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Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3

HISTORY OF ANTENNAS

This chapter gives the overview of diierent antennas working with different
applications. To design of an antenna the different feeding tecqniques and antenna
parametrics are more essential. Finally, this chapter ends with the Microstrip patch,
fractal antenna concepts and different feeding techniques are explained in detail.

3.1 INTRODUCTION

In this modern era of wireless communication, many engineers require basic


knowledge of fundamental communication concepts such as types of antennas,
electromagnetic radiation and various phenomena related to propagation, etc. In case
of wireless communication systems, antennas play a prominent role as they convert
the electronic signals into electromagnetic waves efficiently.

The sole functionality of an antenna is power radiation or reception. Antenna


can be connected to the circuitry at the station through a transmission line. The
functioning of an antenna depends upon the radiation mechanism of a transmission
line.

A conductor, which is designed to carry current over large distances with


minimum losses, is termed as a transmission line. A transmission line conducting
current with uniform velocity, and the line being a straight one with infinite extent,
radiates no power.

A transmission line, to become a waveguide or to radiate power, has to be processed


as such.

 If the power has to be radiated, though the current conduction is with uniform
velocity, the wire or transmission line should be bent, truncated or terminated.
 If this transmission line has current, which accelerates or decelerates with a
timevarying constant, then it radiates the power even though the wire is
straight.

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 The device or tube, if bent or terminated to radiate energy, then it is called as


waveguide. These are especially used for the microwave transmission or
reception.

Fig. 3.1. A Waveguide, Which Acts As An Antenna

3.2 TYPES OF ANTENNAS

Antennas have to be classified to understand their physical structure and functionality


more clearly. There are many types of antennas depending upon the applications.

Antennas may be divided into various types depending upon:

 The physical structure of the antenna.


 The frequency ranges of operation.
 The mode of applications etc.

Physical structure

Following are the types of antennas according to the physical structure:

 Wire antennas
 Aperture antennas
 Reflector antennas
 Lens antennas
 Micro strip antennas
 Array antennas

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Frequency of operation

Following are the types of antennas according to the frequency of operation:

 Very Low Frequency (VLF)


 Low Frequency (LF)
 Medium Frequency (MF)
 High Frequency (HF)
 Very High Frequency (VHF)
 Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
 Super High Frequency (SHF)
 Micro wave
 Radio wave

Mode of Applications
Following are the types of antennas according to the modes of applications :
 Point-to-point communications
 Broadcasting applications
 Radar communications
 Satellite communications

3.2.1 WIRE ANTENNAS


Wire antennas are also known as linear or curved antennas.These antennas are very
simple, cheap and are used in a wide range of applications.

The wire or the transmission line has some power, which travels from one end to the
other end. If both the ends of transmission line are connected to circuits, then the
information will be transmitted or received using this wire between these two circuits.
If one end of this wire is not connected, then the power in it tries to escape. This leads
to wireless communication. If one end of the wire is bent, then the energy tries to
escape from the transmission line, more effectively than before. This purposeful
escape is known as Radiation.

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Fig. 3.2. Wire Antenna

These antennas are further subdivided into four types.

Dipole Antenna
A dipole antenna is one of the most straightforward antenna alignments. This dipole
antenna consists of two thin metal rods with a sinusoidal voltage difference between
them. The length of the rods is chosen in such a way that they have quarter length of
the wavelength at operational frequencies. These antennas are used in designing their
own antennas or other antennas. They are very simple to construct and use.

The dipole antenna consists of two metallic rods through which current and frequency
flow. This current and voltage flow makes an electromagnetic wave and the radio
signals get radiated. The antenna consists of a radiating element that splits the rods
and make current flow through the center by using a feeder at the transmitter out that
takes from the receiver.The different types of dipole antennas used as RF antennas
include half wave, multiple, folded, non-resonant, and so on.

Short-Dipole Antenna

It is the simplest of all types of antennas. This antenna is an open circuited wire in
which short denotes “ relative to a wavelength” so this antenna gives priority to the
size of the wire relative to the wavelength of the frequency of operation. It does take
any consideration about the absolute size of the dipole antenna. The short dipole
antenna is made up of two co-linear conductors that are placed end to end, with a
small gap between conductors by a feeder. A Dipole is considered as short if the
length of the radiating element is less than a tenth of the wavelength. The short dipole

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antenna is made of two co-linear conductors that are placed end to end, with a small
gap between conductors by a feeder.

Monopole Antenna

A monopole antenna is half of a simple dipole antenna located over a grounded plane
as shown in the figure below.

