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CHAPTER 5

DEVELOPMENT OF MODIFIED KOCH

FRACTAL ANTENNA

In this chapter the proposed structure is based on a modified planar Koch

curve fractal antenna, whose geometrical dimensions are determined by iterative

function system for fractal curve generation. A critical comparison of modified Koch

curve fractal antenna with conventional Koch curve fractal antenna has also been

presented. The asymmetrical ground plane has been optimized by means of BFO and

PSO to make the proposed antenna miniaturized and feasible for wide band operation

that can be used for telemedicine applications. In order to assess the reliability of the

antenna, experiments have been performed on the fabricated antenna prototype.

5.1 Introduction

New and Ultra-wide band (UWB) wireless schemes are needed with

increasing demand for improved performances, high bit rate transmission speeds and

the desire for synonymous operation with several different technologies [5], [30],

[83]. UWB has become efficient solution for indoor wireless radio, imaging and

radars. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated the 3.1 to 10.6

GHz band for UWB modern communications [28], [62]. UWB generally refers to

system that either has a large absolute bandwidth or a large relative bandwidth [45],

[73], [170]. In modern wireless applications, antenna function could be required to

operate beyond the 10.6 GHz upper frequency band limit, designated by the FCC.

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Such applications can feature very high data rate, low power consumption and better

immunity to multipath effects [131], [148]. Most of the UWB monopole antennas

investigated till today are non-planar [52], [98] and due to their bulge structure, they

cannot be integrated with integrated circuits and they are comparably weaker in

physical strength. In [74], [80] CPW-fed circular disc monopole antenna for UWB

applications has been presented. Another study available in [41] has reported a

CrownSierpinski microstrip antenna to reduce the size of a crown square fractal. The

frequency notched ultra-wideband microstrip slot antenna with a fractal tuning stub is

proposed in [87], [88] to achieve frequency notched function. An UWB fractal

antenna by adopting the fractal concept on the CPW-fed circular UWB antenna has

been proposed [42]. It has been found that by modification and perturbation in fractal

geometry, the multi band and miniaturization nature of these antennas can be

controlled. A method to overcome the problems with small antennas is to exploit the

ground plane of the device in to an active part of the system. Because of ground plane,

the technique comes at no addition cost or complexity [110]. Printed monopole

antennas use the ground plane through current induction to produce an asymmetric

image [79]. This concept can enhance the performance of compact microstrip

antennas considerably in terms of bandwidth, efficiency and gain [67], [92].

As per the idea of adding another degree of freedom, this work presents

preliminary results concerned with a modified Koch antenna printed on a FR4

dielectric substrate and operating in UWB region for wireless telemedicine

applications. The design of the fractal geometry is carried out through a numerical

procedure and parameters of ground plane have been optimized using BFO and PSO

to obtain a multi and ultra-wide band behavior. The concept of BFO is based on the

fact that natural selection tends to eliminate animals with poor foraging strategies and

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favor those having successful foraging strategies [40]. After various generations, poor

foraging strategies are either eliminated or restructured in to good ones [90]. The

basic concept of PSO lies in accelerating each particle toward its pbest and gbest

locations, with a randomly weighted acceleration at each time step. In order to assess

the effectiveness of the design procedure and the characteristics of the synthesized

antenna, the obtained numerical results are compared with the measurements from an

experimental prototype.

5.2 Design and Structure

In this section, the design approach for the conventional Koch curve fractal

and modified Koch curve antenna has been discussed. The space filing property of

fractals that encloses a long infinite curve in a finite space has been used in Koch

fractals. This space filling property is being utilized to realize miniaturized and small

antennas. The technique used to produce the fractals called initiator-generator

construction has been implemented to obtain the proposed geometry. This technique

begins with a specified initiator, and a generator which is applied repeatedly in a

lower scale to form the fractal geometries [158]. Figure 5.1 shows the geometrical

construction of the standard Koch curve antenna for zero iteration, K0, first iteration

K1 and second iteration K2. Figure 5.2 shows the geometrical construction of

modified Koch curve antenna for zero iteration, KM0, first iteration KM1 and second

iteration KM2. The dimensional parameters of the proposed modified Koch fractal

antenna are detailed in Table 5.1. The structural description of the modified Koch

fractal antenna for zero, first and second iteration is shown in Figure 5.3.

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Table 5.1 Dimensional parameters of modified Koch fractal antenna
Parameters Values
Dielectric constant, r 4.4
Height of the substrate, h 1.6 mm
Width of curve strip 1.0 mm
Length of ground plane, X 50 mm
Width of ground plane, Y 50 mm
Height of modified Koch curve, L 35 mm

Figure 5.1 Geometrical Construction of standard Koch curve [158].

Figure 5.2 Geometrical construction of modified Koch curve.

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(a) (b)

(c)
Figure 5.3 Geometry of proposed modified Koch fractal antenna for (a) zero iteration
(b) first iteration (c) second iteration

5.2.1 IFS for Modified Koch Curve

An iterative function system (IFS) can be effectively used to generate the

modified Koch curve. A set of affine transformations forms the IFS for its generation.

In proposed modified Koch curve fractal antenna, indentation angle has been

changed to 45 to fix the values r1 = r2 = r3 = r4 = r5 = r6 and also for preserving the

height, L constant for all iterations as shown in Figure 5.2. The transformations to

obtain the segments of the generator are [157]:

1
x' 0 x
w1 3.414 (5.1)
y' 1 y
0
3.414

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1
x' 0 x 10 (5.2)
w2 3.414
y' 1 y 0
0
3.414

1 1
x' cos 45 sin 45 x 10 (5.3)
w3 3.414 3.414
y' 1 1 y 10
sin 45 cos 45
3.414 3.414

1 1
x' cos 45 sin 45 x 17.07 (5.4)
w4 3.414 3.414
y' 1 1 y 17.07
sin 45 cos 45
3.414 3.414

1
x' 0 x 24.14 (5.5)
w5 3.414
y' 1 y 10
0
3.414

1
x' 0 x 24.14
w6 3.414 (5.6)
y' 1 y 0
0
3.414

Where the scale factor is angle dependent and is given by [158]:

= = (5.7)

This ensures the distance between the start and end points for all iterations is the

same. It may be easily verified that this formulation degenerates to the standard Koch

curve for = 45.The generator can be obtained similar to Equation 5.8.

A1 = W1 (A) U W2 (A) U W3 (A) U W4 (A) U W5 U W6 (5.8)

These affine transformations in the generalized case also lead to self-similar fractal

geometry. The similarity dimension is obtained as [157]:

D= = = 1.45 (5.9)

Fractal dimension is an important characteristic of fractal geometry. This is not a

unique description for the geometry; instead it describes a group of geometries with

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similar nature. So a first step in the utilization of fractal properties in antenna design

should include the dimension of the geometry.

5.2.2 Curve Fitting Implementation

The MATLAB software has been used for curve fitting method to form a

relationship between the design parameters (x) and the corresponding bandwidth

(BW) of the proposed modified Koch curve fractal geometry. In case of fractal

geometries their resonant properties depend on the dimensions of the structure. EM

simulator has been used to generate data sets by varying ground plane dimension of

the antenna and after applying these values, following equation was obtained that

represents the mapping of bandwidth with the design parameter:

BW = (0.001006 x3 0.1286 x2 + 5.233 x 64.82) (5.10)

5.2.3 BFO Implementation

The role of the BFO in this case is to find the optimized values of the ground

plane dimension (width, x) that defines the best modified Koch to resonate with

required frequency bandwidth (8-12 GHz) of X-band region. In order to start the BFO

process this parameter was initialized with suitable lower and upper bound that

defines a solution space in which the BFO searches for the optimal design parameter

of the geometry. The input variables of BFO for the proposed antenna are detailed in

Table 5.2. The fitness function, given by Equation 5.11, was developed to find the

ground plane size of the proposed antenna to obtain required bandwidth.

Fitness function = (4.0 BW) 2 (5.11)

Where BW is the processed output from cost function, corresponding to the required

bandwidth of the antenna.

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Table 5.2 Input parameters of BFO
Parameters Details of Parameters Values of
Parameters
S Total number of bacteria in the population 16
Nc Number of chemotactic step 25
Ns Swimming length 4
Nre Number of reproduction steps 4
Ned Number of elimination-dispersal events 2
Ped Elimination-dispersal probability 0.125

5.2.4 PSO Implementation

The dimensions of ground plane (width, x) have been optimized using PSO

also, that defines the best modified Koch to resonate with required frequency

bandwidth. In the PSO loop, a swarm is initialized with population of random

positions and velocities of antenna parameters (width of ground plane, x) with their

lower and upper bounds in solution space. The Equation 5.11 is taken as a fitness

function for PSO to find the designed parameter of the proposed structure. After

getting the swarm initialization and a fitness function, the task is to set the value of

the optimization parameters and run the PSO program. The particle position (SN) and

velocity (VN) was changed according to the Equations 5.12 and 5.13. In the present

work c1 and c2 are set to 2.0 and the inertial weights are varied linearly from 0.9 to 0.4

over iteration, finally w is set at 0.7. The instantaneous frequencies were developed

using curve fitting method. The particles position can be modified according to the

following equations [65]:

SN+1 = SN +V N+1 (5.12)

VN+1 = w V N + c1r1 (Pbest - SN) + c2r2 (gbest - SN) (5.13)

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5.2.5 Design Steps of Proposed Antenna

The step-by-step design procedure may be summarized as follows:

Step1. Input the desired bandwidth.

Step2. Optimization loop, with the use of curve fitting relation, determines the

design dimensions of the ground plane of Modified Koch fractal antenna.

Step3. If the antenna produces the desired bandwidth, the design process is terminated

Step4. Use the optimized dimensions to fabricate the antenna for experimental

validation.

Figure 5.4 shows the flow graph of the design process of proposed fractal antenna.

Input the desired bandwidth

Curve fitting Optimization


equation loop

Ground plane dimension, x

Final proposed antenna design

Experimental verification

Figure 5.4 Methodology used for proposed fractal antenna design

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5.3 Results and Discussion

5.3.1 Resonant Properties of Modified Koch Curve

The simulation tool adopted for evaluating the performance of the Koch curve

antennas is IE3D software, which exploits the method of moments to solve the

electric field integral equation. Figure 5.5 shows the s-parameters for all the three

iterations of modified Koch curve that is KM0, KM1 and KM2. As expected, it was

demonstrated that increasing the total strip length in a Koch curve antenna of fixed

height, lowers its resonant frequency independent of antenna geometry. The proposed

antenna geometry fulfills the self-similarity property of fractal structures and exhibits

multiband characteristics. From the Figure 5.5 it is clear that the antenna is driven in

resonance at the frequency bands 2.12-2.40 GHz, 4.70-4.83 GHz, 7.40-7.60 GHz and

8.82-10 GHz for second iteration. The bandwidth at each frequency band is 12.41%,

2.72%, 2.66% and 12.55% respectively. It can be considered as a simultaneous multi

and wideband operation. Resonating characteristic of modified Koch fractal antenna

for all three iterations have been detailed in Table 5.3.

5.3.1.1 Input Impedance

The input impedance of an antenna is defined as the impedance presented by

the antenna at its terminals. The impedance of an antenna can be written as:

Zin = R + jX (5.14)

where Zin is the antenna impedance, R is the antenna resistance and X is the antenna

reactance of the terminals. The antenna resistance may be defined as the sum of two

resistances that is radiation resistance and ohmic losses. Typical input characteristics

of the first three iterations for the modified Koch curve antenna are shown in Figure

5.6 and Figure 5.7. And it is illustrated that with increase in iterations, the input

impedance improving significantly.

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Figure 5.5 S-parameters of modified Koch fractal for KM0, KM1 and KM2

Figure 5.6 Real part of input impedance for KM0, KM1 and KM2

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Figure 5.7 Imaginary part of input impedance for KM0, KM1 and KM2

Figure 5.8 VSWR of modified Koch fractal for KM0, KM1 and KM2

5.3.1.2 VSWR
VSWR is the ratio of the peak amplitude of a standing wave to the minimum

amplitude of a standing wave. The VSWR values of the proposed antenna for all the

three iterations are shown in Figure 5.8. The presented results reveal that for all the

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iterations, VSWR is less than 2 at respective resonating frequencies, as per antenna

requirement and getting better with increase in iterations.

