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Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

FLEXIBLE WEARABLE ANTENNAS


UTILIZING TEXTILE MATERIALS
Mohamad Kamal A. Rahim
Mai A. Rahman Osman

1.1

INTRODUCTION

Extensive worldwide research has been carried out on new


wearable devices where wearable computers can be considered as
ancestors to smart clothes. Thus, wearable devices have escaped
from the confines of the rigid box and beyond the distribution of
elements on the body to now merge with textile technology.
Accordingly, the evolution of antenna technology for man- machine
interface has taken quantum leaps in utilizing textile materials as
antenna substrate. This incorporation of the antenna into the
uniform has added the benefit of eliminating clumsy devices that
can become entangled.
With the advent of textile antennas, a vast number of
potential applications and other supporting systems have emerged
benefiting flexible antennas. Body-worn antennas may be made
from textiles and attached to the body or into clothing, or may be
worn as a button antenna. More recently, antennas incorporating
single frequency electromagnetic band gap materials (EBGs)
integrated into designs have been reported.
Wearable antenna requirements are application-specific;
common requirements for many applications are to be lightweight,
inexpensive, have low-maintenance, no set-up requirements and be
able to withstand damage from obstacles (be robust). In this

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

chapter, attention is focused on the key components of wearable


antennas. Several design features of these textile antennas - such as
wearable antennas made from a selection of textile materials,
antenna performance that depends on material properties and the
effects of textile material thickness - will be addressed in the
following sections. Examples will cover the design of an Ultra
Wide-Band wearable antenna in detail.
1.2

TEXTILE MATERIALS

1.2.1 Introduction
In personal electronics, antennas play a paramount role in the
optimal design of wearable or hand-held units used in personal
electronics. This has resulted in increased demand for flexible fabric
antennas, which can be easily attached to a piece of clothing. Textile
antennas can be constructed using ordinary fabric as dielectric and
conductive tape or fabric as conducting elements. This enables the
antenna to be flexible and lightweight. Hence, the antenna structure
is easy to attach to clothing and does not limit the possible antenna
placements.
1.2.2 Overview of Textile Substrate Materials
For flexible antenna, textile materials form interesting substrates
because fabric antennas can be easily integrated into clothes. They
generally have a very low dielectric constant, which reduces the
surface wave losses and improves the impedance bandwidth of the
antenna. In comparison with high dielectric substrates, textile
antennas are physically larger. In any wireless communication set
up, the antenna requires careful design. However, the key
properties of textiles that are mobilized in wearable applications are
flexibility to conform to the body, comfort to touch, non-invasive
and softness. Applications also need to be cost-effective, widely
available, allow easy interpretation and provide consistent results.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

The terms textile and fabric antenna are used interchangeably here.
However, in most cases, textile antenna refers to an antenna type,
whereas the term fabric relates the antenna substrate material to a
particular textile material.
1.2.2.1 Textile Materials Selection
Textile materials that are used as substrates for antennas can be
divided into two main categoriesnatural and synthetic fibers.
Synthetic fibers are polymers obtained from their own molecular
structures. These subsets of polymers have the prefix poly-. The
names of the fibers are generally trademarks of companies, and they
are classified based on their typical radical. Thus, polyesters (for
example) can have many different molecular formulas and many
trademarks.
One
commonly
known
polymer
is
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is better known as Teflon.
1.2.2.2 Dielectric Properties of Textile Materials
The dielectric properties of the various materials used in
semiconductor fabrication and packaging play an important role in
achieving the desired performance of integrated circuits. However,
most engineers working in the semiconductor industry need a basic
understanding of dielectric properties. One important property of a
dielectric material is its permittivity. Permittivity () is a measure of
the ability of a material to be polarized by an electric field. It is,
however, easier to grasp the concept of permittivity by first
considering a closely related property, capacitance (C). Capacitance
is a measure of the ability of a material to hold charge if a voltage is
applied across it, and is best modeled by a dielectric layer that is
sandwiched between two parallel conductive plates.
If a voltage V is applied across a capacitor of capacitance C,
then the charge Q that it can hold is directly proportional to the
applied voltage V, with the capacitance C as the proportionality

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

constant. Thus, Q = CV, or C = Q/V. The unit of measurement for


capacitance is the farad (coulomb per volt). The capacitance of a
capacitor depends on the permittivity of the dielectric layer, as
well as the area A of the capacitor and the separation distance d
between the two conductive plates. Permittivity and capacitance
are mathematically related as follows: C = (A/d).
When the dielectric used is vacuum, then the capacitance Co
= o (A/d), where o is the permittivity of vacuum (8.85 x 10-12
F/m). The dielectric constant (k) of a material is the ratio of its
permittivity to the permittivity of vacuum o, so k = /o. The
dielectric constant is therefore also known as the relative
permittivity of the material. Since the dielectric constant is just a
ratio of two similar quantities, it is dimensionless. Given its
definition, the dielectric constant of vacuum is 1. Any material is
able to polarize more than vacuum, so the k of a material is always
> 1. Note that the dielectric constant is also a function of frequency
in some materials, e.g., polymers, primarily because polarization is
affected by frequency.
A low-k dielectric is a dielectric with a low permittivity, or
low ability to polarize and hold charge. Low-k dielectrics are very
good insulators for isolating signals or carrying conductors from
each other. Thus, low-k dielectrics are a necessity in very dense
multi-layered IC's, wherein coupling between very close metal lines
need to be suppressed to prevent degradation in device
performance. A high-k dielectric, on the other hand, has a high
permittivity. Because high-k dielectrics are good at holding charge,
they are the preferred choice dielectric for capacitors. High-k
dielectrics are also used in memory cells which store digital data in
the form of charge.
1.2.2.3 Textile Materials Stretching and Elastic Properties
When considering the elastic properties of fabrics, the texture and
the material are decisive. Most fabrics are inelastic, and real elastic

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

fabrics are mostly knitted from elastic fibers or yarn. Since elastic
fabrics are used as antenna substrates, problems may occur. When
stretched, the permittivity and thickness of the fabric change, which
in turn changes the antenna resonant frequency. Stretching also
makes it difficult to attach the metallic layers onto the fabric, and
just a few detached sections significantly changes the properties of
the antenna.
1.2.2.4 Textile Materials Water Resistance
Water has much higher dielectric constant than does the fabric.
When a fabric antenna absorbs water, the moisture changes the
antenna performance parameters dramatically. The higher dielectric
constant of water dominates the antenna performance by reducing
the resonant frequency. Since fabric antennas are used near the skin,
the aspect of the wetness of the fabric becomes more important.
Thus, wearable textile antenna designers need to put the aspects in
considerations when designing these types of antennas.

1.3

EFFECTS OF USING DIFFERENT TYPES OF


SUBSTRATE MATERIALS

1.3.1 Introduction
In this section, rectangular microstrip patch antennas were designed
using two different substrate textile materials: flannel and jeans
fabrics. In order to characterize the effect of textile materials

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

accurately, both fabrics chosen for the comparison are made from a
100% cotton materials. In addition, both flannel and jeans fabrics
have a kind of a smooth and firm surface. Except that the flannel
fabric surface has an additional feature of being a fluffy surface
material. Conductive parts are made out of copper tape with a
thickness of 0.03 mm. Together, the aforementioned features made
the antenna flexible in nature. A coaxial SMA connector was
provided for the antenna feed, and was soldered on the copper tape.
In order to model the fabrics, it is important to know the relative
permittivity of each fabric. The measured relative permittivity at 8
GHz for both fabrics was 1.7 approximately. Table 1.1 illustrates
the fabric thickness and the measured relative permittivity of each
substrate textile material. The geometry and dimensions in
millimeters of the patch antennas prototypes mounted on the
surface of two different textile substrate materials are shown in
Fig.1.1.
Table 1.1 Fabric Thickness And Measured Relative Permittivity Of Each
Substrate Textile Material
Substrate
material

Thicknes
s
[mm]

Material

Flannel

0.95

100% Cotton

Jeans

0.65

100% Cotton

Color
Orang
e
Navy

Measured Relative
permittivity
at 8 GHz
1.7
1.7

The simulations were carried out using CST Microwave


Studio software and the fabric antennas characteristics were
studied. According to simulation, the ground plane size is 80 mm x
80 mm in both cases. The patch length, width and the feed location
from the patch edge are all illustrated in table 1.2. The feeding
position was determined according to [Balanis, 2005]. A change in
the feeding position manually alters the impedance match while the
resonant frequency remains unchanged. This resulted in 50
impedance at the centre frequency. The distance between the
radiating patch and the ground plane should remain constant in

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

order to maintain antennas electrical characteristics. In this study,


all conductive sheets were made out of copper tape in order to
characterize the effect of textile materials accurately. In addition,
the fabrics should have as smooth and firm surface as possible, and
the conductive sheets have to be fastened evenly and stoutly on the
fabric surface. If the copper tape detaches merely from one corner,
and the space between the metal layers varies, the resonant
frequency of the antenna changes. In this paper, the copper tape
was tightly attached to the surface of flannel and jeans fabrics, and
it did not detach, which has proven the suitability of using both
fabrics as antenna substrate materials.

