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Multibeam Antennas and Beamforming Networks


Giovanni Toso (IEEE S’1993, M’00, SM ’07) received the Laurea Degree (cum laude), the Ph.D. and the Post Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Florence, Italy, in 1992, 1995 and 1999. In 1996 he was visiting scientist at the Laboratoire d'Optique Electromagnétique, Marseille (France). In 1999 he was a visiting scientist at the University of California (UCLA) in Los Angeles, he received a scholarship from Alenia Spazio (Rome, Italy) and he has been appointed researcher in a Radioastronomy Observatory of the Italian National Council of Researches (CNR). Since 2000 he is with the Antenna and Submillimeter Section of the European Space Agency, ESA ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. He has been initiating several R&D activities on Active and Passive Antennas for Telecom applications based on arrays, reflectarrays, lenses and reflectors. G. Toso has been coauthoring the best paper at the 30th ESA Antenna Workshop and the most innovative paper at the 30th and 36th ESA Antenna Workshops. In 2009 he has been coeditor of the Special Issue on Active Antennas for Satellite Applications in the International Journal of Antennas and Propagation. In 2014 he has been guest editor, together with Dr. R. Mailloux, of the Special Issue on “Innovative Phased array antennas based on non-regular lattices and overlapped subarrays” published in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation and, for the same society, has been an Associate Editor (2013-2016). Since the first edition (2006) he has been significantly contributing to the ESoA course on Satellite Antennas organised at the European Space Agency teaching lectures on Terminal Antennas and on board Multibeam Antennas. Since 2010, together with Dr. Piero Angeletti, he has been instructing short courses on Multibeam Antennas and Beamforming Networks during international conferences (IEEE APS, IEEE IMS, IEEE IWCS, EUCAP, EuMW) that have been attended by more than 550 participants.


Piero Angeletti received the Laurea degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Ancona (Italy) in 1996, and the PhD in Electromagnetism from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy) in 2010. His 15 years experience in RF Systems engineering and technical management encompasses conceptual/architectural design, trade-offs, detailed design, production, integration and testing of satellite payloads and active antenna systems for commercial/military telecommunications and navigation (spanning all the operating bands and set of applications) as well as for multifunction RADARs and electronic counter measure systems. Dr. Angeletti is currently member of the technical staff of the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) of the European Space Agency, in Noordwijk (The Netherlands). He is with the RF Payload Systems Division of the ESA Technical and Quality Management Directorate which is responsible for RF space communication systems, instrumentation, subsystems, equipment and technologies. In particular he oversees ESA R&D activities related to flexible satellite payloads, RF front-ends and on-board digital processors. Dr. Angeletti authored/co-authored over 150 technical reports, book chapters and papers published in peer reviewed professional journals and international conferences’ proceedings.




The objective of this course consists in presenting the state of the art and the on-going developments in Multi-Beam Antennas (MBAs) and Beam-Forming Networks (BFNs). MBAs find application in several fields including communications, remote sensing (e.g. radars, radiometers, etc.), electronic surveillance and defense systems, science (e.g. multibeam radio telescopes), RF navigation systems, etc. Multibeam antennas are assuming as well an important role in emerging 5G communications. The BFN plays an essential role in any antenna system relaying on a set of radiating elements to generate a beam.


Course Outline

Multibeam Antennas are becoming more and more important in different areas for their performances, flexibility and reconfigurability. In particular, the topic is of interest for Space Applications but also for Radar Systems and Mobile Communications. In addition, multibeam antennas are assuming an important role in emerging 5G communications.


The course will cover both theoretical and practical aspects for the following topics:

  • Overview of system requirements
  • Multibeam Antennas
    • Linear and Planar Direct Radiating Arrays (based on Periodic or Aperiodic lattices)
    • Reflector-based architectures (Single-Feed-per-Beam, Multiple-Feed-per-Beam)
    • Lens-based architectures (free space and constrained)
  • Beamforming Networks
  • Analogue BFNs (Corporate, Blass, Nolen, Butler matrices)
  • Digital BFNs
  • RF Technology for Active Components
  • Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs, High Power Amplifiers (HPAs), T/R Modules, etc.
  • Overview of some Operational Multibeam Antennas/BFNs
  • MBAs for spaceborne Narrowband and Broadband Satellite Communication Systems
  • MBAs for Wireless Communications
  • On-going European Developments

Current Design and Technological Challenges

The course content is updated regularly by the two co-authors who are deeply involved since more than twenty years in this field.


[1]        G. Toso, P. Angeletti, "A method of designing and manufacturing an array antenna" European Patent EP2090995, US Patent 7797816.

[2]        G. Toso, P. Angeletti, G. Ruggerini, G. Bellaveglia, “Active Aperiodic Lens for Multibeam Satellite Coverages,” European Patent 2221919, US patent 2010/207833.

[3]        C. Mangenot, G. Toso, C. Tienda Herrero, “Array antenna having a radiation pattern with a controlled envelope, and method of manufacturing it”, International Patent Application No. PCT/IB2011/051583.

[4]        P. Angeletti, G. Toso, D. Petrolati, “Beam-forming network for an array antenna and array antenna comprising the same” International Patent WO 2014080240 A1.

[5]        P. Angeletti, G. Toso, G. Ruggerini, “Array antenna with optimized elements positions and dimensions”, International Patent WO2014114993 A1.

[6]        G. Toso, C. Sciannella, “Imaging antenna systems with compensated optical aberrations based on unshaped surface reflectors”, International Patent WO2015132618.

[7]        A. Morini, M. Baldelli, G. Venanzoni, P. Angeletti, D. Petrolati, G. Toso, “Six ports dual-polarization directional coupler”, Italian Patent 102016000019381 (26/02/2016).

[8]        P. Angeletti, M. Baquero Escudero, V.E. Boria Esbert, M. Guglielmi, G. Toso, “Array of Below Cut-off Radiating Elements for Multibeam Applications”, Spanish Patent 2647279.

[9]        G. Toso, “The Beauty of Multibeam Antennas”, Invited Talk, EUCAP2015, April 2015, Lisbon.

[10]     P. Angeletti, G. Toso, G. Ruggerini, “Array Antennas With Jointly Optimized Elements Positions and Dimensions Part II: Planar Circular Arrays”, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Special Issue on “Innovative phased array antennas based on non-regular lattices and overlapped subarrays”, Vol 62, no. 4, April 2014, pag. 1627-1639

[11]     D. Petrolati, P. Angeletti, G. Toso ”A Lossless Beam-Forming Network for Linear Arrays Based on Overlapped Sub-Arrays”, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Special Issue on “Innovative phased array antennas based on non-regular lattices and overlapped subarrays”, Vol 62, no. 4, April 2014, pag. 1769-1778

[12]     G. Ruggerini, G. Toso, P. Angeletti, “An Innovative Multibeam Antenna Based on an Active Aperiodic Lens”, EUCAP 2010

[13]     C. Sciannella, G. Toso, “An Imaging Reflector System with reduced scanning aberrations”,  IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, IEEE TAP Special Issue on Antennas for Satellite Communications, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 63, no. 4, APRIL 2015, pp. 1342-1350

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