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Reconfigurable Antenna Simulation

Marc Rtschlin and Vratislav Sokol


econfigurable antennas have been an active topic of research for a number of years now. But this up-and-coming field is now becoming increasingly interesting for industry because of the requirement for antennas to provide additional functionality and to have increasingly flexible properties, all while occupying the same or smaller physical volumes than before. Having different antennas for each wireless protocol, for example, is no longer a good enough solutionthe limited available space has to be shared. Reconfigurable antennas can provide great flexibility for using this space optimally. The difficulty is that reconfigurable antennas often take on noncanonical forms. There is interaction between closely spaced elements so the influence of switches and their feed lines has to be considered. The behavior is difficult to predict, and modeling

tools must play an important part in the design of these antennas. There are two main challenges for a simulation tool: 1) The first is specific: how can the reconfiguration mechanisms themselves be modeled? Different methods of reconfiguring the antenna are used, but the main ones are changing the shape of the antenna mechanically, changing the material properties of the antenna, or using switches to activate or deactivate different parts of the antenna or to change the current paths on the antenna. 2) The second challenge is a little more general and concerns how a single antenna with multiple operating modes, all of which might affect operation of the others, can be modeled efficiently. A single geometry has to be optimized to perform properly for all different configurations, and this requires a robust simulation environment.

Marc Rtschlin (marc.ruetschlin@cst.com) and Vratislav Sokol (vratislav.sokol@cst.com) are with CST AG, Bad Nauheimerstr. 19, 64289, Darmstadt, Germany.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MMM.2013.2280331 Date of publication: 15 November 2013



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This article describes how state-of-the-art electromagnetic simulation tools can be used to simulate and optimize the complex geometries and system behavior of reconfigurable antennas. While a short overview of the main principles of reconfigurability is given, this is not the main focus of this article, and far more extensive reviews of reconfigurable antennas can be found elsewhere (e.g., [1][3]).

Reconfigurable Patch On

Principles of Reconfigurability
Radiation from an antenna results from the particular distribution of the currents on the antenna structure. In a reconfigurable antenna, the aim is to somehow change the current distribution, thus changing the fields around the antenna and thus also the radiated far field. These changes can be achieved either by modifying the antenna geometry or its material properties. Shown in Figure 1 is a patch antenna [4] with a slot, which will be discussed in more detail later. The antenna is excited by a pin feed that is positioned so that the patch radiation is circularly polarized. A part of the patch is separated from the rest by a slot that is bridged centrally by a Schottky diode and at its ends by two dc blocking capacitors. The diode can be forward or reverse biased by applying a biasing voltage to the larger part of the patch, while the smaller part is grounded through a quarter wavelength section (to provide a high impedance at patch edge at resonance). By activating or deactivating the switch in the center of the slot, we can modify the currents on the patch (shown at right in Figure 1), thus modifying the electric fields around the antenna and changing the antenna from a left-hand circularly polarized (LHCP) radiator operating at 4.5 GHz to a right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) radiator operating at 4.25 GHz, as shown at right in Figure 1. It is this switching between different modes of operation that distinguishes a reconfigurable antenna from, e.g., a phased array. Although an arrays beam can be steered by changing the phase of the element excitations, the fundamental operating characteristics of the antenna array do not change. Of course, reconfigurability can be achieved in different ways, and different aspects of an antennas behavior can be reconfigured. Perhaps the first distinction is between discretely and continuously reconfigurable antennas. The patch antenna shown in Figure 1, for example, has two distinct operating states. It radiates at two different frequencies depending on whether the PIN diode switch is forward biased or not. In contrast, for the rollable ultrawideband (UWB) antenna shown in Figure 2 [5], the properties of the antenna change continuously depending on how tightly wound the antenna is. All properties of an antennas radiation characteristicsits frequency of operation, the far-field pattern and polarizationcan be reconfigured. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to configure them independently of
Diode Capacitor



Figure 1. This reconfigurable patch antenna can be switched between two operating modes by biasing a Schottky diode. The surface currents in the ON and OFF states are shown at right. each other. Changing one will change the others as well, and careful design and analysis are important to make sure that you understand what effect a particular change to your antenna will have.

