12 in the embodiments of the present invention. The antenna 1303 mainly provides a directional sending and receiving function for a radio frequency signal, and implements conversion between a radio frequency signal generated or received by the ODU 1301 and a radio frequency signal in atmospheric space. In a transmit direction, the antenna 1303 converts a radio frequency signal output by the ODU 1301 into a directional radio frequency signal, and radiates the directional radio frequency signal to space. In a receive direction, the antenna 1303 receives the radio frequency signal in the space, focuses the radio frequency signal, and transmits the radio frequency signal to the ODU 1301. The beam reconstruction method described herein be applied to the antenna in the transmit direction, or may be applied to the antenna in the receive direction. For example, in the transmit direction, the antenna 1303 receives a radio frequency signal from the ODU 1301; determines a to-be-adjusted beam angle; changes a voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in a liquid crystal metasurface array based on the beam angle, where a lateral offset of a feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value after the radio frequency signal is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array; and emits the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array. In the receive direction, the antenna 1303 receives a radio frequency signal radiated in the space; determines a to-be-adjusted beam angle; loads a voltage bias value on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in a liquid crystal metasurface array based on the to-be-adjusted beam angle, where a lateral offset of a feed phase center is generated based on the voltage bias value after the radio frequency signal is transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array; and receives the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array.

    [0055] The microwave device 1300 may be a split-structured microwave device, that is, the IDU 1302 is placed indoors, and the ODU 1301 and the antenna 1303 are assembled and placed outdoors. The microwave device 1300 may alternatively be a full-outdoor microwave device, that is, the ODU 1301, the IDU 1302, and the antenna 1303 are all placed outdoors. The microwave device 1300 may alternatively be a full-indoor microwave device, that is, the ODU 1301 and the IDU 1302 are placed indoors, and the antenna 1303 is placed outdoors. The ODU 1301 may also be referred to as a radio frequency module, and the IDU 1302 may also be referred to as a baseband.

    [0056] When the beam reconfigurable antenna is applied to a microwave device, a capability of the device against shaking can be improved, and complexity and costs of the device can be reduced.

    [0057] In the foregoing embodiments, some may be implemented by using software, some may be implemented by using hardware, or all may be implemented by using hardware. In an example, in step 902 or step 1002, program code may be loaded on the liquid crystal bias control circuit for calculating the voltage bias value, and a hardware circuit on the liquid crystal bias control circuit loads or adjusts the voltage bias value based on a calculation result. In another example, a correspondence table between a deflection angle α of an antenna beam and a voltage bias value of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit may be stored in a storage element on the liquid crystal bias control circuit, and a hardware circuit on the liquid crystal bias control circuit loads or adjusts the voltage bias value based on a result of the table lookup. In another example, calculation of the voltage bias value or storage of the correspondence table may also be implemented in another module, for example, implemented in an outdoor unit of the microwave device, and the outdoor unit notifies the liquid crystal bias control circuit of the voltage bias value obtained through calculation or table lookup. The program code may be implemented by using a hardware description language, for example, a Verilog language. The program code may be loaded in a programmable logic device, such as a field programmable gate array (programmable gate array, FPGA) or a complex programmable logic device (CPLD, complex programmable logic device). When the program code runs in the programmable logic device, all or some of the procedures or functions described herein are generated.

    [0058] The protection scope of the present invention shall be subject to the protection scope of the claims.


    Claims

    1. A microwave device (1300), comprising a first unit (1301), a second unit (1302), and an antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303), wherein

    the second unit (1302) is configured to convert a baseband digital signal into an intermediate frequency analog signal;

    the first unit (1301) is configured to: receive the intermediate frequency analog signal, and convert the intermediate frequency analog signal into a radio frequency signal;

    the first unit (1301) is an outdoor unit and the second unit (1302) is an indoor unit or both the first unit (1301) and the second unit (1302) are one of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit; and

    the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) comprises a feed (800, 1101, 1201), a liquid crystal metasurface array (802, 1102, 1202), a liquid crystal bias control circuit, and a beam transformation structure, wherein the liquid crystal metasurface array (802, 1102, 1202) comprises MxN liquid crystal metasurface array units, and M and N are positive integers greater than or equal to 2;

