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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 63, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2015

A Compact, Wideband Circularly Polarized


Co-designed Filtering Antenna and Its Application
for Wearable Devices With Low SAR
Zhi Hao Jiang, Member, IEEE, and Douglas H. Werner, Fellow, IEEE

AbstractA compact circularly polarized (CP) co-designed filtering antenna is reported. The device is based on a patch radiator
seamlessly integrated with a bandpass filter composed of coupled
stripline open-loop resonators, which are designed together as a
system. In the proposed design, the patch functions simultaneously
as the radiator and the last stage resonator of the filter, resulting in
a low-profile integrated radiating and filtering module with a small
overall form factor of 0.530 0.530 0.070 . It is shown
that the filtering circuit not only ensures frequency selectivity
but also provides impedance matching functionality, which serves
to broaden both the impedance and axial ratio bandwidths. The
designed filtering antenna was fabricated and measured, experimentally achieving an S11 < 13.5 dB, an axial ratio of less
than 3 dB and a gain higher than 5.2 dBi over a bandwidth from
3.77 to 4.26 GHz, i.e., around 12.2%, which makes it an excellent candidate for integration into a variety of wireless systems. A
linearly polarized version of the integrated filtering antenna was
also demonstrated. In addition, further full-wave simulations and
experiments were carried out to verify that the designed CP filtering antenna maintains its properties even when mounted on
different positions of the human body with various body gestures.
The stable impedance and radiation properties also make it a
suitable candidate as a wearable antenna for off-body wireless
communications.
Index TermsBandpass filter (BPF), circularly-polarized coupled resonator, filtering antenna, wearable antenna.

I. I NTRODUCTION

S WIRELESS communication technology continues its


rapid pace of development, the integration of multiple
microwave/RF components has become ever more demanding,
especially those which provide size reduction and improved
overall system efficiency [1]. The antenna and bandpass filter
(BPF) are the two most essential components at the front-end
of a typical RF system for wireless communications. While
the antenna is responsible for receiving and transmitting signals, the BPF is crucial for distinguishing the desired signal
from extraneous signals outside the targeted band(s) of interest
[2], [3]. Conventionally, the BPF and the antenna are designed
Manuscript received December 31, 2014; revised June 23, 2015; accepted
June 24, 2015. Date of publication July 06, 2015; date of current version
September 01, 2015. This work was supported by the National Science
Foundation ASSIST Nanosystems ERC under Award EEC-1160483.
The authors are with the Department of Electrical Engineering, The
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 USA (e-mail:
zuj101@psu.edu; dhw@psu.edu).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2015.2452942

separately and then directly connected by sharing a common


reference impedance of 50 or 75 . Since the antenna and the
resonators of the BPF resonate at the same frequency, interference between them may occur which affects the return loss
and the antenna gain response. In addition, further performance
degradation may be experienced due to the fact that the input
impedance of the antenna may not be perfectly matched to a
pure resistance value, e.g., 50 or 75 , over a finite bandwidth
and especially at the band edges.
Recently, efforts have been made to co-design the BPF and
antenna as a single module, i.e., a filtering antenna, which provides an alternative and more attractive solution [4]. So far,
several filtering antennas have been proposed by integrating
together a variety of different filter and antenna structures. In
some of the reported works, the antenna is treated as a dispersive complex load of the filter, including frequency selective
surface (FSS) coverings for horn antennas [5], [6] and wire
monopoles [7], coupled planar resonator filter connected patch
antennas [8], [9], and coupled substrate-integrated waveguide
(SIW) resonator filter connected planar coaxial collinear antennas [10]. In other filtering antennas, the antenna element is
utilized as the radiator and as the last resonator of the BPF
simultaneously, including coupled rectangular waveguide resonator filter backed electromagnetic bandgao antennas [4],
coupled SIW cavity filters cascaded behind slot antennas [11]
[13], and planar monopole antennas combined with various
types of coupled-line filters [14][16]. These demonstrations
show that co-designed filtering antennas indeed have smaller
overall device volume and superior band selectivity. However,
the filtering antennas demonstrated to date still suffer from large
footprints, high profiles, and are limited to linear polarization,
making them not suitable for certain newly emerging applications such as antennas for compact indoor base stations or
portable/wearable devices. In addition, most of these planar filtering antennas possess near-omnidirectional radiation patterns
due to the employed monopole elements [7], [10], [14], [16]
and/or require fabrication of complicated three-dimensional
(3-D) structures [4][6], [10], [11][13].
As one of the nascent but fast growing fields in the
antenna community, wearable antennas have garnered worldwide research interest due to their applications in wireless
systems for body area networks, which hold great promise
for future medical applications, battlefield survival, and patient
tracking systems [17], [18]. Since wearable antennas operate in close proximity to the human body, the mutual impact