Reconfiguration by Mechanical Means

Simulating mechanical changes is relatively simple. The structure must be defined in such a way that changing one or several parameters will give the desired geometry. Two examples are shown here. In Figure 3, the UWB sensing antenna [6] is fixed, but the rotation angle of a disc with several antenna geometries printed on it can be changed. At particular rotation angles, a particular element makes contact with the feed and becomes active. This parameter change simulates the stepper motor, which in reality is attached to the back of the antenna (and the geometry of which could also be simulated). As mentioned earlier, the performance of the rollable antenna in Figure 2 can be changed by winding the antenna more or less tightly around a spindle, using a motor. The simulation model of the antenna is constructed so that changing the radius parameter shown changes the entire antenna appropriately.

Figure 2. This rollable UWB antennas properties change depending on how tightly wound it is [5]. The model is provided courtesy of Giuseppe Ruvio at the DIT in Dublin.

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Rotation Angle

Figure 3. This antenna consists of two parts: the UWB sensing antenna at left is fixed, while the transmitting antenna can be reconfigured by rotating the disc [6]. The reconfiguration mechanisms can be modeled by assigning a parameter to the rotation angle.

Reconfiguration by Changing Material Properties

Another way of reconfiguring an antennas behavior is by using materials whose properties change under the application of an external field. Several material types are used. One example is liquid crystal, the permittivity of which changes when a static electric field is applied. This property can be exploited by using the liquid crystal as a substrate for a patch array shown
Bias Voltage Lines

in Figure 4 [7]. This antenna is a reflect array, which is excited from above by an open-ended waveguide (labeled Feed). Various potential differences are applied to the columns of patches using the bias voltage lines shown. Each column thus has a substrate with a slightly different permittivity and a slightly different reflection phase, so the reflected beam can be steered by adjusting the bias voltages. The key question for simulation is: how can the physical mechanisms, e.g., the change of the material property with regard to the applied field, be modeled? A possible multistage simulation approach would be the following: 1) The static electric field distribution is calculated first using an electrostatic solver. 2) Knowing the dependence of the permittivity on the field, the permittivity distribution can be calculated. 3) The spatially dependent material properties can then be assigned directly to the substrate if the simulation tool supports this or can be assigned to parts of the substrate after it has been divided into small blocks (this could be automated by using some kind of scripting). 4) Finally a full-wave simulation of the antenna can be performed, including the full variation of the material properties, using an appropriate solver (e.g., a time-domain solver in the case of a planar patch antenna).

Reconfiguration by Switching
Switches are the third and perhaps the most commonly used mechanism for achieving antenna reconfigurability. Switches can be used to disconnect parts of an antenna structure from each other or to create different paths for current to flow on an antenna. Different types of switches have different advantages in terms of their insertion loss, isolation, switching speed, bandwidth, and the required actuation voltage and bias current. The summary shown in Figure5 compares mechanical relays to PIN diodes, field-effect transistors (FETs) and RF-microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches [8]each have their advantages and disadvantages. An important additional category of switch is that of optically pumped silicon (see, e.g., [9]). Switches can be modeled at different levels of complexity, depending on the required accuracy and available computational resources. At the basic level, the switch can be modeled simply by a metal tab; switching between the ON and OFF states is then just a matter of simulating the model with and without that piece of metal. But for any additional level of complexity, the simulation of switches of all types requires a hybrid electromagnetic-circuit simulation. A number of commercially available simulation tools can address this requirement, but the discussion below a solution in CST Studio Suite

Ground Voltage


Figure 4. This patch array uses liquid crystal as a substrate. The material properties of the substrate under individual columns of patches can be controlled by the bias voltage lines shown at the top [7].


