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Re-configurable Sierpinski Gasket Antenna using

RF-MEMS Switches

D.Anagnorfou*', M. T.Chryrromnllir', J. C. Lyke', and C. G.Chrirtodoulou'

' Thc Univcniry o f N w Mcxico, USA,
D ~ ~ D I C WUnivenityaflhracc.
I ~rccce.
'Air Farce Rercaich LahoralovNSSE Kirtland AFB.

Abstract-Fractal anicnnri h a w bccn well known for fhcir multiband ChuactcnSticS. A new approach to mulfi-
frequency rei'onfigurabie antennas using RF MEMS switches is presented hcre. Fractal antenna elemcnli can he
conncctcd logether using RF MEMS witches in order to achieve a lager number of remnances. The W MEMS
IwitrhcI permil a controlled connectivity of refdons ofthe antenna's conductive pans. This conductive coupling
between the m a ~ g uelementsl~ p r w d c s clear multiple frequency operation with a single fractal a l e m a . The
m ~ l y s i sand design principles are diicussrd and pmenred hcre.

l n d a Temr - Frocml antennas. Sirrpinihi. Re-confipurobk antennas. RF-MEMS

Muluband anlnoas, with the ability to radiate more than one panem. at diffeicnl hequcncics, arc n c c e i i q in radar
and modem ielecommwlicalion iysfcmr [I-51. The q u i r e m e n t i for incrcassd functionality, such as DOA
cst8mation. radar. ~ o n t mand
l command, within r canfined vdume, plrcc I grearcr burden in today's wansmitllng
and receib'ing sysiems. A sdution to this problem is the rc-configurable antenna.

In this aoik, RF MEMS are u e d m conjunction with a classic Sierpiniki hactal antenna T C the hasir of a
I ~ I Y C ~ U as
n m rri'antigurrhlc anfcnna approach [6-71. In thc past, re-configurable anfcnnai have been rirtrictcd to thc YIC of
non-fractal dements, such as printed dipoles or ~ o n ~ e n l m n microsrip
al anfcnnas. Here the UIC of fractal shapes
permits a highly ieconilgurable rmcrure with different Curcent path lengths that can he used in multiple frequency
appliertioni. The aim is to be able LO adjust the cumnls on each element and thereforc the radiation paltem far the
rcquircd frequency of operation, pdanaation and mission in general. Several examplcr and their rCIuls are
pierentcd and discussed


In gcncrri. the coupling bciween chi elements o f a frrcfrl antenna IS very wrak. Here we conridcr that the clcmems
are canncctcd with a h " ideal RF MEMS witches. Therefore a witch conducrively C O ~ C C ~WSO adjacent
mtenna'i elcmcnts when it IS acriwed. changing thc antenna's physical dimensions and shape. Small gaps arc
crearedmIh~ctchedfractalan,mna,whichare bndgedsmall m ~ m l lpatchciwithdimeniionrlerr
r than2xlmm.

The preicnco ofthe witches themicive, has s 'try little effccr an the pirfomancc of thc antenna. The magnitude of
the reflection coefficirnt Si! with the switches prcient but no! activated remains below-l0dB all over lhr antenna's
bandwidth. Several cases were rnrlyred with the w i t c h e s fumed ON and OFF a! different locrtimi ofthe h a d

In the falloiving figurcs, the activated elements (those with cunenrr) s n shown m bluc, while the inactive ones with
gray. The m i r e anlenna rcgian cm be symmetric around the y-axis of the antenna as in Figurer I and 2. or non-
5ymmrrnc as 8n Figures 3 and 4.Also, the active dcmcntr c m he ~ymmelrlcwith respect to the ground plane o r c m
hi a dipole like sflllclure ~n frec spacc as in Figure 5 , where the antennas have the same S I , nrpanre. hut different
radiation pairem. By examining more configwatiani. a m a l of I?resonant frcqucncios am obtamd. Sir of there
frequencies are helow 1.7 G k namely at: 450 MHz, 6W MHz. 1.2 GHr 1.4 GHr 1.5 G k and 1.6 GH2. and mast
with a dipole like radiation partem.

n-7xn3-7846-61n3~17.no02003 IEEE 375

- > -

Figure 2. Symmrmc resoniigurable antenna ~ l m c t u ewith 1activated elements and its S t >charactenstic

I 1

Figure 3. Non?)muneaic reionfigurablc antema srmchvc with 6 activated elcmcnts and ifs S I , charactenstics


... I, ...
*i ,ill..*, .,..?.I

I I I: ::::::::: :::,:E

A new approach lo multiple frcqueney fractal antemas wing RF MEMS switcher was prsianlsd. Instead ofutilizing
only the rerooan! frcqucncies offered 10 fhc dcsigncr by the nafyrc of thc frarlal antennas,additional rsronancsr can
be cnforccd to the IINC~YTC by making YIS of RF MEMS swilchcs. The placement of each w i t c h can coni01 the
current an cach conductive pan ofa fractal M ~ C I I OThat
I. affects the resonance behavior ofthe entire antenna and if$
radiation pmsm. This way. mdt~frasralantcnna S ~ Y C ~ Y T Csuch
I as a fracfal within a fractal as described in this
paper, can be dsrigned. Several other types of fractal antennas C M be used m conjunction with RF MEMS switcher
Io crcstc a icianfigurable and more vsnatilc antcnna. Coed matching though still remains a 5 ~ c i o uchallrnge with
this lypc of antennas. Fmally,such an approach to re+urabls anrcnnas permits dclibcrats alfsraliolli in antenna
performance IOaccommodate changer in mission. mvirmment, t~lcrancc to defecrr and faults in modcm
communieatian systems.



[I] J. GianGtto6a. Y. Rahmat-Sam$. Frucml E l m " A n ~ n n o r :A Campilolion of C o n g i ~ r a t i o mwith Novel

Characierircicr, Antennas and Propagation for Wireless CO-. 2w0, E - A P S Confcrmcc, pp. I29 -132
(21 C. Pucnle, J. Rome4 R POUS,X Garcib F. B e n i t q F , ~ c t l l l n i u l t i b o n d o n t ~boredon
"~~ theSlerpinski gasket,
Elecmnicr Leucrs. Volume: 32 Irsur: I,4 Ian. 1996, Page($): I-2
[3] J. R o m q I. Soltr, Generalized Siwpinski,imml mulrrbmd onenno. Ante- and Propagation, IEEE
Trmactiomon,Volume:49 Isrue: 8, Aug. 2001, Page($): 1237-123
141 C. Pucnta-Baliarda, J. Romcu, R. POUS,A. Cardamn. On the firhovior oJ rhr Sierpinrki mvliibondfiaetol
onle""~Anlcnn~andhopagation,IEEETranr., Va1.46 I s r u c : d A p ~ l 1 9 9 8 w .517-524
[5] D. Anagnarmq C.G. Ch6mdoulou. and J.C. Lyke, ResonJproble Army Aniannos fir Widebond
Applicarions, IEEE Aerospace Confcrencc.March. 2002
[a] D.Anagnorrou, M. Khdicr. J. Lykc, C. Chnstdoulau. FracmI antenna with W-MEMS switcher for muliipls
frequency applications. Antemas and Propagation Society lnrsmarianal Symposium 2032, E, V o l m : 2.
2002, pp. 22-25.
[7l D.Anagnoslau. Frocrd Anlennor wirh RF.MEMS Switches, M u t u s Thsrir. University of New Mexico,
Elccaical and Compvtcr Enginiring Dcpl, Decsmber 2002.