Figure 1.1 Geometry and Dimensions In Millimeters Of The Patch


Antennas Prototypes Mounted On The Surface Of Two Different Textile
Substrate Materials
Table 1.2 Patch antenna length, width and the feed location from the
patch edge
Substrate
material
Flannel
Jeans

Patch
Length
[mm]
15.5
18

1.3.2 Results and Discussion

Patch
Width
[mm]
13
21.5

Feed location from the


patch edge
[mm]
3.5
5

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

The thickness of the fabric has a great influence on antennas


bandwidth. Both fabrics have the same permittivity; therefore, the
thickness generally determines the bandwidth. The simulation
showed that it is possible to design well-matched input impedance
for both fabric substrates. The simulated bandwidth at 8 GHz was
3.6 % for flannel fabric, and 2.8 % for jeans fabric. These results
are shown in Table 1.3. The bandwidth of the antennas remains too
narrow due to fabrics thickness. However, the antenna with flannel
substrate fabric had wider bandwidth than the antenna with jeans
substrate fabric. Simulation results showed that fabric thickness
affects the bandwidth, as predicted.
In order to characterize both antennas, a network analyzer
was used to measure the input return loss of the antennas as a
function of frequency. Both antennas were measured under similar
conditions and then compared. The measured bandwidth at 8 GHz
for flannel fabric was 3.7 %, and for jeans fabric was 2.9 %. A
comparison of the simulated and measured return loss results, as
well as bandwidth results of flannel and jeans substrate materials,
are shown in Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.3 respectively, and also
illustrated in table 1.3.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Figure 1.2 A Comparison of Flannel Fabric Simulated And Measured


Return Loss Results

Figure 1.3 A Comparison of Jeans Fabric Simulated and Measured


Return Loss Results

The measured results of both fabrics showed that it does


agree very well with simulations, and the target frequency 8 GHz is
reasonably well met. Results have proven that the copper tape was
tightly attached to the surface of both fabrics, and it did not detach.
The simulated current flow and radiation characteristics of
both fabric antennas were studied. Figure 1.4 shows the simulated
current flow and the simulated radiation pattern of flannel fabric
antenna. The antenna gain was affected by conductive materials, in
the same way as the bandwidth was affected. The simulated gain for
the flannel fabric antenna was approximately 6.7 dB.

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

10

Figure 1.4 The simulated current flow and radiation characteristics of


flannel fabric antenna

Similarly, Figure 1.5 shows the simulated current flow and


the simulated radiation pattern of jeans fabric antenna. The
simulated gain was approximately 6.7 dB. Results indicates the
importance of proper fabric selection, all these results are illustrated
in Table 1.3.

11

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Figure 1.5 The simulated current flow and radiation characteristics of


jeans fabric antenna

Table 1.3 : A comparison of simulated and measured return loss results


and bandwidth results of flannel and jeans fabric substrate materials.
Substrate
material
Flannel
Jeans

Simulated Results

Measured Results

fr
[GHz]

S11
[dB]

Bandwidth
[%]

fr
[GHz]

S11 [dB]

Bandwidth
[%]

8.17

-31

3.6

8.85

-25

3.7

8.18

-22

2.8

8.22

-29

2.9

1.3.3 Conclusion of the work


This section has presented the development, manufacture, and
measurement of antennas that are integrated into clothing. Flannel
and jeans fabrics were utilized in this work as the antenna substrate
materials. In addition, this investigation focused on the selection of
substrate fabric materials, beside the thickness of those substrate

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

12

fabrics. Results indicated that both fabrics are suitable for wearable
antennas application. However, the antenna with flannel substrate
fabric had a wider bandwidth than the antenna with jeans substrate
fabric. Conversely, all results indicated the importance of proper
fabric selection. Therefore, the desired requirements for particular
applications need to be properly considered, and a suitable fabric
needs to be selected in order to maintain the desired application.

1.4

EFFECTS OF SUBSTRATE THICKNESS

1.4.1 Introduction
Rectangular microstrip patch antennas with stacked-layers of
substrate were studied in this section. The investigation was made
by again employing one of the antennas mentioned in the previous
section. Thicker substrate materials are required when designing
wideband antennas. In this section, predetermination of thicker
fabric was arranged by adding more fabric layers in order to provide
a better investigation on the suitability of using stacked layers. As
mentioned in the previous section, flannel fabric has a smooth and
firm surface with the additional feature of being fluffy surface
material. Using such a kind of fluffy surface feature is beneficial in
reducing the air gap between fabric layers when multi layers from
substrate fabrics are required. Table 1.4 illustrates the thickness of
flannel fabric with one layer and also with three stacked-layers
substrate textile materials. In addition, the ground plane size is 80
mm x 80 mm.

13

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Table 1.4 The thickness of flannel fabric substrate material with one layer
and three stacked-layers.

Substrate
material

Flannel

Thickness
[mm]
One
layer

Three
layers

0.95

2.85

Material

color

Measured
Relative
permittivity
at 8 GHz

100%
Cotton

Orange

1.7

Conductive parts are made out of copper tape with a


thickness of 0.03 mm, the antenna being flexible in nature. A coaxial
SMA connector was provided for antenna feed, which was soldered
onto the copper tape. Adding three layers of flannel substrate
material resulted in a thicker substrate material compared to one
layer of fabric. According to simulation, the changes in the antenna
resonant length detune frequency band and the thickness of the
fabric have a great influence on antenna bandwidth. The patch
length, width and the feed location from the patch edge were also
determined according to changes in substrate material thickness.
These results are illustrated in Table 1.5.
Table 1.5 Fabric thickness, patch length, patch width, and the feed
location from the patch edge of flannel substrate textile material.
Flannel
Substrate
material

Thickness
[mm]

Patch
Length
[mm]

Patch
Width
[mm]

Feed location from


the patch edge
[mm]

One
layer

0.95

15.5

13

3.5

Three
layers

2.85

15

11

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

14

1.4.2 Results and Discussion


Simulation results have confirmed the possibilities of designing
well-matched input impedance for flannel fabric substrates after
stacking layers of fabric. In addition, by adding more layers, the
thickness of the fabric increased which resulted in a wider
bandwidth compared to the substrate fabric of one layer thickness.
The antenna with three stacked-layers of flannel substrate fabric
material had a wider bandwidth compared to the antenna with one
layer of the same fabric. As can be seen from Figure 1.6, the
simulated bandwidth at 8 GHz was approximately 11.6 % for
flannel fabric with three stacked layers compared to Figure 1.2,
which has been shown in the previous section. According to that,
figure 1.2 demonstrated that 3.6 % of bandwidth was achieved
through simulation implementing one layer of the same fabric.
In addition, a network analyzer was used to measure the
input return loss of the antennas with three stacked-layers of fabric
as a function of frequency. The measured bandwidth at 8 GHz for
three stacked-layers of flannel fabric was 11.68 %, compared to
2.9% of bandwidth measured results when using one layer of the
same fabric (shown in figure 1.2 in the previous section). Table 1.6
shows a comparison of the simulated and measured return loss
results, as well as bandwidth results, of flannel substrate material.
Hence, measured results do not agree well with simulations, and the
target frequency of 8 GHz is reasonably well met.
Conversely, the simulated current flow and radiation
characteristics of fabric antennas with three stacked-layers of
substrate made from flannel fabric were also studied. Figure 1.7
shows the simulated current flow and the simulated radiation
pattern. The antenna gain was affected by conductive materials, in
the same way as the bandwidth was affected. The simulated gain
was approximately 6.8 dB, compared to 6.7 dB gain simulated
results of one layer of the same fabric. These results are illustrated
in Table 1.6.

