Low-temperature-difference TR module mounting, and antenna array using such mounting

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

Brian Alan Pluymers, Robert Michael Reese

USPTO - Utility Patents


A generally planar active array antenna includes a plurality of transmit-receive (TR) modules arrayed in an array direction on a generally planar heat-conducting baseplate of a line-replaceable unit (LRU). Heat is coupled from the TR modules to their associated baseplate. Each baseplate of an LRU has a straight edge parallel to the array direction of the modules. In a preferred embodiment, the modules are located adjacent the straight edge without significant intermediary components. The LRUs are arrayed with their straight edges lying in a plane. The straight edges are coupled to a generally planar cold plate for extracting heat from the baseplates. Since the heat is extracted in a direction orthogonal to the arraying direction of the modules, all the modules tend to have the same operating temperature. In a particularly advantageous embodiment, the circulators associated with each TR module are mounted on the opposite side of the cold plate relative to the module, to thereby minimize the thermal path length between each module and the cold plate.



FIG. 1 is a simplified perspective or isometric view of a line replaceable unit (LRU) of the prior art, including a thermally conductive baseplate on which four transmit/receive modules are mounted, together with their associated circulators;

FIG. 2 is a simplified perspective or isometric view of a portion of a prior art antenna array, including a plurality of LRUs similar to that of FIG. 1, a physical mounting for arraying the LRUs and for coupling heat from the baseplates thereof, and also showing a ground structure for the antenna array, and apertures in the ground structure for each antenna element of the array;

FIG. 3 is a simplified cross-sectional or end view of a portion of the structure of FIG. 2, illustrating heat flow paths;

FIG. 4

a is a simplified, conceptual, exploded perspective or isometric view of an antenna array in accordance with an aspect of the invention, and FIG. 4

b is a side or elevation view of the assembled structure of FIG. 4

a, differing therefrom only in the number of apertures provided for signal paths through the cold plate;

FIG. 5 is a simplified perspective or isometric view of a line replaceable unit (LRU) which includes a mounting flange by which convenient mounting of the LRU to a cold frame may be made;

FIG. 6 is a simplified perspective or isometric illustration of an active array antenna arrangement including a line replaceable unit (LRU) support structure arranged to accommodate a plurality of LRUs, one of which is shown exploded away from the assembly;

FIG. 7

a is a simplified perspective or isometric illustration of an LRU according to another aspect of the invention, including RF connectors, FIG. 7

b is a simplified cross-sectional view illustrating how the RF connectors are connected to the TR modules of FIG. 7

a, and FIGS. 7

c and


d are line illustrations of suitable connectors for use in the arrangement of FIG. 7



1. An array, comprising:

2. An array according to claim 1, wherein each of said modules includes at least an RF output port; said array further comprising: