A bandwidth improvement method in reflectarray antennas by using closely space elements, i.e. unit-cell sizes smaller than λ/2, has been investigated both numerically and experimentally in this paper. A new definition of phase error has been introduced to analyze the broadband mechanism of closely spaced phasing elements. Through full wave EM simulations, it is revealed that closely spaced elements achieve a smaller phase error over the band. Based on these theoretical studies two Ka-band reflectarrays were fabricated and their performance was measured across the frequency range of 30 to 34 GHz. It is demonstrated that the reflectarray designed with closely spaced elements achieves a notable improvement in gain bandwidth performance.
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