Six-port network is an interesting radiofrequency architecture with multiple possibilities. Since it was firstly introduced in the seventies as an alternative network analyzer, the six-port network has been used for many applications, such as homodyne receivers, radar systems, direction of arrival estimation, UWB (Ultra-Wide-Band), or MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) systems. Currently, it is considered as a one of the best candidates to implement a Software Defined Radio (SDR).
This thesis comprises an exhaustive study of this promising architecture, where its fundamentals and the state-of-the-art are also included. In addition, the design and development of a SDR 0.3-6 GHz six-port receiver prototype is presented in this thesis, which is implemented in conventional technology. The system is experimentally characterized and validated for RF signal demodulation with good performance. The analysis of the six-port architecture is complemented by a theoretical and experimental comparison with other radiofrequency architectures suitable for SDR.
Some novel contributions are introduced in the present thesis. Such novelties are in the direction of the highly topical issues on six-port technique: development and optimization of real-time I-Q regeneration techniques for multiport networks; and search of new techniques and technologies to contribute to the miniaturization of the six-port architecture. In particular, the novel contributions of this thesis can be summarized as:
- Introduction of a new real-time auto-calibration method for multiport receivers, particularly suitable for broadband designs and high data rate applications.
- Introduction of a new direct baseband I-Q regeneration technique for five-port receivers.
- Contribution to the miniaturization of six-port receivers by the use of the multilayer LTCC (Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic) technology. Implementation of a compact (30x30x1.25 mm) broadband (0.3-6 GHz) six-port receiver in LTTC technology.
The results and conclusions derived from this thesis have been satisfactory, and quite fruitful in terms of publications. A total of fourteen works have been published, considering international journals and conferences, and national conferences. Aditionally, a paper has been submitted to an internationally recognized journal, which is currently under review.