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JIANG AND WERNER: COMPACT WIDEBAND CP CO-DESIGNED FILTERING ANTENNA AND ITS APPLICATION

between the antenna and human tissue makes the design of


highly efficient wearable antennas with low specific absorption rate (SAR) a challenging task. So far, various types of
wearable antennas have been proposed, such as the early work
on vertical monopole [19] and inverted-F antennas [20], which
are not low profile or conformal. Planar microstrip monopoles
[21][23], planar inverted-F antennas [24], [25], slot antennas [26], and stepped impedance resonator antennas [27] have
small form factors but undesirably radiate a significant amount
of power into the human body, resulting in low efficiency.
Hence, they are usually positioned at a certain distance away
from the human body. Patch antennas [28] and cavity-backed
slot antennas [29], [30] are appropriate for off-body communications because of their broadside radiation patterns, but
are limited by their narrow operational bandwidth. Isotropic
artificial magnetic conducting (AMC) surfaces [31][33] and
strongly truncated anisotropic metasurfaces [34] have recently
been employed to achieve a high degree of isolation between
the antenna and human tissue while maintaining a small overall profile. However, nearly all of these wearable antennas are
linearly polarized (LP), which may lead to unreliable wireless links due to constantly changing human body movement.
In the most severe case, a transmission null can occur due to
complete polarization mismatch, resulting in an entirely lost
link. Circularly polarized (CP) antennas, on the other hand, are
more robust to polarization mismatch caused by human body
motion, albeit at the expense of a 3 dB loss, but have been less
exploited for wearable applications. Single pin-fed CP wearable antennas have been reported in [35] and [36]. However, the
3-dB axial ratio (AR) bandwidth is very narrow, i.e., less than
2.5%, making them of limited use for high-data-rate body-area
network systems.
In this paper, we address these two major challenges (i.e.,
narrow operating bandwidth and linear polarization) by introducing a new design methodology for realizing compact, codesigned CP filtering antennas, all achieved without increasing
the antenna form factor. In Section II, we describe the co-design
process of the filtering antenna by illustrating the layout, equivalent circuit, structural design, and optimization of the module.
A LP filtering antenna is also compared to the same patch
radiator without a BPF and with a directly connected BPF.
Section III gives the measured results in free space. The numerical and experimental investigations of its wearable application
under various realistic scenarios are provided in Section IV,
followed by the conclusion in Section V.

II. F ILTERING A NTENNA D ESIGN


A. Topology of the CP Filtering Antenna
The configuration of the co-designed CP filtering antenna
is illustrated in Fig. 1, which consists of a square patch
radiator with truncated corners on the top and a planar stripline
microwave circuit on the bottom, including the filtering, phase
shifting, power dividing, and impedance matching sections,
required to generate a left-hand CP (LHCP) radiated wave.
Considering that wearable antennas operate in close proximity
to the human body, the stripline configuration, which isolates

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Fig. 1. (a) Three-dimensional (3-D) tilted view of the proposed co-designed


CP filtering antenna using SOLRs with a stripline feed. (b) Side view of
the antenna structure. The thickness values of the three substrate layers are
h1 = 3.68, h2 = 0.79, h3 = 0.79, all in millimeters. All the substrates are
Rogers RT/duroid 5880 with r = 2.2 and tan = 0.0009. The copper layers
are 18-m thick.

the BPF resonators from the effects of human tissue loading,


was adopted rather than the more commonly used microstrip
circuits. Two BPFs were employed, each connecting to the
patch through a coupled stripline and a metallic pin that passes
through the top ground plane of the stripline circuit. The feeding positions of the two pins were aligned on the centerlines of
symmetry along the x- and y-axis of the patch but offset from
the center. The top ground plane of the filter also serves as the
bottom ground plane of the patch radiator. The BPF circuit
consists of three edge-coupled stripline open-loop resonators
(SOLRs) [37]. The filtering antenna was fed by an SMA
connector from the side, such that the antenna can be placed
very close to the surface of a human body compared to the
bottom-fed topologies which have been considered previously
in the literature for wearable applications [35], [36]. The form
factor of the filtering antenna is 40 mm 40 mm 5.3 mm
(0.530 0.530 0.070 , where 0 = 75 mm), which is
more compact than many previously demonstrated filtering
antennas [4][16]. The methodology presented here can also
be used to design compact CP filtering antennas that operate in
other frequency bands.
B. Equivalent Circuit Model
The equivalent circuit for each branch of the integrated CP
filtering antenna is shown in Fig. 2(a). A parallel RLC circuit
(Rx , Lx , Cx or Ry , Ly , Cy ) was used to model the orthogonal
mode in the x- or y-direction, respectively. A series inductor
(Lp ) was employed to represent the inductance of the feeding
pin. The three parallel RLC resonators represent the three

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 63, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2015

Fig. 2. (a) Original and (b) simplified equivalent circuit model for each branch
of the CP filtering antenna.

SOLRs, which can be either synchronously or asynchronously


tuned. The coupling between them was modeled as admittance inverters (Jij , i = j) [38]. The coupled stripline that
capacitively couples the third resonator to the patch radiator
in each filter branch is represented as an admittance inverter
with a section of transmission line on each side [39]. At the
center frequency, the equivalent circuit model can be further
simplified to the one shown in Fig. 2(b), by incorporating the
series inductor Lp into the capacitor of the third resonator. In
the original circuit
Y3 =