The radiation pattern above the grounded plane will be same as the half wave dipole
antenna, however, the total power radiated is half that of a dipole; the field gets
radiated only in the upper hemisphere region. The directivity of these antennas
become double compared to the dipole antennas.

The monopole antennas are also used as vehicle mounted antennas as they provide the
required ground plane for the antennas mounted above the earth.

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Loop Antenna

A loop antenna is a coil carrying radio frequency current. It may be in any shape such
as circular, rectangular, triangular, square or hexagonal according to the designer’s
convenience.

Loop antennas share similar characteristics with both dipole and monopole antennas
because they are simple and easy to construct. Loop antennas are available in different
shapes like circular, elliptical, rectangular, etc. The fundamental characteristics of the
loop antenna are independent of its shape. They are widely used in communication
links with the frequency of around 3 GHz. These antennas can also be used as
electromagnetic field probes in the microwave bands.

The circumference of the loop antenna determines the efficiency of the antenna as
similar to that of dipole and monopole antennas.

Aperture antennas

An Antenna with an aperture at the end can be termed as an Aperture antenna.


Waveguide is an example of aperture antenna. The edge of a transmission line when
terminated with an opening, radiates energy. This opening which is an aperture,
makes it an Aperture antenna.

The main types of aperture antennas are:

 Wave guide antenna


 Horn antenna
 Slot antenna

Waveguide Antenna

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A Waveguide is capable of radiating energy when excited at one end and opened at
the other end. The radiation in wave guide is greater than a two-wire transmission
line. The operational frequency range of a wave guide is around 300MHz to 300GHz.
This antenna works in UHF and EHF frequency ranges.

This waveguide with terminated end, acts as an antenna. But only a small portion of
the energy is radiated while a large portion of it gets reflected back in the open circuit.

Horn antenna

To improve the radiation efficiency and directivity of the beam, the wave guide
should be provided with an extended aperture to make the abrupt discontinuity of the
wave into a gradual transformation. So that all the energy in the forward direction gets
radiated. This can be termed as Flaring. Now, this can be done using a horn antenna.

The operational frequency range of a horn antenna is around 300MHz to 30GHz. This
antenna works in UHF and SHF frequency ranges.

The energy of the beam when slowly transform into radiation, the losses are reduced
and the focussing of the beam improves. A Horn antenna may be considered as a
flared out wave guide, by which the directivity is improved and the diffraction is
reduced.

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Slot Antenna

Slot Antenna is an example of Aperture antenna. A rectangular slot is made on the


conducting sheet. These slot antennas can be formed by simply making a cut on the
surface, where they are mounted on. The frequency range used for the application of
Slot antenna is 300 MHz to 30 GHz. It works in UHF and SHF frequency ranges.

The working of Slot Antenna can be easily understood through its working principle
“Babinet’s principle of optics”.

When an infinite conducting sheet is made a rectangular cut and the fields are excited
in the aperture, it is termed as Slot antenna. This can be understood by observing the
image of a slot antenna.

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Reflector Antennas

Corner Reflector Antenna

The antenna that comprises one or more dipole elements placed in front of a corner
reflector, is known as corner-reflector antenna.The directivity of any antenna can be
increased by using reflectors. In case of a wire antenna, a conducting sheet is used
behind the antenna for directing the radiation in the forward direction.

Parabolic-Reflector Antenna

The radiating surface of a parabolic antenna has very large dimensions compared to
its wavelength. The geometrical optics, which depend upon rays and wavefronts, are
used to know about certain features of these antennas.

The standard definition of a parabola is - Locus of a point, which moves in such a way
that its distance from the fixed point (called focus) plus its distance from a straight
line (called directrix) is constant.

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One of the useful properties of this antenna is the conversion of a diverging spherical
wavefront into parallel wave front that produces a narrow beam of the antenna. The
various types of feeds that use this parabolic reflector include horn feeds, Cartesian
feeds and dipole feed.

Properties of Parabola

 All the waves originating from focus, reflects back to the parabolic axis.
Hence, all the waves reaching the aperture are in phase.
 As the waves are in phase, the beam of radiation along the parabolic axis will
be strong and concentrated.

Following these points, the parabolic reflectors help in producing high directivity with
narrower beam width.

Lens antenna

Lens antennas are made up of glass, where the converging and diverging properties of
lens are followed. The lens antennas are used for higher frequency applications. The
frequency range of usage of lens antenna starts at 1000 MHz but its use is greater at
3000 MHz and above.

If a light source is assumed to be present at a focal point of a lens, which is at a focal


distance from the lens, then the rays get through the lens as collimated or parallel rays
on the plane wavefront.

The rays that pass through the centre of the lens are less refracted than the rays that
pass through the edges of the lens. All of the rays are sent in parallel to the plane
wave front. This phenomenon of lens is called as divergence.