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Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Table 1.6 A Comparison of Simulated and Measured Results of One


Layer and Three-Layers of Flannel Fabric Antenna
Flannel
Substrate
Material

Simulated Results
fr

S11

[GHz]

[dB]

Bandwidt
h [%]

OneLayer

8.17

-31

3.6

ThreeLayers

7.96

-30

11.6

Measured Results
Gai
n

fr

S11

[GHz]

[dB]

Bandwidth
[%]

6.7

8.85

-25

3.7

6.8

8.04

-37

11.68

[dB]

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

16

Figure 1.6 The simulated and measured return loss and bandwidth results
of three stacked-layers of flannel fabric antenna.

1.4.3 Conclusions
This section presented the development, manufacture, and
measurement of antennas that are integrated into clothing. The
investigation focused on substrate fabrics thickness and substrate
fabric with stacked layers. The flannel fabric has the additional
feature of being fluffy surface material which makes it beneficial in
reducing the air gap between fabric layers when multi layers from
substrate fabrics are required. Results indicated that the stacked
layer design using flannel fabric is suitable for wearable antennas
application. The antenna with three stacked layers of flannel
substrate fabric had a wider bandwidth than the antenna with one
layer of the same fabric. It has also been shown that enlarging the
substrate thickness by stacking the layers of flannel fabric substrate

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

17

material affects the bandwidth. In addition, all results have indicated


the importance of proper fabric selection. Therefore, desired
requirements for particular applications need to be properly
considered and suitable fabric needs to be selected to meet these
requirements.

Figure 1.7 The simulated current flow and radiation characteristics of


three layers of fabric antenna

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

1.5

18

ULTRA WIDE-BAND (UWB) WEARABLE TEXTILE


ANTENNA DESIGN

1.5.1 Introduction
Key considerations for wearable electronics are robustness,
flexibility, small size, low power consumption and to be comfortable
to wear. Ultra Wideband (UWB) transmission devices do not need
to transmit a high-power signal to the receiver and can have a
longer battery life, or be smaller to reduce the wearable device size.
In addition, UWB is a high data rate technology, with large
bandwidth signals that provide robustness to jamming.
Several antennas have been developed for wearable
antennas in the form of flexible antennas on textile substrates. By
merging UWB technology with textile technology, an UWB antenna
using clothing materials and suitable for wearable application is
fabricated and presented in this section. The substrate of the
designed antenna was made from jeans textile material. The
radiating element and ground plane are made out of copper tape.
Measured results are compared with simulations, and good
agreement was observed
In this work, handful basic modifications were made on
previously published work [10] in order to obtain this manuscript
design. An UWB antenna, with one triangle slit at the top of the
circle patch and with two square slits at the bottom of the circle
patch, has been designed and analyzed. As in [10], the radiating
element has a radius of 11 mm and a partial ground plane size of 36
mm x 20 mm. In this paper, the radiating element has a radius of 15
mm while the jeans fabric substrate is 60 mm x 60 mm with a partial
ground plane size of 60 mm x 29 mm. In order to obtain the design
a few parameters needed to be calculated, such as the radius of the
radiating element. These parameters were calculated according to
the following equations:

19

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

87.94
fr r

(1.1)
Where a is the radius of the circular patch antenna in
millimeters, fr is the resonance frequency in GHz and r is the
relative permittivity of the textile substrate material (dimensionless).
The geometry and dimensions in millimeters of the UWB
antenna prototype mounted on the surface of a jeans textile
substrate material are shown in Figure 1.8. The conductive surfaces
and the ground plane are made out of copper tape with a thickness
of 0.03 mm. Simulations were carried out using CST Microwave
Studio software and the fabric antenna characteristics were studied.
A 50 ohm microstrip feed line was provided for the antenna feed;
hence the position was determined according to [16]. A second
layer of jeans textile was placed on the top of the microstrip line to
hide the feeding on the clothing. These dimensions are shown in
Figure 1.8 and illustrated in Table 1.7.
Table 1.7 : Dimensions in Millimeters of The UWB Wearable Textile
Antenna.
UWB Wearable
Textile Antenna

Patch
radius
[mm]
15

Substrate
dimensions
[mm]
60 x 60

Partial ground
plane dimensions
[mm]
60 x 29

In order to characterize the designed UWB antenna, a


network analyzer was used to measure the input return loss of the
antennas as a function of frequency. A comparison of the simulated
and measured return loss results, as well as bandwidth results, were
also made to provide a better investigation. Also simulated results
of radiation patterns, gain, efficiency and current distribution of the
antenna design are also presented in this section.

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

20

Figure 1.8 UWB Wearable Textile Antenna prototype, geometry and


dimensions in millimeters.

1.5.2 Results and Discussion


In order to provide better investigation, the simulated and measured
return loss (|S11|) and bandwidth results will be presented and
discussed in the following section. This will be followed by
simulated results of radiation pattern, current distribution as well as
gain and efficiency simulated results of wearable UWB textile
antenna.
Figure 1.9 shows a comparison between the simulated and
measured return loss results of the UWB antenna design. The black
solid line illustrates the simulated results, while the blue dotted line
represents the measured results. Although there were some variations
between simulated and measured plotted results, the (|S11|) measured
results of the proposed antenna design were able the cover the desired
range of frequencies with all results below -10 dB. According to that,
figure 1.9 exhibited that simulated and measured (|S11|) results were
comparable and the proposed antenna designs provide more than 11
GHz bandwidth with such compact size and flexible materials.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

21

Figure 1.9 Simulated and Measured Return Loss and bandwidth results
for the UWB Wearable Textile Antenna design.

On the other hand, figure 1.10 (a) and (b) illustrate the
behavior of 2D radiation patterns of E-plane and H-plane
respectively of the UWB Wearable Textile Antenna design in the
range of frequencies between 3 GHz and 10 GHz. From figure 1.10
(a), the radiation patterns for frequencies range between 3 GHz up
to 10 GHz where almost the same with a kind of monopole like
radiation pattern shape. While in the H-plane as illustrated in figure
1.10 (b), the pattern looks like omni-directional in 3 GHz and 7
GHz. However, at 5 GHz and 10 GHz the shape of the radiation
pattern is almost omni-directional with few nulls that have been
clearly introduced as demonstrated in figure 1.10 (b).

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

22

Figure 1.10 Simulated 2D Radiation Pattern Results for the Designed


Wearable UWB textile Antenna

Conversely, current distribution determines how the current


flows on the circular patch antenna on jeans substrate textile
material. Figure 1.11 demonstrates these results for the UWB
antenna design. Four different points of frequency were presented.
From Figure 1.11, high strength of current is radiated along the
transmission line and the boundary of the circular patch. However,
the boundary of the partial ground plane was also found to be a
significant radiating area.
On the other hand, the variations of frequencies versus the
gain of the UWB wearable textile antenna design are shown in
Table 1.8. The maximum gain for this antenna design was about 4.4
dB at 10 GHz, while the minimum gain attained 2.6 dB at 3 GHz.
The greatest percentage of efficiency was 95%, which is at 10 GHz,
while the lowest percentage of efficiency was 65% at 5 GHz.
According to these results, the UWB wearable textile antenna
design was found to be able to provide low power and high
efficiency antenna design.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

23

Figure
1.11
Simulated current flow results for the UWB Wearable Textile Antenna
design.
Table 1.8 : Gain and Efficiency simulated results of the UWB Wearable
Textile Antenna design.
Frequency

Gain

Efficiency

[GHz]

[dB]

[%]