2
J34

1
jLp +1/Yant

2
= jLp J34
+

2
J34
J2
= jCm + 34 .
Yant
Yant

(1)
The shunt capacitor of the third resonator in the simplified
circuit model can thus be modified to be C3 = C3 + Cm . The
circuit in Fig. 2(b) can then be used directly to synthesize a typical Chebyshev BPF, in which the antenna becomes the last stage
resonator of the filter, in addition to its role as the radiator. The
input impedance of each BPF filter was set to match a certain
purely resistive impedance of ZBP F i . The two branches were
connected in parallel at a T-junction with a 90 phase difference
between them to achieve circular polarization. A quarter-wave
transformer was used to match the input impedance at the Tjunction to 50 at the antenna port. It should be noted that the
BPF circuit can also be considered as a lossless two port network that greatly enhances the bandwidth of the conventional
patch antenna [40], which provides simultaneous filtering and
impedance matching functionalities.
C. Physical Design
The target was a filtering antenna having a fourth-order
Chebyshev equal-ripple broadside antenna gain response, with
a center frequency at 4 GHz, a fractional bandwidth of 12.5%,
and a 50- port impedance. Within this 12.5% bandwidth, the
AR should remain below 3 dB. We first designed the LP filtering antenna with the same spectrum requirement, which will
then be used to construct the final CP filtering antenna. By
utilizing filter design tables in the literature [2], [3], the normalized Chebyshev low-pass filter prototype element values
with a ripple level of 0.2 dB were found to be g0 = 1, g1 =
1.303, g2 = 1.284, g3 = 1.976, g4 = 0.847, and g5 = 1.539.
The resulting values for parameter extraction are Qei = Qeo =
10.423, M12 = M34 = 0.097, and M23 = 0.078. The value
of ZBP F i , i.e., Z2 , was set to be 80 . Further considering

Fig. 3. (a) Top view of the patch radiator layer. The dimensions of the initial design are p = 22.3, c = 1, m = 5, and GN D = 40, all in millimeters.
(b) Input impedance (ZAN T ) response of the pin fed CP patch obtained
from the full-wave simulation and equivalent circuit model. The corresponding
lumped circuit element values are Rx = 98 , Cx = 4.6 pF, Lx = 0.34 nH,
and Lp = 1.95 nH.

the dispersive properties of the transmission sections with an


electrical length of a quarter wavelength at the center frequency
and a characteristic impedance of Zc = 80 due to the coupled stripline, the coupling parameters and the external quality
factors were modified to be Qei = 9.28, Qeo = 10.02, M12 =
0.106, M23 = 0.086, and M34 = 0.107 to provide the desired
filtering performance.
The detailed geometry of the pin-fed LP radiating patch is
depicted in Fig. 3(a). The Ansoft high-frequency structure simulator (HFSS) was used to simulate the pin-fed patch antenna
alone. By adjusting the edge length of the patch, the cutting
size of the corners, the thickness of the top substrate layer,
and the position of the feeding pin, the input resistance and
quality factor of the patch, i.e., Qeo , can be designed to meet
the target value. The simulated input impedance is shown in
Fig. 3(b), with the corresponding patch dimensions listed in the
figure caption. The circuit parameters were then extracted by
fitting the input impedances (ZAN T ) of the radiators equivalent circuit consisting of a series inductor (Lp ) connected
parallel RLC circuit. The calculated lumped element values are
Lp = 1.95 nH, Rx = 98 , Lx = 0.34 nH, and Cx = 4.6 pF.
The impedance calculated using the equivalent circuit model
agrees well with the full-wave result in the 3.54.5 GHz frequency range, which encompasses the targeted passband. It
should be noted that the ground plane size was chosen to provide a reasonably high FB ratio and a low SAR value for
wearable applications, while maintaining a compact footprint
that covers the stripline circuit structure.
The layout and dimensional parameters of the BPF resonators and the coupled stripline are illustrated in Fig. 4. The
physical dimensions of the coupled resonators were determined
based on the design curves illustrated in Fig. 5. The resonant
frequency of the SOLRs was calculated using the HFSS eigenmode solver. The resonant frequency as a function of the width
(br ) of the SOLRs, while the gap and length values were fixed,
is plotted in Fig. 5(a). The SOLRs with a slightly different
value of ar all have a similar quality factor of around 600.
The external quality factor can be controlled by properly positioning a tapped stripline directly connecting to the SOLR at a
distance t away from the center, as shown in Fig. 5(b). The coupling parameter between two adjacent SOLRs as a function of
their distance can be found in Fig. 5(c). The coupled stripline
shares one of its transmission line sections with the third SOLR.

JIANG AND WERNER: COMPACT WIDEBAND CP CO-DESIGNED FILTERING ANTENNA AND ITS APPLICATION

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A CP filtering antenna with a wideband AR bandwidth can


be constructed using two LP filtering antennas, each connected
to a branch of the T-junction with a stripline. The two striplines
have a length difference of around 12.6 mm, which is a quarter
wavelength in the substrate at the center frequency. A quarterwave stripline is good enough to provide the desired 90 phase
shift over the 12.5% bandwidth with a phase deviation of less
than 7 . The longer stripline was applied to the pin feed
that excites the resonant mode of the patch in the x-direction
to generate LHCP radiation. Within the passband, the input
impedance at the T-junction is around 40 , which can be readily matched to 50 using a quarter-wave transformer with a
characteristic impedance of 44.72 .
D. CMA-ES Optimization of CP Filtering Antenna
Fig. 4. Top view of the stripline BPF layer. The dimensions of the initial
design are ar1 = ar2 = ar3 = 7, br = 7.6, sr = 1.5, wr = 0.5, s12 =
0.38, s23 = 0.52, ss = 0.21, ws = 0.5, ls1 = 3.5, ls2 = 9, ls3 = 3.7,
t = 3.7, la1 = 2, la2 = 9.4, la3 = 3.4, la4 = 2.4, la5 = 7.1, lb1 = 2,
lb2 = 10.5, lb3 = 1.1, lf 2 = 11.2, lf 3 = 2, wf 1 = 1.35, wf 2 = 1.47,
and wf 3 = 1.73, all in millimeters.

