Wireless Power Transfer: A Reconfigurable Phased Array with Novel Feeding Architecture
This thesis proposes a reconfigurable phased array of antennas for wireless power transfer. The array finds use in many applications, from drone destruction (for defense) to wireless charging of robots and mobile devices. It utilizes a novel feeding architecture to greatly reduce the number of high cost elements (such as amplifiers and phase shifters) as well as the quantity of unused resources in the system. Upon the instruction of the CPU, the array can separate into any number of subarrays, each of which transmits power to a single receiver, steering its beam as the receiver changes location. Currently dormant elements in the array can be used to provide position information about the receivers, either via Radar, or by listening for beacons pulses from the receiver. All of this is made possible, with only 4 amplifiers and 3 phase shifters, by the proposed 4-Bus Method. The source signal is divided into four buses, which are respectively phase shifted by 270 degrees, 180 degrees, 90 degrees, and 0 degrees (no shifter required) and then amplified. The CPU calculates, based on the number and positions of the receivers / targets, what the amplitude and phase excitation must be at each element. Any phase and amplitude which could be required can be achieved by simply adding together appropriate quantities of the correct two buses. In order to achieve this, the key piece is the variable power divider. These differ from Wilkinson dividers in that the dividing ratio can be changed via an applied DC voltage. Therefore, at each junction, by properly diverting the power levels on each phase bus to their proper location, complete delocalization of both amplifiers and phase shifters can be achieved. A method has also been developed which helps overcome the limitations of each variable power divider. That is, in certain instances, it may be desirable to pass all the power to a single output port or the other, which is not a possibility inherently possible with the device. With the use of a unique combination of RF switches, the nodes achieve much enhanced flexibility. Finally, an intensive study is carried out, in an attempt to yield greater understanding, as well as quick, useful approximations, of the behaviors of both rectangular and hexagonal arrays of various sizes and beam steering angles for wireless power.
Schubert, Purdue University.
Applied physics|Electrical engineering|Electromagnetics
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