3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

2.6
3.4
2.9
3.4
3.1
3.7
4.2
4.4

90
78
65
89
90
89
88
95

1.5.3 Conclusions

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

24

UWB wearable textile antenna design, with a slot at the top of the
circular patch and two slots at the bottom of the circular patch, has
been presented in this section. The antenna design consists of a
partial ground plane and a jeans substrate textile material. A second
layer of jeans textile was placed on the top of the microstrip line to
hide the feeding on the clothing. The antenna was successfully
designed, constructed and measured. The simulated and measured
results showed that the proposed antenna has ( S1110 dB), at
UWB frequency ranges, constant gain and stable radiation patterns
over the whole frequency band. In addition, the compact size of the
antenna further confirms its suitability for portable UWB devices.
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Cambridge, England: CRC Press. 2007.
Lukasz Januszkiewicz, Slawomir Hausman, Tomasz Kacprzak,
Textile Body-Worn Exponentially Tapered Vee Antenna,
Electronic Letters, vol. 42, No.3, 2nd March 2007
Massey, P.J., Mobile phone antennas integrated within clothing,
IEE 11th International Conference On Antennas & Propagation
(ICAP2001), Manchester, UK, 2001, vol.1, pp.344-347.
Mai A. Rahman, and Mohamad Kamal. A. Rahim, A Flexible
Wearable Textile Antenna, 2009 IEEE International
Conference On Antennas, Propagation And Systems (INAS
2009), Johor Bahru, MALAYSIA, 35 December, 2009.
M. Tanaka, J. H. Jang, Wearable Microstrip Antenna, 2003 IEEE
AP-S International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation
and URSI North American Radio Science Meeting, Columbus,
OH, USA, June 2003.
P. Salonen, H. Hurme, A Novel Fabric WLAN Antenna for
Wearable Applications, 2003 IEEE AP-S International
Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and URSI North
American Radio Science Meeting, Columbus, OH, USA, June
2003.
P. Salonen, H. Hurme, Modeling of a fabric GPS antenna for smart
clothing, Proc. IASTED International Conference Modeling and
Simulation, Palm Springs, CA, USA, 2003, 18-23.
P. Salonen, L. Sydaheimo, M. Keskilammi, M. Kivikoski, "A Small
Planar Inverted-F Antenna for Wearable Applications", The
Third International Symposium on Wearable Computers, pp. 95
- 100, 1999.

Flexible Wearable Antennas Utilizing Textile Materials

26

P. Salonen et al., "Effect of Conductive Material on Wearable


Antenna Performance: A Case Study of WLAN Antennas",
IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation,
20-25 June, 2004, pp. 455-458.
S. Sankaralingam and B. Gupta, "Development of textile antennas
for body wearable applications and investigations on their
performance under bent
conditions," Progress In
Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 22, 53-71, 2010.
S. Barbarino and F. Consoli, "UWB circular slot antenna provided
with an inverted-L notch filter for the 5 GHz WLAN band,"
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 104, 1-13, 2010.
S. Chamaani, M. S. Abrishamian, and S. A. Mirtaheri, "Multiobjective optimization of UWB monopole antenna," Progress In
Electromagnetics Research C, Vol. 8, 83-94, 2009.
Salonen, P.O., Yang, F., Rahmat-Samii, Y. UCLA, Kivikoski, M.
WEBGA Wearable Electromagnetic Band-Gap Antenna,
IEEE Antennas & Propagat.Int. Symposium,Vol.1, pp. 455459, 2004
Salonen, P., Keskialammi, M. and Sydanheimo, L., A low cost
2.45 GHz photonic band gap patch antenna for wearable
systems, IEE 11th Intnl. Conf. On Antennas & Propagation
(ICAP2001), Manchester, UK, 2001, vol.2, pp. 719-723
X. Zhang, Y.-Y. Xia, J. Chen, and W.-T. Li, "Compact microstripfed antenna for Ultra-Wideband applications," Progress In
Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 6, 11-16, 2009.
Zhu, S. and Langley, R. J., Dual Band Wearable Antennas over
EBG Substrate, IET Electronics Letters, Vol. 43: No. 3,
pp141-143, Feb 2007.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

27

MICROSTRIP PATCH REFLECTARRAY


ANTENNA WITH H-SHAPED SLOT
Mohd Haizal Jamaluddin
Hasnor Ain Binti Hasnan

2.1 INTRODUCTION
The need for high gain antenna cannot be denied especially
for most radar and long distance communication. Previously, in
order to get high gain antenna, parabolic reflectors have been used.
However, this parabolic reflector is bulky in size, difficult to
manufacture and lack the ability to achieve wide beam angle
scanning. Due to these reasons, in 1963, Berry was first introduced
the reflectarray antenna. Reflectarray antenna consists of the
combination of reflector and array antenna principles.
Reflector systems come in various geometrical
configuration either plane, corner, curved (front - fed) or curved
(Cassegrain fed). Basically, reflector was used to direct the energy
in a desired direction. The radiating properties (pattern, impedance,
directivity) can be controlled by the polarization of the radiating
source and its position relative to the reflecting surface. The main
beam of the radiation pattern is controlled by the curved surface. If
a beam of parallel rays is in incident upon a reflector, the radiation
will converge at the focal point. However, if the primary source
was placed at the focal point, the rays reflected will emerge as a
parallel beam. As mentioned above, the reflector was difficult to
manufacture due to its bulky size and high cost but the advantages
are it can provides high gain, low losses and low side lobe level.

Microstrip Patch Reflectarray Antenna With H-Shaped Slot

28

The main beam for the antenna array is pointed in a fixed


direction or more. The radiation pattern of an array depends on the
relative positions of the individual radiators with respect to each
other. In order for antenna array to steer the main beam in any
direction, controllable phase shifter should be used to control the
wide angle beam scanning. However, this results in high cost, high
complexity and long, expensive design cycle. The advantages are
rapid beam pointing, inertia-less beam movement and fast beam
shaping by aperture control.
This chapter proposed unit cell with H-shaped slot which
can give more than 360o phase ranges and the analysis of
reflectarray performance based on the optimization of unit cell.
Section 2.2 describes further about selection of unit cell with Hshaped slot while section 2.3 describes the design of reflectarray
antenna which consist of 24 24 unit cells. Lastly, section 2.3
concludes the overall project.
2.2

SELECTION OF UNIT CELL

Figure 2.1 illustrates the design of a unit cell based on H- shape slot
[2]. To improve the phase range, the same H shape slot was
designed with addition of air gap between the Duroid as the
substrate and the ground plane. Moreover, three variables which are
a/b = 0.75, a/b=1 and a/b = 1.25 were chosen to compare the
reflection coefficients. The thickness of the air gap remained the
same which is 1mm for the three variables. The design specification
is listed in Table 2.1.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Figure 2.1 Design of a unit cell with H shaped slot


Table 2.1 Design specification for a unit cell
Frequency

30GHz

Substrate

Duroid, r = 2.3

Substrate Thickness

0.5 mm

Air Thickness

1 mm

Patch width, length, d

3.5 mm

Ratio a/b

0.75, 1, 1.25

Unit cell width, length, c

5 mm

29

Microstrip Patch Reflectarray Antenna With H-Shaped Slot

30

The two main parameters that need to be considered for


phase compensation process are the range of the phase and the
slope of the phase. In order to enhance the bandwidth, most
popular technique is the utilization of the thick substrates. As a
consequence, the bandwidth of the elements tends to increase with
the thickness of the substrate. Unfortunately, by increasing the
thickness of the substrate it results in the limitation of 360o phase
range. The bandwidth of the reflectarray was limited due to the
narrowband of the radiating element and the different spatial phase
delay resulting from the different path from the feed to each points
on the wave front of the radiated beam. Proper phase shift will
provide identical path length between the centre of phase of the
feed and the reference plane. Figure 2.2 shows the phase ranges for
parameter a/b = 0.75, a/b = 1 and a/b = 1.25. The simulation results
based on phase range for all parameters were shown in Figure 2.2.
In short, Table 2.2 compared the phase range for all parameters.