Fig. 5. (a) Resonant frequency of an isolated SOLR with br = 7.6 mm, sr =


1.5 mm, wr = 0.5 mm, where ar is the tuning variable. (b) Extracted external
quality factor. The SOLR is the same as that used in (a) with ar = 6.6 mm,
while t is the tuning variable. (c) Coupling parameter between resonators for
varying s.

The length of the coupled stripline should be around a quarter


wavelength at the center frequency, which suggests that a good
choice for its value is 12.6 mm. Furthermore, the separation
distance (s) was determined to be 0.21 mm, by following the
equations provided in [39].

An initial integrated CP filtering antenna design was obtained


by choosing the geometrical parameters for both the patch radiator and the BPF structure from the design curves. However,
when the two BPF branches and additional phase shifting and impedance matching striplines were incorporated,
mutual coupling among different waveguiding or resonating
components becomes more complicated, which would cause
minor frequency shifts and/or coupling parameter variations.
A MATLAB-based covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary
strategy (CMA-ES) [41], [42] optimization code was employed
and coupled with HFSS to fine tune the geometrical dimensions
for the integrated CP filtering antenna module. The CMA-ES
method is well suited to this type of design problem, since
it is a real-valued optimization strategy and has been shown
to be effective and efficient for optimization of designs with
a large number of parameters [42]. Its operation proceeds by
reshaping and moving a multivariate Normal search distribution within the parameter space. The distribution aligns itself to
traverse along the contour of decreasing cost, thereby enlarging
or contracting during each iteration to reduce the total number
of function calls required to find the optimal cost value. The
important dimensional parameters to be tuned include the sizes
of all SOLRs (ar1 , ar2 , ar3 , br ), the separation distances in
between adjacent SOLRs (s12 , s23 ), the edge length of the patch
radiator (p), the length of the cutting corner of the patch (c), the
feeding position of the pins (m), the position of the tapping
stripline (t), the length (ls1 , ls2 , ls3 ), width (ws ), and spacing
(ss ) of the coupled stripline traces, as well as the length difference (la1 , la2 , la3 , la4 , la5 , lb1 , lb2 , lb3 ) of the two striplines connecting each BPF branch to the T-junction. The dynamic range
of each parameter was set to be 20% away from the value of
the initial design. A small population of only 16 was used considering that the recommended population size should be larger
than 4 + 3 ln(N ), where N is the number of parameters to be
optimized [41].
The optimization goal was to achieve S11 below 15 dB,
AR smaller than 3 dB, and gain higher than 6 dBi within the
targeted 3.754.25-GHz passband, and stop bands elsewhere.
Specifically, eight frequency samples, denoted as fpbi , were
selected in the passband and eight frequency samples, denoted
as fsbi , were considered in the stopbands outside the passband.
A cost function was then defined as

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 63, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2015

Fig. 7. Simulated S11 of the LP filtering antenna, the LP patch alone, and the
LP patch directly connected to a separately designed BPF.

For each design candidate, MATLAB called HFSS to perform the full-wave simulation of the antenna using two 2.6-GHz
processors each having 12 cores. The simulation time for each
candidate was about 45 min. After 20 generations, which took
about 10 days, the CMA-ES converged to an optimal design
that satisfied all the goals.

lower than that of a fourth-order Chebyshev BPF, due to the fact


that the intrinsic gain response of the patch alone has relatively
poor frequency selectivity. Therefore, to be more accurate, the
synthesized filtering antenna module has a quasi-fourth-order
Chebyshev response. The broadside AR displayed in Fig. 6(b)
also has a window from 3.76 to 4.24 GHz, i.e., a fractional
bandwidth of 12.4%, within which the value is below 3 dB.
Compared to the optimized design, the S11 < 15 dB band
for the initial design is narrower and shifted to the frequency
range from 3.87 to 4.28 GHz. Correspondingly, the AR band
of the initial design also becomes narrower and shifts toward
higher frequencies. Its value is also higher than 3 dB in the center portion of the targeted band, due to the in-band impedance
mismatch in each LP filtering antenna branch. The mismatched
input impedances of the two branches undergo transmission
lines with an electrical length difference of around a quarter
wavelength, thereby causing unequally split power transmitted to the two branches at the T-junction, which leads to the
undesirably high AR values in the targeted band. It should be
noted that wideband CP antennas with broader bandwidth can
be achieved using other techniques such as by employing a
thick air substrate [43], dual feeding with a planar hybrid coupler [44], incorporating broadband 90 baluns [45], as well as
other methods [46], but all require a larger footprint or thickness. Integrating filtering functionalities into them will further
increase the antenna size, thus such approaches would not be
compact enough for certain applications.