Table 5.3 Resonant performance characteristics of proposed modified Koch fractal


No. of Resonant Return Input VSW Antenna Radiatio Gain
iteration Frequency Loss Impedance R Efficiency n (dBi)
(GHz) (dB) (Ohms) (%) Efficienc
y (%)
1.636 -22.63 56.27+j04.75 1.16 88.71 89.20 2.26

Zero 4.727 -14.75 47.54+j17.99 1.44 80.16 82.94 4.52


2.273 -14.10 53.75-j20.53 1.49 86.52 90.03 2.30
2.727 -22.42 53.56-j06.99 1.16 91.22 92.30 4.40
4.455 -22.69 53.67-j06.68 1.15 86.09 86.56 4.22
First 6.545 -16.89 46.59-j13.62 1.33 83.25 85.01 4.34
8.182 -27.48 51.99-j04.36 1.10 77.56 77.74 5.08
10.00 -31.16 49.6+j02.72 1.05 69.28 69.33 5.52
2.273 -17.17 38.06+j2.52 1.32 91.77 93.01 2.63
4.727 -13.78 55.43-j21.15 1.51 82.71 86.33 3.63
Second 7.545 -16.62 59.20-j13.38 1.34 81.67 83.49 4.30
9.455 -17.95 52.00+j12.86 1.29 65.75 66.82 5.14

5.3.1.3 Smith Chart


The smith chart is a fantastic tool for visualizing the impedance of

transmission line and the antenna system as a function of frequency. The smith chart

of all the three iterations such as KM0, KM1 and KM2 are shown in Figure 5.9. It

may be observed that input impedance of the proposed antenna is increasing with

increase in iterations of the proposed antenna.

5.3.1.4 Antenna Efficiency and Radiation Efficiency


The antenna and radiation efficiency of the proposed antenna for all the three

iterations are shown in Figure 5.10. The results obtained confirms that antenna and

radiation efficiency for all three iterations are equally better and the maximum

achievable antenna and radiation efficiency is 91.77% and 93.01% respectively at

2.273 GHz for the second iteration of proposed antenna.

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(a)

(b)

(c)
Figure 5.9 Smith chart for modified Koch fractal (a) KM0, (b) KM1 and (c) KM2

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(a)

(b)

(c)
Figure 5.10 Antenna and radiation efficiency for modified Koch fractal (a) KM0, (b)
KM1 and (c) KM2

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5.3.1.5 Gain

The gain of an antenna is the ratio of the maximum radiation intensity in given

direction to the maximum radiation intensity from a referenced antenna generated in

the same direction with same power input [16]. It is a basic property of an antenna.

The graph between maximum gain and frequency of the proposed antenna for zero,

first and second iteration of proposed modified Koch curve fractal antenna are shown

in Figure 5.11. The presented results reveal that there is considerable increment in the

values of gain with increase in the number of iterations, for the corresponding

resonating frequencies.

(a) (b)

(c)
Figure 5.11 Gain of modified Koch fractal for all the three iterations (a) KM0 (b)
KM1 and (c) KM2

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5.3.2 Analysis of Conventional and Modified Koch Curve Antenna

To analyze the resonance performance properties of these antennas, height of

all these antennas from end to end has been kept constant. From the resonant

performance data presented in Table 5.4 and Table 5.5, it is evident that modified

Koch curve antenna is significantly more effective in multiband characteristics than

standard Koch curve antenna. The presented results also describe that both the

antenna geometries exhibit similar behavior for resonant frequency, with increasing

total strip length, the antennas resonant frequency decreases. This is because of

increase in the effective electrical length of antenna.

Table 5.4 Analysis of resonant performance characteristics for first iteration.