(a)

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

(b)

(c)
Figure 2.2 Phase range (a) a/b = 0.75 (b) a/b = 1 (c) a/b =1.25
Table 2.2 Phase range comparison

31

Microstrip Patch Reflectarray Antenna With H-Shaped Slot

Frequency, GHz
25GHz
30GHz
35GHz

a/b =
0.75
616.4266
644.8462
663.7222

32

a/b =
1.25
257.0731 72.62263
285.4924 150.8342
304.4648 303.4722
a/b = 1

As can be seen in Figure 2.2 the phase range for parameter


a/b = 0.75 exceed 360o but for parameter a/b= 1 and 1.25 the phase
range is less than 360o. Air substrate was stacked below the Duroid
substrate due to the dielectric loss was dependent on the thickness
of the substrate. Hence, with an addition of air layer, it is expected
that the dielectric constant will decrease. Basically, the phase
diagram depends on the element shape and size, substrate thickness,
dielectric constant and angle of incident. In this design, the size of
the slot is varied while the substrate thickness remains the same but
with the addition of air layer. Thus, the optimized parameter that
can give more than 360o is a/b = 0.75. Hence, it is expected that this
design should be able to cover any reflection phase.

2.3

DESIGN OF REFLECTARRAY

The reflectarray will consist of 2424 unit cells. The selected Hshaped unit slot unit cell is based on (a/b=0.75). This reflectarray
operates at 30GHz with an inter element spacing, d, of 5mm
(0.5o). The horn antenna is located 30 o from the normal of the
reflectarray with f/D = 0.8. A colour plot is shown in Figure 2.3
which represent the position of the unit cells towards the length of
the H-shaped (parameter a). Each value of the H shape length for

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

33

each unit cell will represent their own cell m, n based on phase
reflection curve that have been obtained in CST at 30GHz.

Figure 2.3 Reflectarray layout based on the length of a.


In order to predict the radiation characteristics of the
reflectarray, the reflected phase ( ref m, n ) and amplitude tapering
( Amp ref m, n ) are included in the calculation. The contribution of
the phase and the magnitude of the reflected field of each cell are
then added using the array factor multiplied by the radiation pattern
of a single unit cell H-shaped slot (Figure 2.4a) as given in
equations below:

Rreflectarray , Farray _ factor , Funit cell ,

(1)

Rreflectarray , Fmn exp j (m 1)ko d x sin cos exp j (n 1)ko d y si


m1n1
(2)
.... Aunit cell , exp( j unit cell , )
Nx Ny

Where Fmn is the complex weight (amplitude and phase)


representing the contribution of the illumination (it accounts for the
different paths between the primary source and the unit-cells), Nx

Microstrip Patch Reflectarray Antenna With H-Shaped Slot

34

and Ny are the total number of unit-cells in directions x and y, m


and n denote the unit-cells index in directions x and y, dx and dy
are the corresponding inter-element spacings (dx = dy = 0.50 =
5mm). Aunit-cell and unit-cell represent the amplitude and the phase of
the radiation pattern of a single unit-cell (simulated in Floquet
periodic environment with a normally incident plane wave). Based
on the equations 1 and 2, the radiation pattern for unit cell and the
reflectarray are shown in Figure 2.4. The radiation pattern clearly
shows that the main beam of the reflectarray antenna was in the
broadside direction. Significantly, this simplified strategy by using
simplified calculation was implemented due to the fast result that
can be obtained. It could even be used in optimization procedures.

(a)

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

35

(b)
Figure 2.4 Radiation pattern (a) unit cell (b) reflectarray.
2.4 CONCLUSION
A unit cell with H-shaped slot and addition air layer gives
the phase range excess of 360o. It can be achieved by varying the
length of the slot. In conclusion, by using simplified calculation, the
radiation pattern of reflectarray was obtained. The main beam of the
radiation was in broadside radiation and there were no grating lobe
exists.

REFERENCES

Microstrip Patch Reflectarray Antenna With H-Shaped Slot

36

John Huang, J. a. E. (2008). Reflectarray Antenna, A John Wiley &


Sons, Inc., Publication.
Haizal, J. M. (2010). Dielectric Resonator Antenna Reflectarrays Design and Characterization in Ka- Band, Universite de
Rennes 1, France.
Balanis, C. A. (2005). Antenna Theory, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
Hoboken, New Jersey.
Lamont V. Blake, M. W. L. (2009). Antenna Fundamentals, Design,
Measurement, Scitech Publishing Inc: 503.
Pilz, D.; Menzel, W.; , "Folded reflectarray antenna," Electronics
Letters , vol.34, no.9,pp.832-833, 30 Apr 1998
doi: 10.1049/el:19980670
Rengarajan, S. R. (2010). "Design and Analysis of Microstrip
Reflectarray Antennas." (14-16 Dec. 2009 ).
Eduardo Carrasco, S. M., IEEE, Jos A. Encinar, Member, IEEE,
and Mariano Barba ( Aug. 2008 ). "Bandwidth Improvement
in Large Reflectarrays by Using True-Time Delay."
Wongsan, P. K. a. R. (2007). "Phase-Bandwidth Enhancement of
Microstrip Patch Reflectarray with Cross Slot Loads."

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


37

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) BAND ANTENNA


FOR COMMUNICATION
APPLICATIONS
Muhammad Ramlee B. Kamarudin
Azliana Binti Ismail

3.1 INTRODUCTION
In communications, wideband is used to describe a wide range of
frequencies in a spectrum. A system is described as wideband if the
message bandwidth significantly exceeds the channels coherent
bandwidth. Furthermore, wideband is a transmission medium or
channel that has a wider bandwidth than one voice channel with a
carrier wave of a certain modulated frequency. A wideband antenna
is one with approximately or exactly the same operating
characteristics over a very wide passband.
Nowadays, the demand for the new technologies in wireless
communication systems is growing. Thus, the size, weight, cost,
performance, ease of installation and low profile antennas may be
required. To meet these requirements, microstrip antennas can be
used. However, the main limitations to design this type of antenna
are to create miniaturized, having high performance and low cost
planar microstrip antennas that can easily fit in every small available
space.
To have a low cost wideband antenna, the use of extra
passive lumped components such as inductors and capacitors need
to be avoided. The antenna should be matched without the use of

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

38

additional matching network. In addition, improving the


performance and gain of the antenna can give a big impact in
increasing the received signal strength and the performance of the
overall wireless system. There will always be some effects on the
antenna performance due to the reduce size of the antenna but there
were some methods to overcome this.
Although current wireless system are vertically polarized, it
is predicted that using horizontally polarized antenna at both
transmitter and receiver will result in 10 dB more power compared
to vertically polarized antenna. Alternately, a small wideband
antenna that covers a wide range of frequencies would be a good
candidate not only for current multiband applications but also for
future communication systems.
The objectives of this project are to design, fabricate and
measure a planar UHF antenna operating from 800MHz to 3GHz.
This antenna will be integrated with tunable filter to obtain
frequency desired. The applications that can operate within these
range are wireless video link (800 900 MHz), wireless security
system (1.3 GHz), mobile application (1.8 GHz and 1.9 GHz),
Bluetooth (2.4 GHz), Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) and IEEE 802.16 and
802.20 (2.6 GHz).
3.2

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

3.2.1 Effect of Ground Plane (GP) Size


This method is to reduce the lower-edge frequency and to improve
the bandwidth that can cover the coverage. Hence, return loss
greater than 10 dB can also be achieved. This technique is an
alternative to optimize the bandwidth. The ground plane (GP)
dimension is very important parameter to be considered in the
design because the bandwidth of the antenna is strongly depending

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


39

on the size of GP. It can be seen that the GP width affect bandwidth
while it is insensitive to the GP length.
3.2.2 Effect of Slot at Ground Plane
A slit is introduced into ground plane to alter the input impedance
characteristic, to compact the proposed wideband antenna and to
increase the impedance bandwidth. The lower-edge frequency and
the return loss decreases when the slit length increases. The length
of slit can be used to extend the impedance bandwidth of the loweredge frequency or the upper-edge frequency. The position of slot at
the ground can be adjusted to attain the desired bandwidth. The slit
width also influences the bandwidth of the antenna.
3.2.3 Effect of Patch Size
The rectangular monopole plate size or radiating patch size has
been studied in. The proposed antenna dimensions can be selected
using the equation that will be discussed in section 3.3 and
optimized using CST software to get the dimension with best
results.

