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Set. W, 1946. H. G. BUSIGNIES 2,497,250? DIRECTIVE ANTENNA Filed Oct. 30, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet l ‘iHiHil’li (/15 HG. @ Z1 / zmwswvraa 0/? 2565/1/54 ' ELE SOURCE DIRECTIVE ANTENNA Filed Oct. 30, 19-741, 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented Sept. 10, 1946 ZAQZZSG UNH’E'ED STATES RATEN? @FFECE 2,407,250 DIRECTIVE ANTENNA Henri G. Busignies, Forest Hills, N. ‘1., assignor to Federal Telephone and Radio Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Application ()ctober 30, 1941, Serial No. 417,152 10 Claims. (Cl. 250—-—‘1l) 1 This invention relates to directive antenna sys tems, and in particular to improvements in vari ably directive devices for transmitting and/or re ceiving purposes. It is an object of the invention to provide im proved means for varying the directivity of an antenna. ml rection ?nders, it has been proposed to transmit radiant energy periodically in a plurality of dif ferent directive senses and to employ received. re?ections of such energy to determine distance, direction, or other characteristics of a re?ecting body. Alternately, and for similar purposes, some of these systems propose transmitting radi ant energy in a constant generally directional More speci?cally, and with regard to directive . sense while rendering a receiving antenna peri antennas, it is an object to provide improved means for periodically rendering an antenna ro 10 odicaily responsive to received re?ections of such energy as reflected from variously located bodies. tatingly directive throughout a generally conical Such systems have been disclosed, for example, orbit about the axis of said orbit. in my copending application entitled “Aircraft Still more speci?cally, it is an object to provide Indenti?er,” ?led on even date herewith. means for periodically rotating the directional The above mentioned application related par axis of a directive antenna at a constant angle ticularly to radio apparatus for detecting the lo with the axis of rotation, whereby the locus of cation of aircraft or other reflecting bodies and said directional axis is a generally conical orbit proposed the use of an antenna system which was about the axis of rotation. recurringly directive throughout a generally coni Another object is to provide an improved re flector of radiant energy. It is also an object to provide an improved ab sorbent of radiant energy. A further object is to provide improved means for varying impedance offered to radiant energy radiated or being detected by an antenna where by directional transmission or reception may be cal orbit. A mechanical set up was disclosed for producing the desired directivity pattern, and it was also mentioned therein that either a wholly electrical system or a rotating ionized ?eld in accordance with the present invention could be employed. Broadly speaking, the present invention pro obtained. poses to use the properties of an ionized ?eld either to absorb or to re?ect radiant energy in A more speci?c object is to provide means for order to obtain novel directive effects. A cham utilizing a moving ionized ?eld in conjunction with an antenna for obtaining directional trans 30 ber ?lled with an ionizable medium and appropri ately provided with electrodes for ionizing the mission or reception. same is suitably disposed with respect to an an A still more speci?c object is to provide means tenna whereby the ionized ?eld present therein for setting up an ionized ?eld shifting eccentri may either re?ect or absorb energy being radi cally about an axis. ated from or receivd by the antenna. Prefer Other objects and various further features of ably, the electrodes within the chamber are so novelty and invention will hereinafter be pointed disposed and energized that a shifting ionized out or will become apparent to those skilled in ?eld is set up therein, which ?eld shifts eccen the art from a reading of the following speci? trically of an axis of the antenna with substan cation in conjunction with the drawings included herewith. In said drawings, 40 tially uniform density throughout its cycle of shifting operation. Fig. 1 is a schematic showing of a device for Fig. 1 shows schematically a device for setting producing an eccentrically shifting ionized ?eld up such an eccentrically shifting, preferably ec in accordance with features of the invention; centrically rotating, ionized ?eld. The device Figs. 2 and 3 illustrate schematically how a de vice according to Fig. 1 may be employed in co 45 comprises a chamber 5 preferably of generally circular cross section and having a plurality of operation with an antenna to producenovel di electrodes 6, ‘i, 8. 