Conventional Koch Curve Antenna Modified Koch Curve Antenna


Resonant Return Input Resonant Return Input
Frequency Loss (dB) Impedance Frequency Loss (dB) Impedance
(GHz) (Ohms) (GHz) (Ohms)
2.091 -17.6 41.23 2.273 -14.1 53.75
4.0 -12.23 39.88 2.727 -22.42 53.56
6.0 -28.29 47.42 4.455 -22.69 53.67
8.545 -19.97 52.78 6.545 -16.89 46.59
9.818 -25.75 45.68 8.182 -27.48 51.99
- - - 10.0 -31.16 49.6

Table 5.5 Analysis of resonant performance characteristics for second iteration

Conventional Koch Curve Antenna Modified Koch Curve Antenna


Resonant Return Input Resonant Return Input
Frequency Loss (dB) Impedance Frequency Loss (dB) Impedance
(GHz) (Ohms) (GHz) (Ohms)
2.091 -18.96 45.15 2.273 -17.17 38.06
3.636 -10.8 30.43 4.727 -13.78 55.43
5.364 -11.12 34.03 7.545 -16.62 59.2
- - - 9.455 -17.95 52

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5.3.3 Optimization of Asymmetrical Ground Plane using BFO and

PSO

The performance of the proposed antenna depends on their electrical size,

which is dependent on the dimensions of the ground plane, as it is an integral part of

the overall radiator. Figure 5.12 shows the proposed geometry with symmetrical

ground plane. The dimensions of the ground plane of proposed antenna has been

analyzed by varying its length (Y) and width (X) with step size of y and x including

the corresponding substrate layer, which makes the reference ground plane

asymmetrical as shown in Figure 5.13.

Figure 5.12 Proposed geometry with symmetrical ground plane

Figure 5.13 Proposed geometry with asymmetrical ground plane

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The design of the ground plane has been formulated in terms of an

optimization problem by defining and imposing suitable constraints on bandwidth. To

obtain a database from simulator for generating fitness function, the dimensions of the

left half of the proposed antenna has been varied from 0 mm to 20 mm. The below

given equations provide the values for analysis:

m
X = x+ t. x (5.15)
t 1

Y = y-y (5.16)

where m is the number of steps. Using the data; the equations representing the relation

among different parameters of ground plane are generated by Curve-fitting method in

MATLAB software. This relation has been used to obtain the fitness function for BFO

and PSO to optimize the ground plane structure in order to obtain ultra-wide band

operation. The purpose of using these optimization techniques are their simplicity and

cooperative knowledge, in comparison to other existing algorithms. Figure 5.14 gives

the graphical comparison of s-parameters between BFO and PSO. The various

antenna parameters and their simulated results using both the optimization techniques

have been detailed in Table 5.6. For making the comparative results in tabular form,

only the resonating frequencies of the X-band region have been considered here. A

final comparison establishes the width of ground, resonant frequency reflection

coefficient, bandwidth, and computational time for each optimization technique in

order to approximating the antenna performance. The best optimization technique is

found to be BFO as far as accuracy and resonating characteristics achieved is

considered. However, PSO is better in computational time. It is interesting to note

from Table 5.6, that BFO provided far better results compare to PSO with respect to

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obtaining bandwidth and reflection coefficient for the problem in hand. From the

presented results it is clear that the proposed antenna with asymmetrical ground plane

is an efficient radiator and outperformed in terms of occupied PCB area, electrical

size and bandwidth. The choice of a narrower PCB enables the designer to achieve

acceptable levels of performance with lower ground values. It indicates that the

element/ground plane combination can be tailored to suit the designers needs.

Though it looks as, aiming for larger bandwidth might offer the possibility of smaller

sizes at the same time. It is important to note that the printed elements coupled to the

ground in a unique way. The difference in overall performance between the elements

under study is directly a function of this coupling, which establishes the current

distribution on both the antenna and ground surface. This strengthens the fact that it is

bad practice to view the antenna as a separate component that would be selected at a

later design stage; it is an integrated part that must be designed along with the entire

transceiver circuit layout.