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Table 3.1RF Switch Comparison Summary Mechanical Relay Insertion Loss at 1 GHz (dB) Isolation at 1 GHz (dB) Switching Speed (s) Bandwidth (MHz) Actuation Voltage (V) Bias Current (nA) 0.25 70 2 : 10-3 dc-1,200 100-200 1-2 PIN Diode 0.5-1.0 20-40 650 : 10-9 20-2,000 3-5 104 FET 0.5-1.0 40 10-9-10-8 ? 5-50 < 10 MEMS < 0.1 > 40 10-6 dc-100,000 3-30 < 10

Figure 5. A comparison of the properties of different RF switches [8]. which combines CST Microwave Studio (CST MWS) and CST Design Studio (CST DS). What needs to be decided is the level of complexity required in the modeling of the switch, as this can make a real difference to the results obtained and thus to how well its simulated performance will correspond to the real-world design. A final question that must be considered is the biasing of switches. If the biasing system consists of good conductors and is not incorporated into the antenna geometry in some way, there will be additional metallization in the immediate vicinity of the antenna which will affect the antenna performance. All these issues are addressed in more detail in the following section. The antenna under consideration will be the patch introduced in Figure 1. the current path is shorter and the resonant frequency is higher. The far field behavior of the antenna in its two operating states shows that the antenna is LHCP at about 4.45 GHz when the switch is on and RHCP at about 4.2 GHz when the switch is off. The axial ratio for the two cases is shown in Figure 7.

S-Parameter [Magnitude (dB)] 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 On

The Modeling of Switches

The aim of this part of the article is to show how the realistic physical behavior of switches and the associated biasing can and must be considered in the simulation model if an accurate prediction of an antennas behavior is to be made. The focus will be on the Schottky diode used in the paper describing this antenna [4], but the same argument applies to PIN diodes, FET, or MEMS switches as well. The structure that will be followed is to gradually increase the complexity i.e., the realismof the switch in the simulation model, and to see how these changes affect the impedance behavior of the antenna in the ON and OFF states. After modeling the switch as a simple metal tab, the diode will be modeled as both a simple equivalent resistance and capacitance and by the manufacturers SPICE model representation. Then the actual packaging of the diode will be added to the three-dimensional (3-D) model to accurately account for parasitic inductance and capacitance. Finally, the effect of the feed line and blocking capacitors on the antenna, which constitute the biasing network, will be considered.

-25 -30 3 3.5

Off 4 4.5 5 5.5 6

Frequency (GHz)

Figure 6. The operating frequency of the antenna can be modified by activating or deactivating a switch across the slot which divides the patch into two parts. The ON (red curve) and OFF (green curve) states of the switch are modeled by the presence or absence of a metal tab respectively (inset).

6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 1

Axial Ratio (dB)

(4.17, 2.4745) (4.45, 2.4329) 2


Switch Off, RHCP Switch On, LHCP

Ideal Metal Tabs

The first step is simple: either include or exclude the metal tab from the simulation. The results of the ON and OFF states for the reflection coefficient of the antenna are shown in Figure 6. When the metal tab is included,

2 4.1 4.15 4.2 4.25 4.3 4.35 4.4 4.45 4.5 4.55 Frequency (GHz)

Figure 7. The antenna is LHCP at 4.45 GHz in the ON state and RHCP at 4.17 GHz in the OFF state.

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SPICE Model Parameters for MSS40,000 Series Diodes Parameters for Diode DF Part Number IS RS X 5.6 8.4 5.6 8.4 CJO (pF) 0.07 0.11 0.09 0.14 N = 1.0 VJ = 0.7 M = 0.2 TT = 3.0E - 12 EG = 0.6 XTI = 2.0 BV = 10.0 Parameters for Diode DR IS = 37.4 nA N = 20.71 XTI = 4.0 EG = 9.0 BV = 10.0

MSS40,045 MSS40,341 MSS40,048 MSS40,148 MSS40,248 MSS40,448 MSS40,141 MSS40,244 MSS40,155 MSS40,255 MSS40,455 MSS40,B46 MSS40,CR46 MSS40, PCR46 MSS40,B53 MSS40,CR53 MSS40,PCR53

3nA 4.5pA 5.5nA 11pA

3.5nA 4.9pA 9.5nA 26.5pA

8 12 46

0.05 0.07 0.2 0.3


0.7pA 1nA

8 20

0.07 0.125



3.2 pA 2.5nA

5 10

0.1 0.25


Figure 8. An extract from the diode manufacturers data sheet [10]. In the simplest case, this time it can be represented by a series resistance in the on state or a series capacitance in the OFF state.

E25 Cp = 0.07 pF Lp = 0.4 nH Cut Lead is Cathode

55 (1.397) SQ. 45 (1.143)

18 (0.457) 12 (0.305)

Epoxy 5 (0.127) 2 Pls 3 (0.076) 14 (0.356) 8 (0.203) Ceramic Dimensions in mm

50 (1.270) Max.

80 (2.032) Min.

Figure 9. An extract from the diode manufacturers data sheet [10], showing the packaging dimensions and equivalent parasitic values for capacitance and inductance. (Courtesy of Aeroflex.)


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Modeling the Diode

Of course the diode is not simply an ideally conducting lump of metal. From the manufacturers data * MSS40000 Metelics Schotky Diode sheet [10] it can be seen SUBCKT MSS40000 1 2 that the chip can be repreD1 1 2 DF D2 2 1 DR sented simply by a certain MODEL DF D(IS = 1E9 RS = 5 equivalent resistance or N = 1.0 TT = 3.0 capacitance when oper MODEL DR D(IS = 37.4E9 ated in forward or reverseN = 20.71 BV = 10 ENDS biased modes respectively, as shown in Figure 8. A more complex representation is also possible, and Cp p many manufacturers will provide SPICE models 1 2 1 Lp n 1 of the diode behavior as 1 2l 1l MSS40000 shown here. 2 In addition to the chip Vbias V 2 behavior, the packaging Lp n of the diode also affects the diode performance. In Parasitics Cp p this case, the manufacturer specifies a parasitic inductance and capacitance to represent to the packag- Figure 10. A hybrid EM-circuit cosimulation between CST MWS and the full-fledged ing effects, as shown in circuit simulator CST DS can be carried out, taking into account the SPICE model of the Figure 9. It is important to diode and the manufacturer specified parasitics. note that these values are elements like these can be included directly in the 3-D determined by measuring the diode in a particular test full-wave simulation, their effect can also be considered assembly, which may or may not correspond to how it as a postprocessing step by performing an EM-circuit is being used on the antenna. cosimulation with an appropriate simulation package. This representation can be taken into account simThis is more flexible since it is very easy to exchange ply by using the equivalent resistance or capacitance one circuit model of the diode for another. The effects of for the ON or OFF states, respectively. While lumped

0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 3

ON State

0 -5 -10 -15 -20

OFF State

S1,1 On (Ideal) S1,1 On (RS) S1,1 On (SPICE Model) 3.5 4 4.5 5 Frequency (GHz) (a) 5.5 6

-25 -30 3 3.5

S1,1 Off (Cjo) S1,1 Off (Ideal) S1,1 Off (SPICE Model) 4 4.5 5 Frequency (GHz) (b) 5.5 6

Figure 11. The difference between using a simple resistance or capacitance to model the diode and using a more complex SPICE model (in this case of a Aeroflex Metelics MSS40000 Schottky diode [10]) is clear to see in both (a) the ON state and (b) the OFF state of the antenna.

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1 1'

2 2'

1 2 Vbias V

2 MSS40000

Figure 12. The actual packaging geometry of the diode can be included in the full 3-D model to take the parasitics into account more accurately. the circuitry on the antenna impedance and radiation pattern can be seen. If the cosimulation makes use of a full-fledged circuit simulator, then considering the effect of the more complicated SPICE model representation of the diode is simply a matter of replacing the resistor or capacitor by the SPICE model, which can be controlled by a biasing voltage, as shown in Figure 10. Note that we have included the manufacturer-specified parasitic inductance and capacitance of the packaging here as well. The effect of adding the diode model is very clearly seen in Figure 11. In the ON state, a relatively small but noticeable change in the reflection coefficient of the antenna is observed. In the OFF state, the effect of the diode on the behavior of the antenna is very noticeable