3, H} therein. Chamber 5 may rective effects in accordance with the invention; be ?lled with an ionizable gaseous medium, such Fig. 4 illustrates schematically an alternative as neon, for example, In the form shown, cham embodiment of the device shown in Fig. 1; ber 5 is provided with two pairs of diametrically Fig. 5 illustrates schematically a, further alter opposed electrodes, all spaced equally from a gen native embodiment illustrative of the invention; erally central electrode member iii. In accord and ance with the embodiment shown in Fig. l, at Figs. 6 and. 7 are plan view showings of cer any instant the ionized ?eld preferably extends tain elements in the apparatus of Fig. 5. In connection with certain types of radio di 55 over substantially a quadrant sector of the cross 2,407,250 3 4 section shown, and is thus set up between the energy and is preferably disposed along the axis electrode I9 and either one or two adjacent of of chamber 5' and generally at the focal point thereof. In the sense of Fig. 3, antenna 22 will have a normal radiation generally to the left and the outer electrodes. A suitable circuit for energizing the electrode system so as to set up the desired eccentrically rotating ?eld also shown in Fig. 1. In the form shown, two preferably equal voltages spaced 90° ‘ to the right symmetrically about the axis thereof. Energy radiated generally to the right of antenna 22 will however. strike the eccentrically rotating ionized ?eld produced in chamber '5’. It is clear wi in respect to each other, may be generated by that the e?ect of such a ?eld will be to re?ect a the two phase alternator H and supplied to po tentiometers i2 and 53 respectively. The mid 10' portion of such energy generally to the left, thus reinforcing radiation to the left and providing an points of potentiometers l2 and it are connected overall maximum radiation periodically rotating to the central electrode H), as is indicated. by the . eccentrically about the axis of antenna 22. ground connection. Each end of potentiometer In an alternate preferred form of the invention, I2 is connected to electrodes of one pair of op I provide means for extending the sector com posed electrodes 9 through recti?er means It, prising the ionized ?eld to cover an are greater i5 respectively, and each end of potentiometer I3 than that possible with the apparatus disclosed is connected to electrodes 5 and 8 of the ‘other in connection with Fig. 1. Fig. 4 shows a circuit pair of opposed electrodes through recti?er means for generating such a ?eld in. which the ionized it, ll. ‘With the circuit 50 described. an ionizing poten~ 20 area extends over substantially three quadrants of the‘area comprehended within the outer elec tial may ?rst be set up say. between electrodes 6 trodes. The chamber 5 and electrodes 6, l, 8, 9, and IE1. It is clear that this potential is set up when the voltage across potentiometer I3 ‘as ‘gen erated by Winding 5 lb of the alternator is a maxi it may be the same in structure as in the case of Fig. l. , As also in the case of Fig. 1, alternator mum and in the ‘direction indicated by the arrow ‘ H may supply substantially equal voltages in quadrature relation to potentiometers l2 and I3 respectively. The midpoints of these potentiom eters and central electrode H) are again grounded. However, each of the lines connecting terminals of potentiometers l2 and I 3 to the outer electrodes is provided with recti?ers 23, 24, 25, 26 and appro E8. No ionizing potential will be set up between electrodes 8 and iii at this instant due to the blocking operation of recti?er Hi, as will be clear. As alternator ll continues to rotate, the voltage generated in winding Hb will decrease and a voltage will appear across potentiometer ‘,2 as generated by winding Ila. This voltage may be priately polarized batteries 21, 23, 29, 30. Batter in the direction indicated by arrow l9, and due to the passing action of recti?er I4 and the block ies 2? . . . 39 may supply su?‘icient potential for ionization purposes and recti?ers 23 . . . 26 pref ing action of recti?er 45, will begin to set up an " erably pass such potential and block an excess thereover. The effect of such a structure will be at any instant to set up an ionized ?eld over a sector comprising substantially the area between any three of the outer electrodes and the central elec trode in approximately the following manner. Consider again the instant in which voltage gen erated across potentiometer I3 is a maximum in the direction It. Recti?er 23 will serve to block ionizing potential between electrodes 1 and ‘iii. The effect of decreasing ionizing potential be tween electrodes ii and ill and increasing ionizing potential between electrodes ‘5 and I ll will be bod ily to displace the sectoral ionized pattern in a clockwise sense about electrode l6 and when the voltage across potentiometer l2 reaches a maxi mum in the direction i9, the ionized sector will appear wholly between. electrodes ‘l and IE}, as will be clear. Thus, it is possible to generate an ionized ?eld