    the feed (800, 1101, 1201) is configured to generate a radio frequency signal, illuminating the liquid crystal metasurface array;

    the liquid crystal bias control circuit is configured to: determine a to-be-adjusted beam angle, and load a voltage bias value on each liquid crystal metasurface array unit in the liquid crystal metasurface array (802, 1102, 1202) based on the beam angle;

    the liquid crystal metasurface array (802, 1102, 1202) is configured to: transmit the radio frequency signal, and generate a lateral offset of a feed phase center based on the voltage bias value; and

    the beam transformation structure is configured to emit the radio frequency signal transmitted through the liquid crystal metasurface array.


     
    2. The microwave device (1300) according to claim 1, wherein the liquid crystal bias control circuit of the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) is configured to change, based on the loaded voltage bias value, a transmission phase generated when the radio frequency signal is transmitted through each liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303).
     
    3. The microwave device (1300) according to claim 2, wherein the liquid crystal bias control circuit of the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) is configured to: before changing the transmission phase, change a dielectric constant of each liquid crystal metasurface array unit of the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) based on the loaded voltage bias value.
     
    4. The microwave device (1300) according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the liquid crystal bias control circuit of the antenna (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) is further configured to determine the lateral offset of the feed phase center based on the to-be-adjusted beam angle.
     
    5. The microwave device (1300) according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the beam transformation structure of the antenna (800) comprises a primary reflector (803) and a secondary reflector (804), the feed (801) and the liquid crystal metasurface array (802) of the antenna (800) are located between the primary reflector (803) and the secondary reflector (804), and the liquid crystal metasurface array (802) of the antenna (800) is located between the feed (801) and the secondary reflector (804).
     
    6. A network system comprising the microwave device (1300) according to any of the preceding claims.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300), umfassend eine erste Einheit (1301), eine zweite Einheit (1302) und eine Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303), wobei

    die zweite Einheit (1302) dafür ausgelegt ist, ein digitales Basisbandsignal in ein analoges Zwischenfrequenzsignal umzuwandeln;

    wobei die erste Einheit (1301) dafür ausgelegt ist: das analoge Zwischenfrequenzsignal zu empfangen und das analoge Zwischenfrequenzsignal in ein Hochfrequenzsignal umzuwandeln;

    wobei die erste Einheit (1301) eine Außeneinheit und die zweite Einheit (1302) eine Inneneinheit ist oder sowohl die erste Einheit (1301) als auch die zweite Einheit (1302) entweder eine Außeneinheit oder eine Inneneinheit ist, und

    die Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) eine Speiseleitung (800, 1101, 1201), eine Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802, 1102, 1202), eine Flüssigkristall-Vorspannungssteuerschaltung und eine Strahltransformationsstruktur umfasst, wobei die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802, 1102, 1202) MxN Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnungseinheiten umfasst und M und N positive Ganzzahlen größer oder gleich 2 sind;

    die Speiseleitung (800, 1101, 1201) dafür ausgelegt ist, ein Hochfrequenzsignal zu erzeugen, das die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung ausleuchtet;

    die Flüssigkristall-Vorspannungssteuerschaltung dafür ausgelegt ist: einen einzustellenden Strahlwinkel zu bestimmen und einen Vorspannungswert an jeder Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnungseinheit in der Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802, 1102, 1202) zu laden, basierend auf dem Strahlwinkel;

    die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802, 1102, 1202) dafür ausgelegt ist:

    das Hochfrequenzsignal zu senden und einen seitlichen Versatz einer Speiseleitungs-Phasenmitte zu erzeugen, basierend auf dem Vorspannungswert; und

    die Strahltransformationsstruktur dafür ausgelegt ist, das über die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung übertragene Hochfrequenzsignal auszusenden.


     
    2. Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300) gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Flüssigkristall-Vorspannungssteuerschaltung der Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) dafür ausgelegt ist, basierend auf dem geladenen Vorspannungswert eine Sendephase zu ändern, die erzeugt wird, wenn das Hochfrequenzsignal über jede Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnungseinheit der Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) gesendet wird.
     
    3. Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300) gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei die Flüssigkristall-Vorspannungssteuerschaltung der Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) dafür ausgelegt ist: vor Änderung der Sendephase eine Dielektrizitätskonstante jeder Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnungseinheit der Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) zu ändern, basierend auf dem geladenen Vorspannungswert.
     
