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A 360-Degree Phase Detector Cell for Measurement Systems Based on Switched Dual Multipliers


Core Concepts
A 360-degree phase detector cell is proposed that uses switched dual multipliers to overcome the limited phase detection range of traditional analog phase detectors, enabling wideband phase measurements without the need for quadrature signal generation.
Abstract
The paper presents a 360-degree phase detector cell for performing phase-shift measurements on multiple output systems. Traditional analog phase detectors based on multipliers have a maximum detection range of 90 degrees, which can be extended to 360 degrees by using a 90-degree phase shifter. However, this approach has limitations in terms of operating bandwidth and requires careful adjustment of internal voltages. The proposed solution uses a double multiplication of in-phase and phase-shifted signals to broaden the frequency range beyond other solutions that require the quadrature condition to be fulfilled. The phase detector response is characterized using four straight-line equations, allowing the detection range to be extended up to 360 degrees and providing increased immunity to impedance mismatching and phase deviations within the hybrid coupler. A prototype phase detector cell has been implemented using a commercial hybrid coupler, an external switch, and a microcontroller. Measurements show a detection range of 360 degrees (±180 degrees) across the tested frequency band of 2.7 GHz to 6 GHz, even with a 38-degree deviation from the ideal 90-degree phase shift. The key advantages of the proposed solution are its ability to operate over a wide frequency range without the need for quadrature signal generation, its robustness to impedance mismatching and phase deviations, and its simple implementation using common circuit components.
Stats
The proposed phase detector cell has a detection range of 360 degrees (±180 degrees) across the tested frequency band of 2.7 GHz to 6 GHz. The maximum measured phase error is ±6.8 degrees for a 38-degree deviation from the ideal 90-degree phase shift.
Quotes
"The proposed solution allows to extend up to 360º the phase detection range and provide an increased immunity with respect to both impedance mismatching and phase deviations within the hybrid coupler." "Measurements show a range of detection of 360º (±180º) across the tested frequency band of 2.7 GHz to 6 GHz."

Deeper Inquiries

How could the proposed phase detector cell be integrated into a larger measurement system, such as a phased array antenna or a beam-steering system?

The proposed phase detector cell could be integrated into a larger measurement system, such as a phased array antenna or a beam-steering system, by utilizing its ability to detect phase shifts up to 360º. In a phased array antenna system, multiple antennas are combined to create a directional beam that can be electronically steered without physically moving the antennas. By incorporating the 360º phase detector cell into each antenna element, the system can accurately measure and adjust the phase of each antenna element to steer the beam in the desired direction. This integration allows for precise beamforming and beam-steering capabilities in the phased array system.

What are the potential limitations or trade-offs of the linearized characterization approach used in the phase detector design, and how could these be further improved?

The linearized characterization approach used in the phase detector design may have limitations in terms of accuracy, especially when dealing with non-ideal sinusoidal responses in practical circuits. The trade-off of using a linearized approach is that it sacrifices some accuracy for computational speed and reduced complexity. To further improve this approach, advanced calibration techniques could be implemented to account for non-idealities in the circuit response. Additionally, incorporating more sophisticated signal processing algorithms could help mitigate errors introduced by the linear approximation and improve the overall accuracy of the phase detection.

What other applications or domains could benefit from the wideband, high-range phase detection capabilities of the proposed solution?

The wideband, high-range phase detection capabilities of the proposed solution could benefit various applications and domains beyond measurement systems. One potential application is in radar systems, where accurate phase detection is crucial for target tracking, imaging, and surveillance. By integrating the proposed phase detector cell, radar systems can achieve precise phase measurements across a wide frequency range, enhancing their performance and reliability. Additionally, in communication systems such as wireless networks and satellite communications, the ability to detect phase shifts up to 360º can improve signal processing, synchronization, and interference mitigation, leading to enhanced overall system efficiency and data transmission quality.
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