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RE: variable phase delay / phased arrays

What would be the effect of thermal noise from the surrounding environment? 
Dish designers try to prevent the dish feed from illuminating beyond the rim
of the dish so that the feed only sees the cold sky. If the patch elements
with 120 degree effective beamwidth are mounted on a plane reflector they can
see 180 degrees of sky and the surrounding environment, trees, buildings, even
the ground if the plane is tilted. Will this thermal noise be de-correlated in
the signal processing, or will it raise the background noise in ways that
cannot be processed out?

>It seems that if we want to build a patch based array we'd need 25
>2.4Ghz patches for a 5x5 array. I'm curious what the advantages of
>different array shapes/spacings are. Would a conventional 2.4Ghz
>circularly polarized patch like we use for our feeds work well? (say
>120 degree effective beamwidth)

Dan Schultz N8FGV

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