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The same procedure gets reversed if a light beam is sent from right side to left of the
same lens. Then the beam gets refracted and meets at a point called focal point, at a
focal distance from the lens. This phenomenon is called convergence.

Microwave Antennas

The antennas operating at microwave frequencies are known as microwave antennas.


These antennas are used in a wide range of applications.

Micro strip antennas

Micro strip antennas are low-profile antennas. A metal patch mounted at a ground
level with a di-electric material in-between constitutes a Micro strip or Patch Antenna.
These are very low size antennas having low radiation. The patch antennas are
popular for low profile applications at frequencies above 100MHz.

It consists of a very thin metallic strip placed on a ground plane with a di-electric
material in-between. The radiating element and feed lines are placed by the process of
photo-etching on the di-electric material. Usually, the patch or micro-strip is choosen
to be square, circular or rectangular in shape for the ease of analysis and fabrication.

The length of the metal patch is λ/2. When the antenna is excited, the waves generated
within the di-electric undergo reflections and the energyis radiated from the edges of
the metal patch,which is very low. The radiation pattern of microstrip or patch
antenna is broad. It has low radiation power and narrow frequency bandwidth.

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Planar Inverted-F antenna

The Planar Inverted-F antenna (PIFA) is increasingly used in the mobile phone
market. The antenna is resonant at a quarter-wavelength (thus reducing the required
space needed on the phone), and also typically has good SAR (Specific Absorption
Rate) properties. This antenna resembles an inverted F, which explains the PIFA
name. The Planar Inverted-F Antenna is popular because it has a low profile and an
omnidirectional pattern. A Planar Inverted-F Antenna can be considered as a type of
linear Inverted F antenna (IFA) in which the wire radiating element is replaced by a
plate to increase the bandwidth.

The feed is placed between the open and shorted end, and the position controls the
input impedance.

The advantage of these antennas is that they can be hidden into the housing of the
mobile when compared to different types of antennas like a whip, rod or helical
antennas, etc. The other advantage is that they can reduce the backward radiation
towards the top of the antenna by absorbing power, which enhances the efficiency.
They provides high gain in both horizontal and vertical states. This feature is most
important for any kind of antennas used in wireless communications.

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Travelling Wave Antennas

Helical Antennas

Helical antennas are also known as helix antennas. They have relatively simple
structures with one, two or more wires each wound to form a helix, usually backed by
a ground plane or shaped reflector and driven by an appropriate feed. The most
common design is a single wire backed by the ground and fed with a coaxial line. It is
the simplest antenna, which provides circularly polarized waves. It is used in extra-
terrestrial communications in which satellite relays etc..

In General, the radiation properties of a helical antenna are associated with this
specification: the electrical size of the structure, wherein the input impedance is more
sensitive to the pitch and wire size.

Helical antennas have two predominate radiation modes: the normal mode and the
axial mode. The axial mode is used in a wide range of applications. In the normal
mode, the dimensions of the helix are small compared to its wavelength. This antenna
acts as the short dipole or monopole antenna. In the axial mode, the dimensions of the
helix are same compared to its wavelength. This antenna works as directional antenna.

Yagi-Uda Antenna

Yagi-Uda antenna is the most commonly used type of antenna for TV reception over
the last few decades. It is the most popular and easy-to-use type of antenna with better
performance, inexpensive which is famous for its high gain and directivity.

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The frequency range in which the Yagi-Uda antennas operate is around 30 MHz to
3GHz which belong to the VHF and UHF bands.

A Yagi-Uda antenna was seen on top of almost every house during the past decades.
The parasitic elements and the dipole together form this Yagi-Uda antenna.

It can be constructed with one or more reflector elements and one or more director
elements. Yagi antennas can be made by using an antenna with one reflector, a driven
folded-dipole active element, and directors, mounted for horizontal polarization in the
forward direction.

ANTENNA ARRAYS

An antenna array is a radiating system, which consists of individual radiators and


elements. Each of this radiator, while functioning has its own induction field. The
elements are placed so closely that each one lies in the neighbouring one’s induction
field. Therefore, the radiation pattern produced by them, would be the vector sum of
the individual ones.

The spacing between the elements and the length of the elements according to the
wavelength are also to be kept in mind while designing these antennas.The antennas
radiate individually and while in array, the radiation of all the elements sum up, to
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form the radiation beam, which has high gain, high directivity and better performance,
with minimum losses.

MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS

which is also commonly referred to as the patch antenna. Microstrip or patch antennas
are becoming increasingly useful because they can be printed directly onto a circuit
board. Microstrip antennas are becoming very widespread within the mobile phone
market. Patch antennas are low cost, have a low profile and are easily fabricated.