E. Optimized CP Filtering Antenna Results

F. LP Filtering Antenna and Related Comparison

The S11 of the initial and optimized designs are shown


in Fig. 6(a), where the optimized design has an S11 below
14.5 dB and a 12.5% fractional bandwidth in the passband centered at 4 GHz, with a sharp roll-off of 100.5 and
105.2 dB/GHz on the band edges. The S11 calculated using
the full circuit model, including the two LP filtering antenna
branches, phase shifter, power dividing and matching circuits,
is also presented in Fig. 6(a), which agrees well with the fullwave simulation result. The filtering antenna has a broadside
gain profile [see Fig. 6(b)] similar to the transmission of the
Chebyshev BPF with a peak total broadside gain of 6.8 dBi and
in-band gain variation of 0.8 dB. The simulated average radiation efficiency in the passband was around 80%. The nonperfect
radiation efficiency is primarily due to the insertion loss of the
added BPF and the stripline feeding network. It should be noted
that the out-of-band rejection of this filtering antenna is slightly

As a constitutive part of the CP filtering antenna, the LP


filtering antenna was compared with the LP patch alone, and
the LP patch with a directly connected BPF that was separately designed. For all three antennas, the same patch was
used, ensuring the same quality factor for the radiating element.
As shown in Fig. 7, the integrated filtering antenna exhibits a
simulated S11 below 15 dB within the frequency range from
3.74 to 4.26 GHz, whereas the S11 < 15 dB bandwidth of the
patch radiator alone, which only provides first order filtering, is
much narrower (i.e., from 3.96 to 4.08 GHz). A third antenna
was also considered that follows the conventional approach
where a separately designed well-performing BPF consisting
of four SOLRs was connected to the patch via a short section of
50 transmission line. In this case, a wide bandpass window
can be identified in the frequency range of interest. However,
the antenna input impedance is not maintained at 50 when

Fig. 6. Simulated (a) S11 , (b) gain, and AR of the originally designed and
optimized CP filtering antennas in free space. The dimensions of the optimized design are p = 22.5, c = 1.03, m = 4.75, ar1 = 6.88, ar2 = 7.16,
ar3 = 7.22, br = 7.6, sr = 1.5, wr = 0.5, s12 = 0.38, s23 = 0.49, ss =
0.19, ws = 0.4, ls1 = 3.68, ls2 = 8.78, ls3 = 3.78, t = 4.39, la1 = 2.1,
la2 = 8.6, la3 = 4.5, la4 = 3, la5 = 7.84, lb1 = 2.5, lb2 = 8.9, lb3 = 2.3,
lf 2 = 11.25, lf 3 = 2, wf 1 = 1.35, wf 2 = 1.45, and wf 3 = 1.73, all in
millimeters.

Fcost =

[max (0, |S11 | 0.18)

fpbi

+ max (0, |ARdb | 3) + max (0, 6 |Gaindb |)]



(max (0, 0.8 |S11 |)) .
(2)
+
fsbi

JIANG AND WERNER: COMPACT WIDEBAND CP CO-DESIGNED FILTERING ANTENNA AND ITS APPLICATION

3813

Fig. 8. Photographs of the stripline circuit and the final module of (a) the LP
and (b) CP filtering antennas.

there is a deviation from the center frequency, while the two


ports of the BPF still maintain 50 terminations. This mismatch results in band-edge selectivity degradation, especially
at lower frequencies. It also leads to increased in-band S11 ,
exhibiting a bump at around 4.17 GHz with a maximum value
of 7.9 dB. It should be noted that, in addition to the degraded
performance, the footprint of the antenna is also increased by
about 15% to accommodate the four SOLR BPF circuits. This
comparison illustrates the advantage of the co-design approach
for synthesizing filtering antennas, which provides a compact
and integrated solution with superior performance compared
to those obtained by conventional methods. Moreover, it can
be seen that the coupled SOLR circuit not only provides the
filtering functionality to block unwanted signals outside the targeted band, but also serves as a reactive matching network that
greatly broadens the S11 < 15 dB impedance bandwidth of
the antenna by around 333% [40]. It should be noted that, this
achieved bandwidth is still well within the Chu limit on antenna
bandwidth [47].

III. F REE -S PACE M EASUREMENT R ESULTS


Both the LP and CP integrated filtering antennas were fabricated by a standard printed circuit board etching method and
then assembled to form the final modules. Eight nylon screws
were used on the outer periphery of the filtering antennas to
achieve a tight bonding between the layers. An SMA connector was soldered to the stripline feed and the top and bottom
ground layers. Fig. 8(a) and (b) shows photographs of the fabricated stripline BPF structures and the final assembled LP and
CP antenna modules, respectively.
The impedance of the filtering antennas was measured using
an Agilent E8364B network analyzer. As shown in Fig. 9(a),
the measured S11 of the LP filtering antenna exhibits good filtering properties with S11 < 14 dB from 3.77 to 4.24 GHz.
The minor difference in the simulated and measured in-band
S11 and slightly decreased roll-offs are attributed to fabrication
and assembly inaccuracies. The measured broadside gain displayed in Fig. 9(a) has a flat passband with values higher than

Fig. 9. Simulated and measured S11 and gain of the (a) LP and (b) CP filtering
antennas. (c) Simulated and measured AR of the CP filtering antenna.

5.3 dBi in the band from 3.78 to 4.22 GHz and high rejection
elsewhere. The gain in the passband is on average about 1.1 dB
lower than the value predicted in simulation primarily due to
the loss caused by the relatively low conductivity solder used
near the SMA and the vertical pin.
The measured S11 of the CP filtering antenna is presented in
Fig. 9(b), which also shows good filtering properties with S11 <
13.5 dB from 3.76 to 4.30 GHz, although slightly shifted to
higher frequencies as well as broadened. Such a minor blue
shift and band broadening can also be observed in the measured
broadside gain response [see Fig. 9(b)], which possesses a flat
passband with values higher than 5.2 dBi in the band from 3.77
to 4.33 GHz and high rejection elsewhere. The gain in the passband is on an average about 1.2 dB lower than the simulated
results. The measured broadside AR, as shown in Fig. 9(c), is
below 3 dB from 3.77 to 4.26 GHz. The normalized LHCP
and RHCP far-field patterns in both the xz and yz planes
were measured in an anechoic chamber. The patterns at 3.8,
4.0, and 4.2 GHz are displayed in Fig. 10, which correspond
well to simulation predictions with only slight discrepancies.
High cross-polarization discrimination is obtained within a
wide angular range in both planes. The main beam is slightly
shifted by 3 4 from broadside due to the offset pin feeds
with respect to the center of the patch and the offset patch position away from the center of the ground plane. They have nearly
equal half power beam widths (HPBWs) of about 83 and 84
in the xz and yz planes, respectively, and front-to-back ratios
that vary from 18 to 22 dB. The wide HPBW is favorable