    4. Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die Flüssigkristall-Vorspannungssteuerschaltung der Antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) ferner dafür ausgelegt ist, den seitlichen Versatz der Speiseleitungs-Phasenmitte zu bestimmen, basierend auf dem einzustellenden Strahlwinkel.
     
    5. Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die Strahltransformationsstruktur der Antenne (800) einen primären Reflektor (803) und einen sekundären Reflektor (804) umfasst, die Speiseleitung (801) und die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802) der Antenne (800) zwischen dem primären Reflektor (803) und dem sekundären Reflektor (804) angeordnet sind und die Flüssigkristall-Metaoberflächenanordnung (802) der Antenne (800) zwischen der Speiseleitung (801) und dem sekundären Reflektor (804) angeordnet ist.
     
    6. Netzsystem, das die Mikrowellenvorrichtung (1300) gemäß einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif à micro-ondes (1300), comprenant une première unité (1301), une deuxième unité (1301) et une antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303),

    la deuxième unité (1302) étant configurée pour convertir un signal numérique de bande de base en un signal analogique de fréquence intermédiaire ;

    la première unité (1301) étant configurée pour : recevoir le signal analogique de fréquence intermédiaire et convertir le signal analogique de fréquence intermédiaire en un signal de fréquence radio ;

    la première unité (1301) étant une unité extérieure et la deuxième unité (1302) étant une unité intérieure ou à la fois la première unité (1301) et la deuxième unité (1302) sont une parmi une unité extérieure et une unité intérieure ; et

    l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) comprenant une alimentation (800, 1101, 1201), un réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802, 1102, 1202), un circuit de commande de polarisation à cristaux liquides et une structure de transformation de faisceau, le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802, 1102, 1202) comprenant MxN unités de réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides, et M et N étant des nombres entiers positifs supérieurs ou égaux à 2 ;

    l'alimentation (800, 1101, 1201) étant configurée pour générer un signal de fréquence radio, éclairant le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides ;

    le circuit de commande de polarisation à cristaux liquides étant configuré pour :

    déterminer un angle de faisceau à régler, et charger une valeur de polarisation de tension sur chaque unité de réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides dans le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802, 1102, 1202) sur la base de l'angle de faisceau ;

    le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802, 1102, 1202) étant configuré pour :

    transmettre le signal de fréquence radio, et générer un décalage latéral d'un centre de phase d'alimentation basé sur la valeur de polarisation de tension ; et

    la structure de transformation de faisceau étant configurée pour émettre le signal de fréquence radio transmis à travers le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides.


     
    2. Dispositif à micro-ondes (1300) selon la revendication 1, le circuit de commande de polarisation à cristaux liquides de l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) étant configuré pour changer, sur la base de la valeur de polarisation de tension chargée, une phase de transmission générée lorsque le signal de fréquence radio est transmis à travers chaque unité de réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides de l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303).
     
    3. Dispositif à micro-ondes (1300) selon la revendication 2, le circuit de commande de polarisation à cristaux liquides de l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) étant configuré pour : avant de changer la phase de transmission, changer une constante diélectrique de chaque unité de réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides de l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) sur la base de la valeur de polarisation de tension chargée.
     
    4. Dispositif à micro-ondes (1300) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, le circuit de commande de polarisation à cristaux liquides de l'antenne (800, 1100, 1200, 1303) étant configuré en outre pour déterminer le décalage latéral du centre de phase d'alimentation sur la base de l'angle de faisceau à régler.
     
    5. Dispositif à micro-ondes (1300) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, la structure de transformation de faisceau de l'antenne (800) comprenant un réflecteur primaire (803) et un réflecteur secondaire (804), l'alimentation (801) et le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802) de l'antenne (800) étant situés entre le réflecteur primaire (803) et le réflecteur secondaire (804), et le réseau de métasurfaces à cristaux liquides (802) de l'antenne (800) étant situé entre l'alimentation (801) et le réflecteur secondaire (804).
     
    6. Système de réseau comprenant le dispositif à micro-ondes (1300) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description