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Active Antenna

Active Antenna

The active antenna integrates a receiving antenna module, a low-noise amplifying module, and a power supply module.


The passive antenna generally only includes the receiving antenna module. 


The active antenna is powered by a fixed low-voltage regulated power supply.


Active devices in active antennas can work in both linear and nonlinear conditions, and the principle of reciprocity applies to the former but not the latter.


Basic Definition


If a general antenna containing only metal and dielectric also contains active devices such as transistors, tunnel diodes, and varactor diodes, it becomes an active antenna.


The active devices in the active antenna can be directly installed into the antenna, or the antenna and the amplifier can be connected to form an antenna system.


Ordinary antennas are equipped with active devices, which can improve the impedance of the small antenna, broaden the frequency band, and improve the noise characteristics of the system. 


Therefore, the active antenna helps to realize the miniaturization of the antenna.


The active antenna integrates a receiving antenna module, a low-noise amplifying module, and a power supply module. It is powered by a fixed low voltage regulated power supply.


Active devices in active antennas can work in both linear and nonlinear conditions, and the principle of reciprocity applies to the former but not the latter.


In the active antenna structure, a distributed micro-radio is directly connected behind each antenna element, including digital-to-analog/analog converter, amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (LNA) and duplexer (duplexer), all miniature transceiver units are controlled by digital signal processing (DSP) to realize synchronization function and digital beamforming function, Optical (common public radio interface, CPRI) interface is used to connect the baseband processing unit ( base band unit, BBU) to realize remote transmission of I/Q data.


Practical Application


The active antenna in the mobile communication system integrates the radio frequency part of the base station into the antenna, and uses multi-channel radio frequency and antenna elements to cooperate to realize spatial beam forming and complete the transmission and reception of radio frequency signals.


In addition to radiating/receiving electromagnetic signals as a radiating/receiving unit, each active unit also acts as a part of the circuit, with functions such as resonance, filtering, power amplification, etc.


Technical advantages 


Usually an active array antenna is composed of multiple distributed transceiver units and radiation modules. The frequency, amplitude and phase of each radiation module are controllable, and can form single or multiple beams, and can control beam pointing and beam reconstruction to achieve Enables flexible scanning over a wide angular range. Compared with traditional passive antenna systems, active antenna systems have many technical advantages


1. High integration, low sky requirements, easy to install quickly. Figure 2 in the atlas is the evolution trend diagram of the base station architecture. It can be seen that compared with the current distributed base station using RRH (remote radio head), the active antenna base station integrates the radio frequency unit inside the antenna, which saves the installation of RRH Space, greatly reducing the requirements for surface resources, highly integrated products are easier to install and replace, saving engineering time and labor costs.


At the same time, the RF unit is built into the antenna to achieve zero feeder and zero loss, saving the investment of the feeder and the impact of the feeder loss on performance, improving the set-top output power and the sensitivity of the receiver, which is of great benefit to the improvement of network coverage performance.


2. It has a certain self-healing ability. The active antenna uses a distributed multi-channel design structure and has a redundant backup function. The failure of some periods of time will not cause the entire sector to lose its service function. When the system detects a certain After some bursts are damaged, the gain loss will be compensated by adjusting the amplitude and phase of the remaining bursts, so as to realize the automatic compensation function and greatly improve the reliability of the system.


3. The flexible and diverse electronic downtilt technology significantly improves the system coverage and capacity. Since each antenna element of the active antenna has an independent transceiver unit, it can realize independent control of the signal amplitude and phase, and has flexible and diverse electronic downtilt functions. , different carriers adopt different downtilt angles, independent downtilt angles for uplink and downlink, vertical multi-sector, etc. The simulation results show that these technologies facilitate the realization of more refined network optimization, which significantly improves system coverage and capacity.


4. Energy saving and environmental protection. The active antenna integrates the radio frequency into the antenna tightly, without the loss of the feeder. Under the condition of ensuring the same output power, the power consumption is smaller. The radio frequency part of the base station is placed on the tower to naturally dissipate heat, which can greatly reduce the use of air conditioners in the equipment room. , effectively reducing the energy consumption of the mobile network, while the active antenna is simple and beautiful, with good visual effects, which plays a role in energy saving and environmental protection.


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