(the green and brown curves at right). The behavior of the antenna is quite different. The complex effects of the diode behavior are ignored at the engineers peril! The difference between using a simple resistance or capacitance to model the diode and using a more complex SPICE model (in this case of a Aeroflex Metelics MSS40000 Schottky diode [7]) is clear to see. The manufacturers stated parasitic inductance and capacitance is only really valid for a particular arrangement of the diode packaging in its test fixture. The surrounding geometry will also affect these values (e.g., the metallization of the antenna or the substrate on which the diode is placed). The diodes parasitics can be more accurately determined by actually modeling the packaging in its actual environment, i.e., on the patch antenna in question. The SPICE model for the chip is still used, but, as shown in Figure 12, the parasitic elements have been removed from the circuit model. The effect of modeling the full packaging of the diode in 3-D can be seen in Figure 13(a) by comparing the brown and pink curves for the ON state and (b) for the OFF state. While the nature of the curves doesnt change much, there is again a clear difference when the actual packaging in its real environment is considered. Finally, switches in general require some kind of biasing network. The design of this network is an important part of the antenna design, as it preferably should not affect antenna performance. It can be integrated into the antenna geometry itself, but often there will be additional traces that, if conducting, need to be taken into account in the simulation model. In this example, a bias voltage is applied to the largest part of the patch through the coaxial feed, while the smaller part is grounded by way of a quarter

0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 3

ON State

S1,1 On (Ideal) S1,1 On (SPICE + 3-D Package) S1,1 On (SPICE Model) 3.5 4 4.5 5 Frequency (GHz) (a) 5.5 6

Figure 13. Modeling the actual packaging of the diode again makes a difference to the simulation results for both (a) the ON state and (b) the OFF state of the antenna.


0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 3 3.5

OFF State

S1,1 Off (Ideal) S1,1 Off (SPICE + 3-D Package) S1,1 Off (SPICE Model) 4 4.5 5 Frequency (GHz) (b) 5.5 6


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wavelength microstrip line and a via. This short circuit produces a high impedance at the antenna edge and ideally would not affect the current distribution on or the radiation from the antenna. This works well in a narrow frequency band only. Beyond the geometry, dc blocking capacitors are also typically used to isolate the parts of the antenna that need to be biased. In the same way as the diodes, how the capacitors are modeled can make a real difference to the predicted antenna behavior. The dc blocking capacitors have been modeled as lumped elements during the entire discussion so far. The only addition here is the aforementioned quarter wavelength microstrip line that connects the isolated part of the antenna to the ground by a via, as shown in Figure 14. This would ideally transform the short circuit of the via into a high impedance at the antenna edge, thus not affecting the current distribution on the antenna or the radiation from it. But as can be seen in Figure 15, the addition of this line has quite a noticeable effect on the antenna impedancecompare the blue curve that takes into account the biasing line to the pink curve which doesnt. Real care must be taken in the design of the network, and it has to be included in the simulation model if useful results are to be obtained. How the line is terminated is also of critical importance. The effect of the complex diode model and the biasing network on the far field of the antenna can be seen in Figure 16. The axial ratio in the ON state (the red curves) has improved, but the OFF state axial ratio (green curves) has been degraded very badly when compared to the predicted behavior when a simple metal tabs we used to model the switch (cf. Figure 7). The radiating behavior of the antenna has changed substantially, and the initially optimistic results have been shown to be an illusion.

Biasing by Coaxial Feed Quarter Wavelength Microstrip Line dc Blocking Capacitor

Via to Ground

Figure 14. This detailed view of the biasing network for the diode shows the dc blocking capacitors and the quarter wavelength microstrip line that provides a dc ground for the smaller part of the patch. An additional point to bear in mind is that capacitors are not ideal. Some manufacturers will provide quite detailed information about their capacitor characteristics across a wide bandwidth. Transmission characteristics can be far from ideal in the frequency range of interest and can even include self-resonances right in the frequency band of interest. In addition, the capacitors properties can change, depending on how it is mounted relative to the plane of the antenna. The capacitor should not be treated like an ideal lumped element unless it is certain that its performance is good at the frequencies and in the configuration it is intended to be used in. The complex behavior can be taken into account in a simulation model in a similar way as for the diode, i.e., by performing a hybrid EMcircuit simulation.

