Quasi-Optical Multi-Beam Antenna Technologies for B5G and 6G mmWave and THz Networks: A Review

Y. Jay Guo, Maral Ansari, Richard W. Ziolkowski, Nelson J.G. Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Multi-beam antennas are critical components in future terrestrial and non-terrestrial wireless communications networks. The multiple beams produced by these antennas will enable dynamic interconnection of various terrestrial, airborne and space-borne network nodes. As the operating frequency increases to the high millimeter wave (mmWave) and terahertz (THz) bands for beyond 5G (B5G) and sixth-generation (6G) systems, quasi-optical techniques are expected to become dominant in the design of high gain multi-beam antennas. This paper presents a timely overview of the mainstream quasi-optical techniques employed in current and future multi-beam antennas. Their operating principles and design techniques along with those of various quasi-optical beamformers are presented. These include both conventional and advanced lens and reflector based configurations to realize high gain multiple beams at low cost and in small form factors. New research challenges and industry trends in the field, such as planar lenses based on transformation optics and metasurface-based transmitarrays, are discussed to foster further innovations in the microwave and antenna research community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9468682
Pages (from-to)807-830
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation
StatePublished - 2021


  • Beamformers
  • Internet in space
  • beyond 5G (B5G)
  • millimeter wave (mmWave)
  • multi-beam antennas
  • quasi-optical techniques
  • sixth-generation (6G)
  • terahertz (THz)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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