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 63, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2015

Fig. 10. Simulated and measured normalized LHCP and RHCP radiation patterns of the CP filtering antenna at (a) 3.8 GHz, (b) 4 GHz, and (c) 4.2 GHz
in both the xz and yz planes (black dashed line: simulated LHCP; black
solid line: measured LHCP; blue dashed line: simulated RHCP; blue solid line:
measured RHCP).

for off-body communication due to its wide angular coverage.


Above all, the measurements confirmed a fairly high-fidelity
implementation of the proposed LP and CP integrated filtering antenna designs. To compare with the previously reported
filtering antennas, the antenna properties including footprint,
antenna profile, S11 bandwidth, polarization, and pattern type
are listed in Table I.
IV. W EARABLE A PPLICATION OF THE CP F ILTERING
A NTENNA
While the proposed compact CP filtering antenna can be a
good candidate for various wireless communication systems,
its suitability for wearable devices to enable off-body communications is further investigated by evaluating its performance
numerically and experimentally when it is mounted directly on
a human body.
A. Impact of the Human Body on Antenna Performance
The impact of the human body on the input impedance
and the radiation properties of the CP filtering antenna were

studied next. A homogenous full-scale human body model was


employed which had a height of 174 cm and a chest width of
46 cm [48]. In the HFSS simulation domain, the human body
model was assigned as an integral equation (IE) region, which
was solved by the method of moments, whereas the filtering
antenna was still assigned to the finite element region. The permittivity of the homogeneous human body model was chosen to
be two-thirds of the permittivity of muscle, which represents a
reasonable approximation as proven in the literature [17], [49].
Such a homogeneous model allows for a numerically economical way to provide a fairly accurate evaluation of both the
impedance and radiation properties of wearable antennas, but
not the SAR values [23].
As shown in Fig. 11, the proposed filtering antenna was
placed at two different locations on the body, including the
arm and the chest with an antenna to body distance of approximately 2 mm. For the on-arm case, the antenna is positioned
such that the patch is offset toward the bottom, whereas for the
antenna on-chest case, the patch is offset toward the right of
the body. Two different body gestures in standing and running
modes were also considered. Owing to the employed buried
stripline structure, the human body in close proximity does not
have a great impact on the electromagnetic properties of both
the patch antenna and the BPF circuit. Hence, the S11 , gain,
and AR of the CP filtering antenna under the four different circumstances remain similar to the values when the antenna is in
free space. A slight resonance shift in the S11 can be observed,
but it is maintained below 13.5 dB in the targeted band for all
four cases. The broadside gain profiles are also well maintained
with a peak gain of 6.7, 6.4, 6.6, and 6.5 dBi for the on-chest
standing, on-arm standing, on-chest running, and on-arm running cases, respectively, with in-band variations of around 1.2,
1.1, 1.3, and 1.1 dB. The simulated average radiation efficiency
in the passband for the antenna when employed in the wearable
scenarios is around 76%. The slight drop (4%) compared to
the antenna in free space case indicates that the human body has
a very minor impact on the radiation efficiency of the antenna
when it is located in close proximity to human tissue, due to the
employed stripline structure. The broadside ARs are all below
3 dB in the majority of the targeted band, except for small peaks
that reach 3.3 dB. The AR band slightly moves to lower frequency by about 0.02 GHz on average, due to the loading and
shadowing effect of the human body. The simulated normalized
LHCP and RHCP radiation patterns in both the horizontal and
vertical planes at 3.8, 4.0, and 4.2 GHz for all four cases are
also displayed in Fig. 11. It can be seen that the majority of the
energy is directed into the hemisphere away from the human
body. Slight differences exist between the radiation patterns
for the antenna in free space versus on-body. Particularly, pattern asymmetry and radiation nulls can be observed in the back
lobes, which are primarily attributed to the human body shadowing effect. The weak LHCP back radiation, upon reflecting
from the human body surface behind the antenna, is converted
into RHCP and interferes with the RHCP waves directly radiated from the antenna, resulting in the observed multiple lobes
in the half space in front of the antenna. The impact of different human body gestures can also be observed, where the lifted
right arm in the running gesture causes more obvious pattern

JIANG AND WERNER: COMPACT WIDEBAND CP CO-DESIGNED FILTERING ANTENNA AND ITS APPLICATION

3815

TABLE I
P ROPERTY AND P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON A MONG D IFFERENT F ILTERING A NTENNA D ESIGNS

* AR < 3 dB bandwidth in percentage.