One AntennaMultiple Configurations

Reconfigurable antennas provide a particular design challenge in that they have to be designed so that their

ON State 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 3 S1,1 On (3-D Bias) S1,1 On (Ideal) S1,1 On (SPICE + 3-D Package) 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 0 -5 -10 0 -15 15 -20 -25 5 30 -30 -35 3.5 4

OFF State

S1,1 Off (3-D Bias) S1,1 Off (Ideal) S1,1 Off (SPICE + 3-D Package) 4.5 5 5.5 6 Frequency (GHz)

Frequency (GHz)

Figure 15. The effect of the biasing network can have a dramatic effect on the predicted antenna properties.

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10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Axial Ratio (dB) 1

1 2 (4.45,

(4.07, 7.5921) 0.61765) Switch Off (RHCP) Switch On (LHCP) 2 4.5 4.6


4.2 4.3 4.4 Frequency (GHz)

Figure 16. Modeling the full complexity of the diode and the biasing network has a dramatic effect on the predicted radiating properties of the antenna. multiple operating modes all work correctly. The difficulty is that the modes cannot simply be optimized in isolation or in sequence, since each mode will affect the operation of all the others. The antenna consists of a single geometry which has to be optimized to perform properly for all different configurations. The following quote is from a widely referenced paper and refers to the geometric parameters of the circularly polarized patch antenna shown earlier in this article: These parameters are selected via trialand-error. [4]. While this approach is surely not typical for all reconfigurable antenna designs, the quote does point to a fundamental difficulty in the design of these antennas: how can one simultaneously optimize multiple states of a single antenna geometry? Consider a hypothetical example of an antenna with four different operating modes. Classically this would have required four separate simulation models, which would have been optimized separately, starting with the first. The problem is that once the second and subsequent models are optimized, the results for

Switch On

Switch Off

Figure 17. Individual models reflecting the various states of the reconfigurable antennas can be derived from a single master model. The ON model is identical to the master model while in the OFF model local mesh settings remove the switch (metal tab) from the simulation.

the other operating modes will have become worse and will probably have gone out of specification. All of the modes have to be optimized simultaneously. Several approaches could be used. One way of dealing with this problem would be to use an optimizer written in a mathematical toolkit like MATLAB or Octave. At each optimization step the optimizer would generate models for each operating mode of the antenna, and then link to an EM simulation tool to solve them before retrieving and processing the results. Another approachthe one described here makes use of the SAM framework built into CST Studio Suite. This allows the user to control sequences of simulations in a very general way, including parameter sweeps and optimizations of parallel simulations. In the SAM framework, multiple models of the individual operating modes of the antenna can be derived from one master model, which contains all the geometric information. This master model is optimized while taking all the derived models results into account simultaneously. There is one simulation model and one set of goals, as in reality. The example described here is again of a simple patch antenna with a slot (Figure 17). The master model contains the entire antenna description including all switchable parts. From this master model, individual models are derived to describe the different antenna configurations which we want to consider by defining simulation projects in CST DS. For each simulation project, the appropriate solver type (typically, the same solver for each) and simulation settings can be specified, and modifications to the geometry and mesh can be made as required. In this example, the model for the ON state simulation project is identical to the master model. In the OFF state simulation the switch object in our model has been omitted from the simulation by modifying its local mesh settings. (Here the switch is modeled as a simple metal tab, but of course this can be replaced by the more complex approaches shown earlier.) Both simulations can be carried out with a single iteration of an optimization loop in a single update, and both sets of results are then available in one place in the CST DS navigation tree. The results of both operating modes of the antenna states are then available for combined processing during that optimization step. The optimization is not limited to S-parameters: any of the antennas properties from its multiple operating states could be considered in this way. One of the challenges in simulating reconfigurable antennas was to be able to optimize the multiple operating states of a single antenna simultaneously. This problem is overcome by running all the simulation projects in one consecutive sequence, with all the parameters in a single place. The position and length of the slot in this