rotating eccentrically ‘about an axis, and the use of such an ionized ?eld will now be an application of potential between electrodes 5 and I3 and an ionized ?eld may thus, in the ab sence of batteries 21, 28, 29, 39, be set up between electrodes 8 and i0. However, simultaneously, described in connection with two types of antenna batteries 22', 28, 29, 3B are all supplying suf?cient structures. In Fig. 2, I show how the eccentrically rotating 50 potential for ionization and such potential is op posed in sense to that set up between electrodes ?eld may be employed .as a radiant energy ab 6 and lil due to the voltage is. As a result the sorber to produce desired directive effects. In net potential applied between electrodes 6 and It Fig. 2, chamber 5 is shown in partly broken away at the instant under consideration is in the neigh elevation and disposed preferably concentrically borhood of zero (or at least should preferably be with the axis of a directive antenna structure 20 less than an ionizing potential) so that at any which may be employed in conjunction with apinstant a quadrant or other small sector may be propriate transmitter or receiving means 2|. It is clear that by successively eccentrically blocking non-‘ionized. It will now be clear, recalling the discussion out the portions of the directive pattern generated of operation of the circuit of Fig. 1 that, as the by antenna Ell, novel directional transmitting ‘or maximum voltage supplied by alternator H ro receiving eifects may be obtained. In the case tates in phase, the non-ionized quadrant or other described, if antenna 28 is ‘a transmitting an small sector just referred to may rotate accord tenna, the pattern of radiated energy will be ingly. It is thus possible to set up an eccen periodically displaced eccentrically of the axis of trically rotating ionized ?eld which at any in antenna throughout a generally conical orbit. stant may‘comprise substantially more than half In the form shown in Fig. 3, I show how an the area within the outer electrodes. eccentrically rotating ionized ?eld may be em In the ‘embodiments of the invention thus far ployed as a re?ector to produce novel directional described it may be that the central electrode effects in accordance withthe invention. Here member 10 will have undesirable re?ecting, dis again, a chamber 5’, containing the ionizable me-, torting or'other effects upon radiated or received dium, is shown in partly broken away elevation In energy. In that event I propose an alternative embodiment illustrated in one form in Fig. 5. connection with such a reflector, a dipole 22 may This alternative apparatus eliminates any need be employed as the radiator or receiver of radiant for a central ‘electrode and provides the possi but is preferably shaped generally parabolically for better reflecting and focussing purposes. 2,407,250 5 6 bility of extending the ionized ?eld sector to in g'—g may be rather low, but also in the same clude a wide range of arcs from, say a quadrant sense. up to three quadrants. The effect of a, maximum and large voltage ap plied between electrodes A and D will be su?i As in the case of the previously discussed struc tures, the embodiment according to Fig. 5 com CIA cient to produce an ionized ?eld therebetween to prises within an envelope 40 an ionizable medi cover a substantial chord of the tube All. The effect of less voltage being applied simultaneously um and a plurality of electrode structures A—A', B-B' . . . H-H’. These electrode structures between electrodes B and E, and C’ and H’, re are preferably equally spaced generally along the spectively, may be to set up an ionized ?eld therebetween, if the voltage thus provided be sufficient to produce ionization. As regards thev relatively low voltages from windings 0-0’ and g’—g, respectively, it is not likely that they will closely-spaced electrodes, possible preferred be suf?cient to produce ionization between elec forms of which have been illustrated in Fig. 6 15 trodes C and F, and B’ and G’, respectively. The net effect of application of potentials at the in and 7. The form shown in Fig. 6 depicts elec trode structure A--A’ as comprising two elec stant under consideration will thus be to set up a localized ionization ?eld extending over the trodes A and A’, each‘ having protruding or lobe sector generally de?ned by a starting limit at shaped portions 4!, ill’ and correspondingly re cessed lobe-shaped portions 42, 132'. In the form electrode structure H-H’ and clockwise around shown in Fig. '7 electrodes A and A’ each comprise to electrode structure E-E’, as will be clear. circumference of an imaginary circle. In ac cordance with features of the invention and for purposes which will later become apparent, each such electrode structure comprises a plurality of a plurality of relatively well spaced electrode sur faces 133. lit’, and each of the