3.3

UHF BAND ANTENNA DESIGN

3.3.1 Rectangular Patch Antenna Design Calculation

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

40

This section will discuss the formulas and calculation of dimensions


for a rectangular patch antenna. Figure 3.1 shows the design of the
antenna.

Figure 3.1 Rectangular patch antenna


Calculation to get the value for W and L rectangular patch
antenna:

Centre frequency, f =
=

Wavelength, =
=

(1)
f = 1.9 x

(2)
= 0.158m

GHz

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


41

Width, W =

(3)

W = 47mm

Effective dielectric constant,

(4)

Extended length,

= 3.51

= 0.412h x

(5)

= 0.412(1.6) x

= 0.6592 x

= 0.61mm

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

Actual length, L =
=

-2

42

(6)
- 2(0.61x

L = 41mm
3.3.2

Conventional Rectangular Patch Antenna

Figure 3.2 shows the design for conventional rectangular patch


antenna. The ground plane is fully grounded.

(a) Front view

(b) Back view

Figure 3.2 Conventional Rectangular Patch Antenna


3.3.3 Partially Ground and Steps Patch Conventional
Rectangular Patch Antenna
Figure 3.3 shows the design for partially ground and steps patch
conventional rectangular patch antenna. The ground plane size is
reduced to improve the impedance bandwidth. Steps are also added
to the patch to improve the lower-edge frequency.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


43

(a) Front view

(b) Back view

Figure 3.3 Partially Ground and Steps Patch Conventional


Rectangular Patch Antenna
3.3.4 Modified Rectangular Patch Antenna
Figure 3.4 shows the modified antenna design for partially ground
and steps patch conventional rectangular patch antenna. A slot also
added at the ground plane. Slot is an important parameter to
improve impedance bandwidth and produce wideband range.

(a): Front view

(b): Back view

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

44

Figure 3.4 Modified Rectangular Patch Antenna


3.4

SIMULATION AND MEASUREMENT RESULT

3.4.1 Return Loss


From Figure 3.5, the antenna design was simulated to resonate at
2.4 GHz with the return loss greater than 10 dB within the
frequency range of 800 MHz to 3 GHz. However, the conventional
patch antenna with fully grounded ground plane produce
narrowband characteristic. Thus, wideband antenna cannot be
achieved.

Figure 3.5 Return loss versus frequency result for conventional


patch antenna

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


45

Figure 3.6 Return loss versus frequency result for partially ground
and slotted patch conventional patch antenna
From Figure 3.6, the antenna design was simulated to
resonate at 2.4 GHz with the return loss greater than 10 dB within
the frequency range of 800 MHz to 3 GHz. This antenna design is
the modified version of conventional rectangular patch antenna.
This antenna use partially ground plane and had steps at both sides
of the patch. However, the modification cannot produce wideband
bandwidth at the desired frequency range. However from this
result, it can be concluded that partial ground plane affected lower
edge frequency and helps to improve the bandwidth. Added steps at
the patch could also affect the bandwidth of the antenna. Wideband
antenna can be achieved by applying further modification to the
antenna.

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

46

Figure 3.7 Return loss versus frequency simulated and measured


results for modified rectangular patch antenna
From Figure 3.7, it shows that the desired antenna design
having a wideband bandwidth had been achieved. Wideband
bandwidth can be achieved by optimization on the size of the patch,
ground plane height, feed line height and also the substrate height.
These parameters are the main parameters to be considered for
optimization of the impedance bandwidth. This UHF band antenna
was measured using Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) to validate
the antenna performance between the simulated and the measured
result.
From the Figure 3.7, the antenna performance result is a
little bit different from the simulated result. This is due to the
fabrication error. While doing the etching process, the copper is not
really attached to the substrate. Thus, to overcome this problem
copper tape has been used to patch the area that should be cover
with copper. The board also should be cut according to the same
dimension as in the simulation to avoid fringe effect.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


47

3.4.2 Radiation Pattern

Figure 3.8 Radiation pattern at 2.4 GHz resonant frequency for Eplane

Figure 3.9: Radiation pattern at 2.4 GHz resonant frequency for Hplane
Figure 3.8 and 3.9 show the radiation pattern for E-plane
and H-plane at 2.4 GHz. The highest gain is 3.482 dB. E-plane is xy plane when the theta is at phi = 90 . The main lobe magnitude is

UHF (800 MHz-3GHz) Band Antenna For Communication Applications

48

3.2 dB at 169 direction. While H-plane is x-z plane when theta is


at phi = 0 whilst the main lobe magnitude is 2.9 dB at 163
direction.
3.5

CONCLUSION

For the conclusion, the desired antenna having an omnidirectional


radiation pattern, wideband bandwidth with suitable gain and
operate within the range of 800 MHz to 3 GHz had been achieved.
Thus, there is no need to purchase for different antennas for each
frequency. The feature of each band can be optimized by tuning the
position, shape and size of the embedded slots on the radiating
patch, and the height of substrate. For this project, FR4 substrate
has been chosen instead of Taconic.
3.6 REFERENCES
Yuta Nakamura, H.K., Ramesh K. Pokharel, Keiji Yoshida, Design
and performance of electrically small planar antennas with
matching circuit at 2.4GHz band. Asia-Pacific Microwave
Conference, 2008: p. 1-4.
Ghouddane, N.E., M., A Novel Compact Multiband Planar
Antenna for Wireless and Mobile Handsets. Mediterrannean
Microwave Symposium (MMS), 2009: p. 1-4.
A. Babar, L.U., L. Sydanheimo, Dual UHF RFID Band
Miniaturized Multipurpose Planar Antenna for Compact
Wireless. 2010 International Workshop on Antenna Technology
(iWAT), 2010: p. 1-4.
Balanis, C.A., Microstrip Antenna. Chapter 14 in Antenna Theory:
Analysis Design, Third Edition, Wiley: p. 811-872.
A. Babar, L.U., M. Soini, L. Sydanheimo, Miniaturized UHF
Planar Antenna for Wireless Indoor Systems. APSURSI 09.
IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society International
Sysmposium, 2009: p. 1-4.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5


49

A. Babar, L.U., A.Z. Elsherbani, L.Sydanheimo, Small High


Performance Ultra Wideband UHF Multipurpose Planar
Antenna. 2010 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society
International Sysmposium (APSURSI), 2010: p. 1-4.
Chuang, C.-C.L.a.H.-R., A 2.4GHz Planar Printed Antenna with
Omni-directional Horizontally Polarized Pattern for WLAN
Applications. 2003
J. Jung, K.S., W. Choi, J. Choi, Wideband monopole antenna for
various mobile communication applications. 21 no.24: p.
1313-1314.
DAHLAN, A.M.B.M., SHORTED PATCH ANTENNA WITH
PARASITIC ELEMENTS. 2009.
Kamarudin, A.M.B.M.D.a.M.R., Shorted Microstrip Patch
Antenna with Parasitic Elements. Universiti Teknologi
Malaysia: Final Year Project Presentation Slides, 2008.
Ghafar, N.B.A., Design Of A Compact Microstrip Antenna At
2.4ghz. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: Masters Thesis, 2005.

