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RE: variable phase delay / phased arrays

Tom Clark writes about phased arrays on the spacecraft:

>On each of the n^2 channels we would extract the 
>apparent carrier phase of the beacon signals. 
>OK -- so I have this [n x n] set of phases derived 
>from the ground-based beacon. How do I phase the 
>array for the real transponders? The signal from
>each of the antennas can be re-phased by changing
>the phase of the LO associated with that element, 
>and then all the signals simple summed to pass 
>on to the transponder's TX.

Question to the group:

Suppose I have an "n by n" patch array at my ground 
station.  Suppose I want to receive the satellite as
it moves across the sky using my "n by n" patch array.

Instead of phasing the LO to the mixer for each patch, 
could one instead use a single LO that is fed  
to each of the mixers, and do all of the phase 
processing on the signal output from the mixer (say at
audio with DSPs) instead of transforming the phase 
of the LO? Wouldn't this be equivalent?

Just thinking questions out loud....

Douglas KA2UPW
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