Figure 5.14 S11 parameter comparison of PSO and BFO

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Table 5.6 Comparison of PSO and BFO results for proposed antenna.
Parameters Width of Resonant Reflection Bandwidth Computational
ground Frequency Coefficient (%) Time (sec.)
plane, x (GHz) (dB)
(mm)
PSO 31.8 9.02 -24.35 36.31 1.08
10.83 -26.99
BFO 30.6 9.38 -35.35 45.79 9.02
11.27 -27.35

5.3.4 Experimental Results

In order to access the synthesized antenna, both numerical and experimental

tests have been carried out, and the results are briefly summarized in this section. The

parameters found using developed methodology were used to draw the structure of the

antenna; the structure were then simulated and fabricated for measurement. The

prototype is fabricated using standard printed circuit methods and the photograph of

the fabricated antenna is shown in Figure 5.15. The experimental S11 plot obtained

using Vector Network Analyzer is overlapped with the simulated plot for comparison

purpose as shown in Figure 5.16. The experimental data are in good agreement with

the simulated results besides some differences due to fabrication imperfection in the

realization of the prototype. It is clear from the obtained results that the proposed

structure resonates at 2.72 GHz (2.4 2.86 GHz), 5.17 GHz (4.65 5.33 GHz), 5.89

GHz (5.77 6.21 GHz) and 9.38 GHz, 11.27 GHz (8.42 13 GHz) covering WLAN,

WiMAX, Bluetooth and X-band region for wireless telemedicine applications. As

shown in Figure 5.16, a wide bandwidth has been obtained by using asymmetrical

ground plane along with the size reduction of about 40% in terms of the reduction in

ground plane conducting area.

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Figure 5.15 Photograph of fabricated antenna

Figure 5.16 Comparison of simulated and measured S11 results

5.3.5 Radiation Patterns

The radiation pattern of the antenna is defined as the relative distribution of

radiated power which is a function of the spatial directional coordinates. These

coordinates are expressed in terms of the elevated plane and the azimuthal plane [16].

Generally, it is a graphical representation of the radiated power from the antenna per

unit solid angle.

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Figure 5.17 Testing setup for measuring radiation patterns

(a) (b)
Figure 5.18 Simulated radiation patterns of modified Koch fractal antenna for zero
iteration (a) E-plane (b) H-plane

The testing setup for measurement of radiation patterns is shown in Figure

5.17. The simulated radiation patterns of the proposed modified Koch fractal antenna

for zero, first and second iterations are shown from Figure 5.18 to Figure 5.20. The

simulated and measured radiation characteristics of the optimized antenna are plotted

in Figure 5.21 and Figure 5.22 respectively.

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(a)

(b)
Figure 5.19 Simulated radiation patterns of modified Koch fractal antenna for first
iteration (a) E-plane (b) H-plane

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(a)

(b)
Figure 5.20 Simulated radiation patterns of modified Koch fractal antenna for second
iteration (a) E-plane (b) H-plane

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(a)

(b)

Figure 5.21 Simulated radiation patterns of optimized antenna (a) E-plane (b) H-plane

It is observed that the proposed antenna exhibits omnidirectional radiation

patterns at the y-z plane and 8-shape radiation patterns at the x-z plane. It may be

notice that simulated and measured radiation characteristics are in good agreement

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except few oscillations in the measured patterns and these are because of spurious

radiations created at the feeding end and the improper coupling of the element.

(a)

(b)
Figure 5.22 Measured radiation patterns of optimized antenna (a) E-plane (b) H-plane

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5.4 Conclusion

In this chapter a modified Koch curve antenna with asymmetrical ground

plane is presented. The proposed geometry exhibits miniaturization along with more

number of frequency bands when compared with conventional Koch curve fractal

antenna. A method of varying the ground plane, without increasing the overall

antenna size, is shown to improve the bandwidth and to enable the use of significantly

smaller ground planes. The asymmetrical ground plane has been optimized by means

of BFO and PSO in conjunction with curve fitting technique to make the proposed

antenna feasible for wide band operation. The overall simulation results from the

presented optimization techniques indicate that BFO is a viable and more accurate as

compared to PSO. The results of the comparative study indicate that BFO provide

better results in terms of resonating characteristics of proposed antenna, whereas PSO

converges faster for the presented problem. A prototype of the antenna has been built

and some comparisons between measured and simulated return loss values have been

carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of the synthesis process.

The presented results revealed that the asymmetrical ground plane provide wider

impedance bandwidth besides the achievement of miniaturization of about 40% to the

original antenna structure. The outcome of these techniques on radiation pattern are

investigated and discussed. The proposed geometry covers various frequencies of

WLAN, WiMAX and X-band regions which can be used for Telemedicine and other

wireless applications.

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