Using the 3D Vector Antenna as the Short-Range Direction-Finding Sensor: Primary Theory and Experimental Proof

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This work showcases the design, implementation, and verification of a vector antenna (VA) capable of direction finding. By adopting the tapered slot (also known as Vivaldi) element as the constitutive VA element and a four-season layout, the VA in this work can identify the radio source in a wide spectrum range in the three-dimensional space. Practical issues, such as steering vector calibration, exploitation of polarization, and angle estimation with partial electromagnetic measurements, are addressed to ensure the functionality of the proposed VA in practice. A four-channel phase-locked software-defined radio platform and quasi-real-time angle estimation algorithms are designed and implemented to verify the direction-finding (DF) capability of the VA for directly propagated, reflected, and diffracted radio signals, respectively. The results of the experiment prove the effectiveness of the theory and our practical VA measures for 3D direction finding under various conditions and potentially inspire localization, mapping, and navigation in short-range scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Sensors Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Angle of Arrival
  • Antenna measurements
  • Direction finding
  • Estimation
  • Line-of-Sight
  • Magnetic field measurement
  • Non-Line-of-Sight
  • Obstacled-Line-of-Sight
  • Polarization
  • Resource description framework
  • Sensor arrays
  • Sensors
  • Three-dimensional displays
  • Vector Antenna

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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