Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Bryan Mealy


The application of adaptive communication techniques for mobile communications has attracted considerable interest in the last decade. One example of these techniques is spatial filtering through planar antenna array beam forming.

This thesis describes the development of a digital system that adaptively controls a phased array antenna. The radiating structure of the phased antenna array is tetrahedral-shaped and contains four antenna elements on each of its three faces. The overall system comprises of a digital control board with an external computer interface, an RF control board, and the phased antenna array. The RF controls the main lobe direction on the phased array antenna. This thesis describes the design and implementation of the digital control board.

The digital control board`s primary responsibilities are implementing inter- faces between the external computer and the RF board, which results in two operational modes: the MATLAB graphical user interface (GUI) mode and the adaptive receive mode. The GUI mode allows users to input parameters that provide interactive control of the phased antenna array by interfacing with an external computer and the RF control board. The adaptive receive mode im- plements an algorithm for an adaptive receive station. This algorithm uses a 58-point scanning technique that locates the maximum receive power direction.

Test results show that the digital control board successfully manages the RF board control voltage with an nominal error of less than 1%, which subsequently allows for precise control of the antenna`s active face. Additionally, testing of the GUI demonstrated the successful interactive application of various system control parameters.