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This study involves the determination of the impact of mutual coupling between antenna elements on the performance of a dual-polarized, wide-angle scanning, phased array antenna for weather radar applications. Weather radars require dual linearly polarized antennas with low cross-polarization, and a narrow beam phased array for wide scanning angle. For this simulation-based study, a microstrip dual linearly polarized 2x20 phased array antenna operating at S-band (2.65 to 3.0 GHz) is designed. This antenna has been designed to have a cross-polarization level less than -45 dB at both polarizations and for the scan angle range of -55o to 55o, which is better than most of the existing dual-pol phased array antennas. This antenna has been used to analyze the impact of mutual coupling on cross-polarization, beamwidth, and antenna gain at various scan angles. Mutual coupling is studied in terms of antenna active element pattern and the corresponding cross-polarization value as well as the active reflection coefficient and impedance values for inter-element spacings of 0.4λ and 0.5λ. It has been found in this study that cross-polarization levels of the whole array (at various scan angles) are affected significantly because of mutual coupling between elements.
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