asymmetry and a tilting of 10 in the main beam in the horizontal plane for the antenna on-chest case but not the antenna
on-arm case. When located on the chest, the filtering antenna
has LHCP HPBWs of around 78 /79 and 82 /80 in the yz/
xy plane, respectively, for the two gestures. When located on
the arm, the filtering antenna has LHCP HPBWs of around
80 /83 and 79 /82 in the xz/xy plane, respectively, for the
two gestures. The beamwidths are slightly reduced from that
of the antenna in free space in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Importantly, the radiation patterns exhibit a high
degree of cross-polarization discrimination within a wide angular range. Specifically, for all of these four cases, the LHCP
wave is at least 15 dB stronger than the RHCP wave within a
wide angular range of about 85 in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Such simultaneous wide angular power and circular
polarization coverage indicates that stable wireless links can
be achieved for off-body communications within a wide bandwidth of 500 MHz, which are robust and tolerant to human
body movement and multipath interference.
Measurements were carried out to validate the on-body simulations, where the fabricated CP filtering antenna was mounted
on the arm and chest of a person in both a standing and running gesture. Similar to the behavior manifested in the free
space measured results, the S11 curves are slightly wider than
the simulated results, but in all achieve very good agreement.
The maximum in-band S11 values were found to vary between
12.9 dB and 13.6 dB among the four cases. The measured
broadside gain curves possess similar profiles compared to
those of the filtering antenna in free space, though with a
0.5 dB lower peak value and a 0.4 dB higher in-band fluctuation on average. The broadside AR curves are smaller than 3 dB
within the majority of the targeted band, with a slight frequency

shift to upper frequencies and band broadening, corresponding


to the behavior that was also exhibited in the S11 and gain
curves. These experiments verify that the proposed antenna
module maintains its simultaneous filtering and CP radiating
functionalities when it is mounted on different positions of
an actual human body as well as while undergoing different gestures. Moreover, compared to commonly used backside
microstrip feeding techniques, the stripline configuration provides much better shielding for the high-Q coupled resonator
circuits.
B. SAR Simulations
Having evaluated the impact of the human body on the
performance of the CP filtering antenna when it is placed in
close proximity to a homogeneous human body model, the
SAR values are now investigated which quantifies the effect
of the antenna on the human body. A numerical 3-D volumetric anatomical HUGO human body model produced by the
National Library of Medicine [50], which contains 40 different types of tissues at a resolution of 2 2 2 mm mesh size,
was incorporated into the CST microwave studio (MWS) software package for accurate calculation of the SAR values in the
near-field.
Similar to Fig. 11, the filtering antenna was placed at two different positions on the HUGO human body, including the chest
and the arm, as shown in Fig. 12(a) and (b), respectively. As a
benchmark, a power of 100 mW accepted by the antenna was
chosen to evaluate the SAR performance. To reduce the simulation time, only a portion of the chest or arm with a sectional
area of larger than 10 times that of the antenna size was used
since the SAR is a near-field effect. Fig. 12(a) and (b) show the

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 63, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2015

Fig. 11. Simulated and measured S11 , gain, and AR, in addition to simulated LHCP (solid lines) and RHCP (dashed lines) radiation patterns at 3.8 GHz (blue
lines), 4.0 GHz (black lines), and 4.2 GHz (red lines) in both the vertical (xz or yz) and horizontal (xy) planes of the integrated CP filtering antenna mounted
on the (a) chest and (b) arm with a standing gesture and (c) chest and (d) arm with a running gesture.

Fig. 12. Simulated 1-g averaged SAR values of the filtering antenna mounted
on (a) the chest and (b) the arm of the HUGO human body model in CST MWS
at 3.8, 4.0, and 4.2 GHz. (c) Simulated peak 1- and 10-g averaged SAR values
in the targeted band as a function of frequency.

simulated 1-g averaged SAR values for the two cases at 3.8,
4.0, and 4.2 GHz. It can be observed that the SAR distributions have the strongest values in the tissue regions closest to
the radiating patch and slight variations elsewhere at different
frequencies. For both cases, the peak 1-g averaged SAR values as a function of frequency are shown in Fig. 12(c), which
are lower than 0.24 W/kg throughout the entire targeted passband; well below the 1.6-W/kg specification provided by the
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) [51]. Further evaluation of the 10-g averaged SAR values shows that the peak
value is smaller than 0.066 W/kg within the targeted passband [see Fig. 12(c)]. Such a small value is also far below the
maximum allowed value of 2 W/kg as required by the FCC.
Hence, from the 1- and 10-g averaged SAR evaluations, the
maximum allowable input power of the CP filtering antenna is
667 mW.

JIANG AND WERNER: COMPACT WIDEBAND CP CO-DESIGNED FILTERING ANTENNA AND ITS APPLICATION

V. C ONCLUSION
In conclusion, we have proposed a methodology to design
compact, wideband CP filtering antennas using two LP
branches. Rather than independently designing components
that are matched to a common impedance, the antenna and
BPF circuit are co-designed by treating the patch as the radiator as well as the last resonator of the BPF. A proof-of-concept
example was designed, fabricated, and tested for operation
around 4 GHz. While maintaining a compact form factor of
0.530 0.530 0.070 , the antenna is still able to exhibit
an S11 < 13.5 dB, an AR smaller than 3 dB, and a gain
higher than 5.2 dBi in a 12.2% bandwidth. Comparing to a
conventional patch antenna with and without a directly connected BPF, the proposed antenna suppresses the undesired
out-of-band signals and retains the desired flatness of the passband antenna gain response. The filtering antenna was shown
to maintain its broadband CP performance when placed on different positions of a human body and while undergoing diverse
gestures. Moreover, the filtering antenna exhibits small SAR
values throughout the band. The demonstrated compact filtering antennas will find potential applications in various wireless
systems as well as for advanced wearable devices. It should be
noted that the demonstrated antennas were built on rigid substrate, making them only wearable on parts of the human body
that are locally flat. The effect of incorporating flexible substrate materials into these integrated wearable filtering antennas
will be further investigated in the future.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like thank Dr. M. Gregory for his help
during the assembly of the fabricated filtering antennas.