Downlink Ultra Wideband Photonic Antenna

50

DOWNLINK ULTRA WIDEBAND


PHOTONIC ANTENNA
Razali bin Ngah
Muhamad Hazwan bin Wahab

4.1 INTRODUCTION
A few years after the early investigation on ultra wideband (UWB)
wireless system, considerable research efforts have been put into the
design of UWB antennas for communications system. The UWB
technology brings the convenience and mobility of wireless
communications with higher and bigger data rates. In short range,
UWB photonic antenna is the leading technology for freeing people
from wires, enabling wireless connection of multiple devices for
transmission of video, audio and other high bandwidth data. For
longer-range radio technologies, UWB photonic antenna is used in
such as WiFi, WiMAX, and cellular wide area communications.
Even though the UWB technology has experienced many
significant developments in recent years, there are still challengers
in making this technology live up. The main challenge in UWB
antenna design is the extremely wide impedance bandwidth while
still maintaining the high radiation efficiency. By definition, UWB
antenna must be operating over the entire 3.1 GHz 10.6 GHz
frequency range. The high radiation efficiency is also required
especially for UWB applications to make sure the transmit power
spectral density requirement achieved. Furthermore, a nearly omnidirectional radiation pattern is also desirable hence it enables

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

51

freedom in the receiver and transmitter location. This implies


maximizing the half power beam-width and minimizing directivity.
4.2

UWB ANTENNA DESIGN CONSIDERATION

The important thing in the UWB communication systems is the


choice of a specific UWB antenna design based on the application
main requirements. Nowadays, modern telecommunication systems
require antennas with wider bandwidth and smaller dimensions than
conventionally possible. Most of the art of UWB antennas focuses
in the microstrip, slot and planar monopole antennas with different
matching techniques to improve the bandwidth ratio without loss of
its radiation pattern properties. The expected antennas are omnidirectional patterns, small size and simple structure that produce
low distortion and provide large bandwidth. To increase the
matching impedance bandwidth ratio it needs to increase the size,
height, volume or feeding and matching techniques. Radiators may
be slotted to increase the impedance matching, especially at higher
frequency. Fractal antenna may also be used to obtain low VSWR
UWB performance. The planar monopole antennas are promising
antennas for UWB applications due to their simple structure, low
profile, easy to fabricate and UWB characteristics with nearly
omnidirectional radiation patterns. The large lateral size or
asymmetric geometry of the planar radiator causes the crosspolarized radiation. The critical issue in this UWB antenna design is
the size of the antenna for portable devices. The reduction in
antenna size presents various problems due to the performance
penalties in antenna characteristics, such as impedance, efficiency,
and bandwidth. Therefore, to miniaturize the antennas capable of
providing ultra wide bandwidth for impedance matching and
acceptable gain will be a challenging task. The current behavior of
the antenna is investigated in order to obtain new slotted UWB
antenna.
4.3

L-SLOTTED UWB ANTENNA

Downlink Ultra Wideband Photonic Antenna

52

In order to obtain the ultra wide bandwidth, small size antenna, and
omni directional radiation, four matching techniques are applied to
the proposed UWB antennas like the use of slots, notches at the
bottom of patch, and the truncation ground plane. All these
techniques are applied to the small UWB antenna without
diminishing the required UWB antennas performance. The size of
slots and notches are critically affected to the impedance bandwidth
and antenna performance. The distance between ground planes to
the bottom of the patch is as matching point, where it determines
the resonance frequency. To make sure the broad bandwidth can be
obtained, the proper and good designs on those parameters are
required.
4.4

ANTENNA GEOMETRY

This proposed antenna, shown in Figure 4.1, originates from


conventional rectangular monopole and is realized by adding
inverted L slot for patch. The antenna has a compact dimension of
30 26 mm (Wsub Lsub), designed on FR4 substrate with
thickness of 1.6 mm and relative dielectric constant (r) of 4.7.

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

53

Figure 4.1 Geometry of L slotted UWB antenna

The radiator is fed by a microstrip line with 3 mm width


(wf). In the front view, a rectangular patch with size of 16 12 mm
(w l) is printed. The two notches size of 1 2 mm (W1 L1) and
1.5 0.5 mm (W2 L2) are at the two lower corners of radiation
patch. The distance of h between the rectangular patch to ground
plane printed on the back surface substrate is 1.5 mm, and the
length (lgrnd) of truncated ground plane of 11 mm. The excitation
is a 50 microstrip line printed on the partial grounded substrate.
The slot size of W3, W4, L3, and L4 are 11, 2, 1.5, 5.5 mm,
respectively. The main objective in this antenna design is to reduce
the size. Obviously, it is difficult to do this without degrading the
antenna performance but the main question is whether this
degradation is acceptable or not for a given application.
4.5 EFFECTS OF NOTCHES AT THE BOTTOM OF PATCH
RADIATOR
Figure 4.2 shows the rectangular antenna with various steps
notches cutting at the bottom edge of the patch. The feed width (wf)
is set to be 3 mm and 12.5 mm is set to the length of the feed line.
The first and second notch dimensions are (1 2) mm2 and (1.5
0.5) mm2. Cutting notches at the bottom techniques aim to change
the distance between the lower part of the planar monopole antenna
with the ground plane in order to tune the capacitive coupling and
wider the impedance bandwidth to be achieved. This technique is
proved by the simulation result shown in Figure 4.3.

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Figure 4.2 Various steps notches cutting at the bottom of patch

Figure 4.3 Simulated return loss of various steps notches

As shown in Figure 4.3, the return loss of antenna with two


steps notches cutting at the bottom edge is the worst curve with
respect under -10 dB. For the two steps notches, the return loss
curve is the best, covering 3.48 GHz to 12.37 GHz of frequency
ranges. While one step notch at the bottom provides a good
matching bandwidth at below 3.50 GHz and start degrading at
higher frequencies.
Table 4.1 The effect of notches to the simulated -10 dB bandwidths

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

Lower frequency (fL)


(GHz)
3.50

Upper frequency (fU)


(GHz)
9.00

3.50

11.70

3.48

12.37

Notch

55

4.6 EFFECTS OF FEED GAP


The feed gap between ground planes to the bottom of patch is
known has important effect to the impedance bandwidth. The
modified truncated ground plane acts as an impedance matching
element to monitor the impedance bandwidth of a rectangular
patch. The truncation creates a capacitive load that neutralizes the
inductive nature of the patch to produce nearly-pure resistive input
impedance. Figure 4.4 shows the simulated return loss curves for
two different feed gaps to the ground plane. It is shown that the -10
dB operating bandwidth of the antenna varies with the variation of
the feed gap (h) and the dimension of the ground plane. The
optimal feed gap is found to be 1.5 mm.

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Figure 4.4 Simulated return loss curves of L slotted antenna for different
feed gaps.

Table 4.2 Simulated -10 dB bandwidths of the L slotted antenna for


different feed gaps

h (mm)
1
1.5

Lower frequency (fL)


(GHz)
3.5
3.4

Upper frequency(fU)
(GHz)
17.8
13.0

Table 4.2 shows that the -10 dB bandwidth of L slotted


antenna does not change much with the variation of the feed gap of
the ground plane below 1.5 mm. But beyond this ranges, it will
degrade the impedance bandwidth performance.
4.7 EFFECT OF INVERTED L SLOT

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The simulated return loss for inverted L slots antennas is shown in


Figure 4.5. It shows that the L slots have improved the return loss
at lower frequencies range. The return loss provides a very broad
bandwidth below -10 dB. Return Loss

Figure 4.5 The simulated return loss of inverted L slots design for antenna

4.8 PROTOTYPE AND MEASUREMENT RESULTS


The photograph of L slotted UWB antenna has been captured and
shown in Figure 4.6. In this prototype, measurements are done by
using a 50- SMA connecter which is soldered at the bottom edge
of microstrip line. It is connected to network analyzer by an RF
cable. The RF cable clearly affects the performance of antenna
under test. However, some differences in the simulated and
measured results are expected, since in the simulation model the
mismatch because of the adapter and connector used are not taken
into consideration.

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Figure 4.6 Prototype of inverted L slotted UWB antenna

As shown in Figure 4.7, the measured return loss curves for


L slot antennas is reasonably close to the simulated results. It is
shown that both results have produced multiple resonances
frequencies, which is shifted from the simulated resonances.
However, they are still covering the UWB bandwidth requirement.

