Novel 2-Dimensional Transmitarray Beam Steering Using Stacked Tunable Metamaterials

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University of South Wales


Information and Communications

About The Opportunity:

Antenna phased arrays are one of the most common techniques to perform electronic control of beam direction, without the use of any mechanical components. Each radiating element of the array is usually connected to a phase shifter which allow one to modify the phase of the signal between 0º and 360º , with a specific phase step. The phase progression between adjacent elements leads to the directional beam to be steered to a desired angle. If the elements of the array are uniformly positioned along a single line, the array is considered to be linear and can only steer the main beam in one direction (elevation or azimuth – 1D beam steering). When the elements are uniformly distributed and the phase is progressive along two directions on the same plane, the array is considered to be planar and the main beam can scan two directions (elevation and azimuth – 2D beam steering).

Existing approaches using RF Phase Shifters require one phase shifter per antenna (in an antenna array) and are expensive, complex, bulky, heavy and have limited performance.

The Wireless & Optoelectronic Research and Innovation Centre (WORIC) at the University of South Wales has developed an innovative solution for two-dimensional transmitarray beam steering using stacked tunable metamaterials which can be placed in front of an aperture of an existing antenna allowing the direction of the main lobe of the radiation pattern of the antenna to be steered in two dimensions.

Key Benefits:

A novel antenna (array) capable of electronic beam forming and beam steering, in a fast and efficient manner, without using any mechanical or motorized components:

  • low cost
  • easy-to-build
  • plug-and-play structure
  • can be used with any antenna
  • does not require any re-designing of the radio components


Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint applications including telecommunications backhaul. Applications include antenna beam alignment:

  • Pole swaying and twisting in the wind
  • Wireless backhaul links auto-alignment
  • High-directive and fixed commutative beam in specific directions

IP Status:

A patent has been filed (GB 1419969.9).


The university is seeking licensing and collaborative research partners.