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2002.
Zhi Hao Jiang (S07M13) was born in Nanjing,
China, in 1986. He received the B.S. degree in radio
engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing,
China, in 2008, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical
engineering from The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA, USA, in 2013.
Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Fellow with
the Computational Electromagnetics and Antennas
Research Laboratory (CEARL), Department of
Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State
University. He was a Research Assistant with the
State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, School of Information Science
and Engineering, Southeast University. He was with Base Station Antenna
R&D, Andrew Telecommunication, China, as an intern in 2007. He has coauthored 3 book chapters and over 60 papers in peer reviewed international
journals and conference proceedings. He holds 2 Chinese patents and 4 U.S.
patents (pending). His research interests include antennas, microwave circuits,
metamaterials, and nanophotonics.
Dr. Jiang is as a Reviewer for Nature Materials, Nature Communications,
Scientific Reports, IEEE T RANSACTIONS ON A NTENNAS AND
P ROPAGATION, IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, IEEE
Microwave and Wireless Component Letters, IEEE Antennas and Propagation
Magazine, Nanoscale, Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics,
and PIER. He is the Meritorious Winner of the 2006 Interdisciplinary Contest
in Modeling funded by the National Security Agency and administrated by
the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications. He is also the recipient
of the 2007 Microsoft Young Fellow awarded by Microsoft Research Asia
(MSRA), the 2007 Top Ten Outstanding Students of Jiangsu Province, and the
2012 A. J. Ferraro Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in Electromagnetics,
and an Honorable Mention in 2013 IEEE AP-S International Symposium on
Antennas and Propagation Student Paper Contest.

Douglas H. Werner (F05) received the B.S., M.S.,


and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and the
M.A. degree in mathematics from The Pennsylvania
State University (Penn State), University Park, PA,
USA, in 1983, 1985, 1989, and 1986, respectively.
He holds the John L. and Genevieve H.
McCain Chair Professorship at the Department
of Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State
University. He is the Director of the Computational
Electromagnetics and Antennas Research Laboratory
as well as a Member of the Communications and
Space Sciences Laboratory (CSSL). He is also a Faculty Member of the
Materials Research Institute (MRI), Penn State. He holds 8 patents, has
authored over 625 technical papers and proceedings papers, and is the author
of 14 book chapters with several additional chapters currently in preparation.
He has authored several books including Frontiers in Electromagnetics
(Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 2000), Genetic Algorithms in Electromagnetics
(Hoboken, NJ: Wiley/IEEE, 2007), and Transformation Electromagnetics and
Metamaterials: Fundamental Principles and Applications (London, U.K.:
Springer, 2014). He has also contributed chapters for several books including
Electromagnetic Optimization by Genetic Algorithms (New York, NY, USA:
Wiley Interscience, 1999), Soft Computing in Communications (New York,
NY, USA: Springer, 2004), Antenna Engineering Handbook (New York, NY,
USA: McGraw-Hill, 2007), Frontiers in Antennas: Next Generation Design
and Engineering (New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill, 2011), Numerical
Methods for Metamaterial Design (New York, NY, USA: Springer, 2013), and
Computational Electromagnetics (New York, NY, USA: Springer, 2014). His
research interests include computational electromagnetic, antenna theory and
design, phased arrays (including ultra-wideband arrays), microwave devices,
wireless and personal communication systems (including onbody networks),
wearable and e-textile antennas, RFID tag antennas, conformal antennas,
reconfigurable antennas, frequency selective surfaces, electromagnetic wave
interactions with complex media, metamaterials, electromagnetic bandgap
materials, zero and negative index materials, transformation optics, nanoscale
electromagnetics (including nanoantennas), fractal and knot electrodynamics,
and nature-inspired optimization techniques (genetic algorithms, clonal
selection algorithms, particle swarm, wind driven optimization, and various
other evolutionary programming schemes).
Prof. Werner is a Fellow of the IET (formerly IEE) and the ACES. He
is a former Associate Editor of Radio Science, a former Editor of the IEEE
Antennas and Propagation Magazine, a member of URSI Commissions B and
G, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi. He was presented with the
1993 Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES) Best Paper
Award and was also the recipient of a 1993 International Union of Radio
Science (URSI) Young Scientist Award. In 1994, he received the Pennsylvania
State University Applied Research Laboratory Outstanding Publication Award.
He also received the 2015 ACES Technical Achievement Award. He was the
recipient of a College of Engineering PSES Outstanding Research Award and
Outstanding Teaching Award in March 2000 and March 2002, respectively. He
was also presented with an IEEE Central Pennsylvania Section Millennium
Medal. In March 2009, he received the PSES Premier Research Award. He
was a coauthor (with one of his graduate students) of a paper published in the
IEEE T RANSACTIONS ON A NTENNAS AND P ROPAGATION which received
the 2006 R. W. P. King Award. He received the inaugural IEEE Antennas and
Propagation Society Edward E. Altshuler Prize Paper Award and the Harold A.
Wheeler Applications Prize Paper Award, in 2011 and 2014, respectively.