29 June 2001 Manufacture of a conformal multilayer rf antenna substrate using excimer mask imaging technology and a 6-axis robot
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A novel method is presented to produce a high precision pattern of copper tracks on both sides of a 4-layer conformal radar antenna made of PEI polymer and shaped as a truncated pseudo-parabolic cylinder. The antenna is an active emitter-receiver so that an accuracy of a fraction of the wavelength of the microwave radiation is required. After 2D layer design in Allegro, the resulting Gerber file-format circuits are wrapped around the antenna shape, resulting in a cutter-path file which provides the input for a postprocessor that outputs G-code for robot- and laser control. A rules file contains embedded information such as laser parameters and mask aperture related to the Allegro symbols. The robot consists of 6 axes that manipulate the antenna, and 2 axes for the mask plate. The antenna can be manipulated to an accuracy of +/- 20 micrometers over its full dimensions of 200x300x50 mm. The four layers are constructed by successive copper coating, resist coating, laser ablation, copper etching, resist removal, insulation polyimide film lamination and laser dielectric drilling for microvia holes and through-holes drilling. Applications are in space and aeronautical communication and radar detection systems, with possible extensions to automotive and mobile hand-sets, and land stations.
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Michel Charrier, Michel Charrier, Daniel Everett, Daniel Everett, Jim Fieret, Jim Fieret, Tobias Karrer, Tobias Karrer, Sven Rau, Sven Rau, Jean-Luc Valard, Jean-Luc Valard, } "Manufacture of a conformal multilayer rf antenna substrate using excimer mask imaging technology and a 6-axis robot", Proc. SPIE 4274, Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing VI, (29 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432532; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.432532

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