surfaces say 43 of electrode A is disposed between surfaces 63' of electrode A’. Preferably electrodes A and A’ are provided with a large plurality of lobes and re cesses in the Fig. 6 form and with a large plural Now, by considering successive instants, that is, as the output of Winding a—a’ decreases in magnitude and as, say the output of winding b--b’ increases to a maximum, it will clearly be seen that the ionized ?eld de?ned by the above identi?ed sector will be bodily displaced corre spondingly about the axis of tube 4a. ity of surfaces in the Fig. 7 form, whereby the In order to simplify showing and explanation alternate use of either electrode A or A’ will have little e?ect in displacing an ionized ?eld 30 of the circuit of Fig. 5 I have necessarily omitted a showing of additional circuit elements which set up between electrode structure A—A' and any it may be desirable to add. For example, some other electrode structure, as will later be clear. kind of output control means may be associated In Fig. 5 the various electrode structures A—A', with alternator Gil, whereby the maximum out B—B’, etc. are shown with‘ a solid-line designa tion, e. g. A, and a dotted line, e. g. A’. Such a 35 puts of all the windings a-a’, b—b', etc. may be simultaneously regulated. The utility of such method of designation indicates schematically a regulatory system will be very apparent, for that the respective surfaces of both electrodes A winding output may at one extreme be so ad and A’ are coplanar (perpendicular to the sense justed as to yield ionizing potentials only when of Fig. 5) and insulatingly spaced with respect to 40 winding output is at a maximum. On the other each other, as clearly shown in Figs. 6 and 7. hand, winding output may be so increased that In the embodiment of Fig. 5, I preferably em ionizing potentials are produced in several adja ploy means supplying a plurality of phase-dis cent windings at once. The effect of such regulation will be seen to of electrodes within chamber 55'] to set up a de sired rotating ionized ?eld. In the preferred 45 vary the angular size of ionized ?eld produced. In the former of the above extreme conditions form shown this plurality of voltages corresponds placed voltages for energizing appropriate pairs with the number of electrode structures A—A', B-B’, etc. and may be supplied by an appropri ately Wound alternator 44. Alternator 44 in cludes a number of output terminals a-a’, 72-42 . . . 71-h’, yielding a corresponding num ber of alternating voltages phase displaced pref erably equally with respect to each other. The mode of connecting the various phase outputs of alternator M to electrode structures A—A', B—B’, etc. shown in Fig. 5 is merely illustrative, and it is to be understood that other connection schemes may be devised to accomplish substan tially the same results. In the form shown, successive output windings of alternator all are connected between an elec trode of one electrode structure and that of an other structure displaced a few structures away. of output assumed, and at the instant when winding a—~a' is yielding a maximum voltage, no other windings supply adequate voltage for ioni 50 zation, so that the chord between electrode struc tures A—A’ and D-D' will be the only ionized ?eld. In the latter condition, even the output voltage of windings c—c’ and g’—g may be suf ficiently large to produce a slight degree of ioni zation. As a result then, at the assumed instant, the ionized ?eld may extend almost completely around the device. It is to be noted that, inasmuch as the degree of ionization varies some what with potential applied, the ionized ?eld may extend completely around tube ?ll, and at the same time be locally ionized to an extreme extent, due to the various ionizing potentials applied between electrodes of various electrode structures. Thus, in the latter condition as Speci?cally, the output of winding a—a' is ap~ 65 sumed, ionization may be taking place between plied between electrodes A and D, the output of at least one electrode of all the electrode struc winding b—b’ between electrodes B and E, and tures, but there will be a localized extremely soon. highly ionized ?eld extending roughly over the Let us now consider the effect of successive sector H—I-I’ clockwise to E--E’. maximum voltages in the alternator windings While I have described my invention particu during operation. For illustration, assume the larly in conjunction with devices employing a instant at which voltage in winding a-a' is a plurality of electrodes and means for appropri maximum in one direction. Voltages in windings ately energizing these electrodes to obtain an b—b' and h'—-h will be somewhat less, but in the eccentrically rotating or otherwise shifting ion same sense; and voltages in windings c-c' and ized ?eld, it is clear that other methods may be 2,407,250 7 employed. For example, it is known that an alternating voltage of high enough frequency may be suf?cient to produce a steady ionized ?eld. It will be observed that the circumferentially disposed electrodes in all showings oi the dis charge device are neither shovm as having ?at nor generally arcuate surfaces,_ but rather as having a slightly undulatory form. This show ing has been made to call attention to the fact that some sort of design and experimental work will be necessary with respect to these surfaces in order to obtain the most uniform strength of 8 for successively energizing said electrodes, Where by ionization within said envelope is eccentri cally localized and rotated about the axis of said eccentricity. 