Figure 4.7 The measured and simulated return loss for L slotted antenna

Antenna and Applied Electromagnetic Application-Volume 5

(a)

E plane

(b)

59

H plane

E plane

H plane

Figure 4.8 The simulated E and H planes (a) 4 GHz, (b) 5.2 GHz
F a r - f ie ld a m p litu d e o f S tu d e n t D r R a z a li 4 .0 G H z ( m u h a m a d H a z w a n ) .n s i
345

345

330

30
45

60

285

-3 0

-2 0

-1 0

90

105

120

225

135
210

150
195

180

165

E plane

45

60

285

75

270

-4 0

dB

255

240

30

300

75

-4 0

15

315

300

270

330

315

(a)

F a r - f ie ld a m p litu d e o f S tu d e n t D r R a z a li 4 .0 G H z ( m u h a m a d H a z w a n ) .n s i

15

-3 0

-2 0

-1 0

90

dB

255

105

240

120

225

135
210

150
195

180

165

H plane

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F a r - f ie ld a m p litu d e o f S tu d e n t D r R a z a li 5 .2 G H z ( m u h a m a d H a z w a n ) .n s i
345

F a r - f ie ld a m p litu d e o f S tu d e n t D r R a z a li 5 .2 G H z ( m u h a m a d H a z w a n ) .n s i

15

345

330

30
45

60

285

-3 0

-2 0

-1 0

90

105

120

225

135
210

150
195

180

165

E plane

45

60

285

75

270

-4 0

dB

255

240

30

300

75

-4 0

15

315

300

270

330

315

(b)

60

-3 0

-2 0

-1 0

90

dB

255

105

240

120

225

135
210

150
195

180

165

H plane

Figure 4.9 The measured E and H planes (a) 4 GHz, (b) 5.2 GHz

The elevation patterns for the UWB antennas are simulated


at the H-plane ( = 00, yz-plane) and E-plane ( = 90, xy-plane).
The E-plane pattern is the radiation pattern measured in a plane
containing feed. H-plane pattern is the radiation pattern in a plane
orthogonal to the E-plane. Both simulated results are compared to
the measured H-plane and E-plane for 4 GHz and 5.2 GHz, as
shown in Figure 4.8 and 4.9. For simulated radiation, we look in
360 degree meanwhile 180 degree for measured radiation. The
results show that the radiation patterns changes as the frequency
increases. The measured H-planes show the omni-directional
radiation pattern over the frequencies. The patterns resulted from
the measurements have many ripples in amplitude because of many
reflections into the field between the AUT and the probe. The
reflections may originate from the room (wall), chamber scattering,
antenna holder itself and track inside the anechoic chamber. Various
types of leakage occurred were also considered as pattern
degradation in performance. The clearest degradation is probably
from improper cable connectors allowing excitation of the outside
surface.
4.9 BIASING CIRCUIT

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61

A bias circuit is a three port network used for setting the DC bias
point of some electronic equipment without disturbing other
components. The low frequency port is used to set the bias; the
high frequency port passes the radio frequency signals but blocks
the biasing levels. The combined port integrates to the device,
which sees both the bias and RF. It is called a tee because the 3
ports are arranged in the shape of an alphabet T.

Figure 4.10 Equivalent circuit of a bias tee

Figure 4.10 shows that the equivalent circuit of a bias tees.


Basically, the bias tee can be viewed as an ideal capacitor that
allows AC through but prohibits the DC bias and an ideal inductor
that blocks AC but allows DC bias. Bias tee is designed for
transmission line environments which is the characteristic
impedance will be 50 ohms.
4.10BIASING CIRCUIT DESIGN
The important thing in biasing circuit is the impedance matching to
ensure that it is suitable for connection with feeding line of antenna.

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Figure 4.11 Designing of bias circuit tees

A bias tee is used to insert DC power into an AC signal to


power remote antenna amplifiers or other components. Normally
the positioned at the receiving end of the coaxial cable to pass DC
power from an external source to the coaxial cable running to
powered device. A bias tee consists of a feed inductor to deliver DC
to a connector on the device side and a blocking capacitor to keep
DC from passing through to the receiver. The RF signal is
connected directly from one connector to another connector with
only the blocking capacitor in series. The internal blocking diode
prevents damage to the bias to avoid the reverse supply voltage. In
designing of bias circuit tee using the AWR Microwave Software as
shown in Figure 4.11, it do need the capacitor because of the
amplifier of remote antenna is not used in the design. Besides, at a
high frequency enough, the stray capacitance presents a low
impedance shunt path for the signal, and the bias tee becomes
ineffective.
4.11SIMULATION RESULT
As shown in Figure 4.12, the simulated return loss curve for both
port in biasing circuit. It is shown that the both result have
produced the acceptable result for matching with feed line in 50

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ohm. It is means that 90 percent of biasing circuit performance can


achieve in operation.

Figure 4.12 Simulated return loss for biasing circuit.

4.12

PROTOTYPE AND MEASUREMENT RESULTS

The photograph of bias circuit has been produced and shown in


Figure 4.13. In this prototype, the biasing circuit is produced
without connecting any components. Figure 4.14 shows that the
complete biasing circuit which is connected with connector and RF
choke. In this prototype, measurements are done by using a 50-
SMA connecter which is soldered at the bottom edge of the
microstrip line. It is connected to network analyzer by the RF cable.
The RF cable clearly affects the performance of antenna under test.

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64

However, some differences in the simulated and measured results


are expected hence the losses.

Figure 4.13 Prototype of biasing circuit without RF choke and connector

Figure 4.14 Complete prototype of biasing circuit with SMA connector


and RF choke

As shown in Figure 4.15, the measured return loss curves for both
port of biasing circuit are quite different to the simulated results. It

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65

is shown that both results have produced face distortion at high


frequency but they are still covering the UWB bandwidth
requirement for s11 as sown in Figure 4.15 (a). For S 21 as shown in
Figure 4.15(b), the frequency ranges cover 3 GHz to 6 GHz with
respect to -1 dB of return loss.

(a)

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(b)
Figure 4.15 The measured return loss for biasing circuit UWB antenna:
(a) for S11 (b) for S21

4.13

UWB PHOTONIC ANTENNA

From the simulation and measurement UWB antenna and the


biasing circuit, it can be matching each other to produce the
photonic UWB antenna as shown in Figure 4.16.

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67

Figure 4.16 Prototype: The UWB antenna integrates with bias circuit.

Figure 4.17 Prototype: The UWB antenna integrate with bias circuit in
the same substrate

Figure 4.17 shows the prototype of UWB antenna that


integrates with biasing circuit in the same board that operates in 3
GHz until 10.6 GHz.

4.14

DOWNLINK UWB PHOTONIC ANTENNA

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Figure 4.18 Block diagram of downlink UWB photonic antenna

Figure 4.18 shows that the block diagram of downlink


photonic antenna operating from 3 GHz until 10.6 GHz frequency
with integration of photonic devices using radio over fiber (RoF)
technology concept and real image of downlink UWB antenna as
shown in Figure 4.19 that connected to the fiber optic as medium
transmission and PSI.

Figure 4.19 Prototype of downlink UWB photonic antenna

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4.15

69

CONCLUSION

This chapter presents the design and development of L slotted


UWB photonic antenna with circular chamber ground plane. Four
matching techniques have been applied in order to meet the UWB
requirements such as L slots for patch and feeding strip, truncation
ground plane, slotted ground plane and cutting notches at the
bottom of patch radiator. Performance analysis in simulation
software has been done before the real prototype was developed.
The effect of various cutting notches at the bottom of patch
radiator, slotted ground plane, and the effect of inverted L slots to
antenna performance have been evaluated. The inverted L slotted
antenna had shown the return loss varies from -13 dB to -30 dB.
However, during fabrication process and measurement, the slightly
shifted impedance bandwidth has occurred.

REFERENCES
Dr.S.S.Verma, Power over Fiber, Science Tech Entrepreneur,
October, 2007
Teguh Prakaso, Razali Ngah, Tharek Abdul Rahman, Active
Photonic Antenna for Wireless Communications at 2.4 GHz
, IEEE International RF and Microwave Conference
Proceedings, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2008)
V. Sittakul and M. J. Cryan, "A 2.4-GHz Wireless-over-Fibre
System Using Photonic Active Integrated Antennas (PhAIAs)
in Adhoc and Infrastructure Modes," in Microwave
Conference, 2007. APMC 2007. Asia-Pacific, 2007, pp. 1-4.
Vitawat Sittakul and Martin J. Cryan, A Fully Bidirectional 2.4GHz Wireless-Over-Fiber System Using Photonic Active
Integrated Antennas (PhAIAs), Journal Of Lightwave
Technology, Vol. 25, No. 11, November 2007

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Yusnita Rahayu, Design and Development of Antenna for Ultra


Wideband Application, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
November 2008.