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Multielement Parasitic Array

A MULTIELEMENT PARASITIC array is one that contains two or more parasitic elements with the driven element. If the array contains two parasitic elements (a reflector and a director) in addition to the driven element, it is usually known as a THREE-ELEMENT ARRAY. If three parasitic elements are used, the array is known as a FOUR-ELEMENT ARRAY, and so on. Generally speaking, if more parasitic elements are added to a three-element array, each added element is a director. The field behind a reflector is so small that additional reflectors would have little effect on the overall radiation pattern. In radar, from one to five directors are used.

CONSTRUCTION. - The parasitic elements of a multi-element parasitic array usually are positioned as shown in figure 4-32, views A and B. Proper spacings and lengths are determined experimentally. A folded dipole (view B) is often used as the driven element to obtain greater values of radiation resistance.

Figure 4-32. - Yagi antenna.

YAGI ANTENNAS. - An example of a multielement parasitic array is the YAGI ANTENNA (figure 4-32, views A and B). The spacings between the elements are not uniform. The radiation from the different elements arrives in phase in the forward direction, but out of phase by various amounts in the other directions.

The director and the reflector in the Yagi antenna are usually welded to a conducting rod or tube at their centers. This support does not interfere with the operation of the antenna. Since the driven element is center-fed, it is not welded to the supporting rod. The center impedance can be increased by using a folded dipole as the driven element.

The Yagi antenna shown in figure 4-32, view A, has three directors. In general, the greater number of parasitic elements used, the greater the gain. However, a greater number of such elements causes the array to have a narrower Frequency response as well as a narrower beamwidth. Therefore, proper adjustment of the antenna is critical. The gain does not increase directly with the number of elements used. For example, a three-element Yagi array has a relative power gain of 5 dB. Adding another director results in a 2 dB increase. Additional directors have less and less effect.

A typical Yagi array used for receiving and transmitting energy is shown with a support frame in figure 4-33. This antenna is used by the military services. It operates at frequencies of from 12 to 50 megahertz and consists of two separate arrays (one high-frequency and one low-frequency antenna array) mounted on one frame. The various elements are indicated in the figure. The high-frequency (hf) array consists of one reflector, one driven element, and two directors; the low-frequency (lf) array has the same arrangement with one less director. The lengths of the elements in the high-frequency array are shorter than those in the low-frequency array. The physical lengths of the elements in the individual arrays are equal, but the electrical lengths can be varied by means of the tuning stubs at the center of the elements. The array can be rotated in any desired direction by a remotely controlled, electrically driven, antenna rotator.

Figure 4-33. - A typical parasitic array used for transmitting and receiving.

Q.42 What is the advantage of adding parasitic elements to a Yagi array? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.43 The Yagi antenna is an example of what type of array?answer.gif (214 bytes)

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