5. A directive antenna system according to claim 1, wherein said reflector is disposed gen erally transverse to radiation from said element. 6. A directive antenna system according to claim 1, wherein said re?ector is disposed gener ally transverse to radiation from said element and said chamber is of generally parabolic cross section. 7. A directionally responsive antenna system comprising an antenna for translating electro ionized ?eld between electrodes as that ?eld ro tates or shifts eccentrically in accordance with 15 magnetic waves, a reflector for said waves dis the invention. 1, therefore, consider that the precise form of electrode ?nally to be adopted is purely a matter of design. While the foregoing description has been made in 133.1 ticular detail in connection with the pre ie‘rcd forms illustrated, it is to be understood posed adjacent said antenna, said. re?ector com prising an envelope of non-conductive material, ionizable means within said envelope, a plurality of opposed pairs of electrodes within said en 20 velope for ionizing said ionizable means to pro duce an ionized path, and means for successively energizing electrodes in a predetermined sequence whereby the con?guration of said path he scope and spirit of this invention. is varied to change the directivity of said an at I claim is: v. A directive antenna system comprising a 25 tenna system. 8. A re?ector for a directive antenna system comprising an envelope of non-conducting mate said element, said re?ector comprising an en~ ‘ .at many modi?cations thereof may be made i rial, the shape oi said envelope being substan tially paraboloidal, ionizing means Within said ionizitrg said ionizable means, said electrode 30 envelope for producing an ionized path, said ionizing means comprising an ionizable gaseous means including electrodes disposed generally velope of non-conductive material, ionizable means within said envelope, electrode means for along the circumference of a circle, and means [or successively energizing said electrodes, where by ionization within said envelope is eccentri cally localized and rotated about the axis of said eccentricity. 2. A directive antenna system according to claim 1, wherein said radiating element is gener ally uni-directionally directive and said reflector is disposed transverse to substantially all the radiation of said element. 3. A radiant energy directional. system includ ing antenna means, means disposed in proximity to and positioned to reflect energy directed by said antenna means for setting up a locally ion ized ?eld, and means for periodically displacing said ionized ?eld to variably effect the directional effect said energy. 4.. A directionally responsive receiving anten na system including a receiving element, a re hector disposed adjacent said element to re?ect energy thereto, said reflector comprising an en— velope non-conductive material, ionizable means wi . *1 said envelope, electrode means for ionizing said ionizable means, said electrode means including electrodes disposed generally along the circumference of a circle, and means medium and a plurality of pairs of electrodes, said electrodes being disposed along a generally circular circumference near the periphery of said tube, means providing a plurality of phase-dis placed voltages equal in number of said pairs of electrodes, and means for sequentially applying said voltages to said pairs of electrodes, whereby the con?guration or said path is varied to change the directivity of said antenna system. 9. A reflector for a directive antenna system in accordance with claim 8, wherein each elec trode of said opposed pairs comprises a plurality of closely spaced electrode members, each of 45 said members having lobe-shaped portions in spaced relation to a corresponding lobe-shaped portion of another of said members. 10. A re?ector for a directive antenna system in accordance with claim 8, wherein each elec trode of said opposed pairs comprises two closely spaced members, each of which comprises rela tively widely spaced electrode surfaces, and each of the surfaces of one of said members is dis posed between the surfaces of another of said members. HENRI G. BUSIGNIES.