Mitigating Quantization Lobes in mmWave Low-bit Reconfigurable Reflective Surfaces
preprintposted on 19.09.2020, 08:08 by Panagiotis TheofanopoulosPanagiotis Theofanopoulos, Bharath Kashyap, Yiran Cui, Georgios Trichopoulos
We present a method for the mitigation of quantization lobes in single-bit reconfigurable reflective surfaces (RRSs). Typically, RRSs are planar beamforming structures consisting of hundreds or thousands of antennas with integrated tunable switches. Under plane-wave illumination, single-bit RRSs suffer from undesired side lobes or quantization lobes, which are caused by the periodicity of the errors due to the limited number of bits used in phase quantization. In this work, we present a topology that suppresses the quantization lobes using single-layer, 1-bit RRSs, by implementing a fixed but random phase delay in every unit-cell. The introduction of phase randomization breaks the periodicity of the quantization errors, thus reducing the quantization lobe level (QLL). We carry out a theoretical analysis to demonstrate the effect of phase randomization in RRSs, and for the first time, provide the condition for choosing the range of randomization required to achieve the lowest sidelobe level (SLL). Leveraging this condition, we design a single-layer, 1-bit 30×30 randomized RRS at 222.5 GHz. The reflective surface is fabricated on a thin, low-loss alumina ribbon ceramic wafer from Corning Inc. using a simplified fabrication technique suitable for large-scale production of mmWave/THz RRSs. Finally, we present the radar cross-section (RCS) characterization results obtained from a quasi-optical measurement setup validating the mitigation of quantization lobes using the proposed randomization technique.