Micro strip antenna consists of a very thin metallic strip placed on a ground plane
with a di-electric material in-between. The radiating element and feed lines are placed
by the process of photo-etching on the di-electric material. Usually, the patch or
micro-strip is choosen to be square, circular or rectangular in shape for the ease of
analysis and fabrication.

The length of the metal patch is λ/2. When the antenna is excited, the waves generated
within the di-electric undergo reflections and the energyis radiated from the edges of
the metal patch,which is very low.

Consider the microstrip antenna shown in Figure 1, fed by a microstrip transmission


line. The patch antenna, microstrip transmission line and ground plane are made of
high conductivity metal (typically copper). The patch is of length L, width W, and
sitting on top of a substrate (some dielectric circuit board) of thickness h, with

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permittivity permittivity €r or dielectric constant. The thickness of the ground plane or


of the microstrip is not critically important. Typically the height h is much smaller
than the wavelength of operation, but should not be much smaller than 0.025 of a
wavelength (1/40th of a wavelength).

𝑎 − 1 − ln(2𝑎 − 1) + ⋯
2 𝑊
𝑊 {𝜀𝑟 − 1 0.1 } >2
𝜋 [ln(𝑎 − 1 + 0.39) − ] ℎ
= 2𝜀𝑟 𝜀𝑟 (4.1)

8𝑒 𝑎 𝑊⁄ < 2
{𝑒 𝑎 − 2 , ℎ
Where

377𝜋
𝑎= (4.2)
2𝑍𝑜 2√𝜀𝑟

𝑍𝑜 2 2√𝜀𝑟 + 1 𝜀𝑟 − 1 0.11
𝑏= 2 √ + (0.23 + ) (4.3)
60 √𝜀𝑟 2 𝜀𝑟 + 1 𝜀𝑟
The length of the microstrip is
𝐿𝑚 = 𝑛 ∗ 𝜆𝑔 ; 𝑛 = 1,3,5,7 … (4.4)

The frequency of operation of the patch antenna is determined by the length L. The
center frequency will be approximately given by:

The above equation says that the microstrip antenna should have a length equal to one
half of a wavelength within the dielectric (substrate) medium.

The width W of the microstrip antenna controls the input impedance. Larger widths
also can increase the bandwidth. For a square patch antenna fed in the manner above,
the input impedance will be on the order of 300 Ohms. By increasing the width, the
impedance can be reduced. However, to decrease the input impedance to 50 Ohms

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often requires a very wide patch antenna, which takes up a lot of valuable space. The
width further controls the radiation pattern. But microstripp antenna has lesser
directivity. The radiation pattern of microstrip or patch antenna is broad. It has low
radiation power and narrow frequency bandwidth.

Advantages

The following are the advantages of Micro strip antenna:

 Lighteweight
 Low cost
 Ease of installation

Disadvantages

The following are the disadvantages of Micro strip antenna:

 Inefficient radiation
 Narrow frequency bandwidth

Applications

The following are the applications of Micro strip antenna:

 Used in Space craft applications

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 Used in Air craft applications


 Used in Low profile antenna applications

FRACTAL ANTENNA

The term fractal, which means broken or irregular fragments, was originally coined by
Mandelbrot [4] to describe a family of complex shapes that possess an inherent self-
similarity or selfaffinity in their geometrical structure. The original inspiration for the
development of fractal geometry came largely from an in-depth study of the patterns
of nature. For instance. fractals have been successfully used to model such complex
natural objects as galaxies, cloud boundaries, mountain ranges, coastlines,
snowflakes, trees, leaves, ferns, and much more.

Antenna designers are always looking to come up with new ideas to push the
envelope for antennas, using a smaller volume while striving for every higher
bandwidth and antenna gain. One proposed method of increasing bandwidth (or
shrinking antenna size) is via the use of fractal geometry, which gives rise to fractal
antennas.

They have wild properties, like having a finite area but infinite perimeter. They are
often constructed via some sort of iterative mathematical rule, that generates a fractal
from a simple object step by step. The fractal structure is always the same.

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FEEDING TECHNIQUES

A feedline is used to excite to radiate by direct or indirect contact. There are many
different methods of feeding and four most popular methods are microstrip line feed,
coaxial probe, aperture coupling and proximity coupling.