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0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 2.0

S-Parameter [Magnitude (dB)]

fon c 3.0 GHz

S1,1Optimized S1,1Original 3.5

2.5 3.0 Frequency (GHz) S-Parameter [Magnitude (dB)]

fres.on fres.off

3 GHz 2.5 GHz

0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9 2.0

foff 2.5 GHz S1,1Optimized S1,1Original 2.5 3.0 Frequency (GHz) 3.5

Figure 18. This example antenna was optimised to operate at 3 GHz in the ON state and at 2.5 GHz in the OFF state. example were optimized so that the antenna operates at 2.5 GHz in the OFF state and 3 GHz in the ON state, as shown in Figure 18. the patch antenna geometry to resonate at two different frequencies.

Reconfigurable antennas are not trivial devices to design. The mechanisms for reconfiguration add levels of complexity that can have effects that are difficult to predict in advance. Using a suitable simulation tool such as CST Studio Suite allows one to consider these effects during the virtual prototyping phase of ones design, reducing the chance of unexpected surprises once a physical prototype is constructed and measured in the laboratory. The focus of this article was on two important aspects of the design of reconfigurable antennas with electromagnetic simulation. The first was a discussion of the reconfiguration mechanisms commonly in use today and how they can be included in a simulation model. A particular focus was on the modeling of switches. Their complexity needs to be considered, and it was shown how hybrid EM-circuit cosimulations allow the taking into account the real behavior of switches and their packaging. The second focus was on how an optimization of reconfigurable antennas must simultaneously consider all operating modes of the antenna single geometry. Simply optimizing them sequentially is not sufficient. As a simple example of implementing such an optimization workflow, the SAM framework in CST Studio Suite was used to set up, analyze and optimize two configurations of

[1] J. T. Bernhard, Reconfigurable Antennas. San Rafael, CA: Morgan and Claypool, 2007. [2] N. Haider, D. Caratelli, and A. G. Yarovoy, Recent developments in reconfigurable and multiband antenna technology, Int. J. Antennas Propag., vol. 2013, Article ID 869170, 14 pages, 2013, DOI: 10.1155/2013/869170. [3] G. C. Christodoulou, Y. Tawk, A. Youssef, A. S. Lane, and R. S. Scott, Reconfigurable antennas for wireless and space applications, Proc. IEEE, vol. 100, no. 7, pp. 22502261, 2012. [4] N. Jin, F. Yang, and Y. Rahmat-Samii, A novel patch antenna with switchable slot: Dual-frequency operation with reversed circular polarizations, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 10311034, Mar. 2006. [5] G. Ruvio, M. J. Ammann, and Z. N. Chen, Wideband reconfigurable rolled planar monopole antenna, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 17601767, June 2007. [6] Y. Tawk, J. Costantine, and C. G. Christodoulou, A rotatable reconfigurable antenna for cognitive radio applications, in IEEE Proc. Radio Wireless Symp., 2011, pp. 158161. [7] A. Gaebler, A. Moessinger, F. Goelden, A. Manabe, M. Goebel, R. Follmann, D. Koether, C. Modes, A. Kipka, M. Deckelmann, T. Rabe, B. Schulz, P. Kuchenbecker, A. Lapanik, S. Mueller, W. Haase, and R. Jakoby, Liquid crystal-reconfigurable antenna concepts for space applications at microwave and millimeter waves, Int. J. Antennas Propag., vol. 2009, Article ID 876989, 7 pages, 2009, DOI: 10.1155/2009/876989. [8] N. P. Cummings, Active antenna bandwidth control using reconfigurable antenna elements, Ph.D. dissertation, Virginia Tech, Bradley Dept. of Electrical and Computer Eng., Blacksburg, VA, 2003. [9] C. J. Panagamuwa, A. Chauraya, and J. C. Vardaxoglou, Frequency and beam reconfigurable antenna using photoconducting switches, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 449454, Feb. 2006. [10] Aeroflex Metelics. (2005). MSS40,000 series medium barrier silicon Schottky diodes data sheet [Online]. Available: www.aeroflex-metelics.com

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