Microstrip (Offset Microstrip) Line Feed:

A conducting strip is connected directly to the edge of the microstrip patch as shown
in figure 1.2. The conducting strip is smaller in width as compared to the patch. This
kind of feed arrangement has the advantage that the feed can be etched on the same
substrate to provide a planar structure. An inset cut can be incorporated into the patch
in order to obtain good impedance matching without the need for any additional
matching element. This is achieved by properly controlling the inset position. Hence
this is an easy feeding technique, since it provides ease of fabrication and simplicity
in modeling as well as impedance matching. However as the thickness of the
dielectric substrate increases, surface waves and spurious feed radiation also
increases, which hampers the bandwidth of the antenna.

Coaxial Feed

The Coaxial feed or probe feed is one of the most common techniques used for
feeding microstrip patch antennas. As seen from figure 1.3, the inner conductor of the

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coaxial connector extends through the dielectric and is soldered to the radiating patch,
while the outer conductor is connected to the ground plane. The main advantage of
this type of feeding scheme is that the feed can be placed at any desired position
inside the patch in order to obtain impedance matching. This feed method is easy to
fabricate and has low spurious radiation effects. However, its major disadvantage is
that it provides narrow bandwidth and is difficult to model since a hole has to be
drilled into the substrate. Also, for thicker substrates, the increased probe length
makes the input impedance more inductive, leading to matching problems. By using a
thick dielectric substrate to improve the bandwidth, the microstrip line feed and the
coaxial feed suffer from numerous disadvantages such as spurious feed radiation and
matching problem.

Advantages

 Easy of fabrication
 Easy to match
 Low spurious radiation

Disadvantages

 Narrow bandwidth
 Difficult to model specially for thick substrate
 Possess inherent asymmetries which generate higher order modes which
produce cross-polarization radiation.

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Aperture Coupled Feed

In aperture coupling as shown in figure 1.4 the radiating microstrip patch element is
etched on the top of the antenna substrate, and the microstrip feed line is etched on the
bottom of the feed substrate in order to obtain aperture coupling. The thickness and
dielectric constants of these two substrates may thus be chosen independently to
optimize the distinct electrical functions of radiation and circuitry. The coupling
aperture is usually centered under the patch, leading to lower cross-polarization due to
symmetry of the configuration. The amount of coupling from the feed line to the
patch is determined by the shape, size and location of the aperture. Since the ground
plane separates the patch and the feed line, spurious radiation is minimized.

Generally, a high dielectric material is used for bottom substrate and a thick, low
dielectric constant material is used for the top substrate to optimize radiation from the
patch. This type of feeding technique can give very high bandwidth of about 21%.
Also the effect of spurious radiation is very less as compared to other feed
techniques.The major disadvantage of this feed technique is that it is difficult to
fabricate due to multiple layers, which also increases the antenna thickness.

Proximity Coupled Feed

This type of feed technique is also called as the electromagnetic coupling scheme. As
shown in figure 1.5, two dielectric substrates are used such that the feed line is
between the two substrates and the radiating patch is on top of the upper substrate.
The main advantage of this feed technique is that it eliminates spurious feed radiation
and provides very high bandwidth of about 13%, due to increase in the electrical

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thickness of the microstrip patch antenna. This scheme also provides choices between
two different dielectric media, one for the patch and one for the feed line to optimize
the individual performances.

The major disadvantage of this feed scheme is that it is difficult to fabricate because
of the two dielectric layers that need proper alignment. Also, there is an increase in
the overall thickness of the antenna. The rapid progress in wireless communications
promises to make interactive voice, data, and video services available anytime and
anyplace. Wireless communication systems come in a variety of different sizes
ranging from small hand-held devices to wireless local area networks. The desirable
features of microstrip antennas, such as performance, flexibility, simplicity, high gain
and low fabrication cost, make them very popular for many applications. The slot in
the radiating element gives a more compact design for the antenna and, thus, space–
volume is saved. Since then these methods, aperture coupling and proximity coupling
have helped overcome several of the performance hindrances associated with direct
contact excitation procedures (probe and edge feeding). These include the inherent
narrow bandwidth of direct contact fed patches and also the spurious radiation
associated with the current discontinuity where the feed and the patch join. Despite
overcoming these detrimental attributes, proximity coupled patches have received
little attention in the literature. This may be because the original form required an
external impedance matching circuit to achieve a reasonable impedance bandwidth

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(approximately 13%). In a stacked proximity coupled patch was developed that


displayed a broad impedance bandwidth of approximately 25%, however this was
achieved with the assistance of slots within the patch radiators. In wireless
communication, much efforts has been devoted to reducing the size of microstrip
antenna, with a lot of methods proposed recently, such as cutting slots on the patch,
meandering the lateral edge of patch, using stacked patch, and adopting the substrate
with high permittivity, etc. DGS is then used in the design of a proximity coupled
antenna for its miniaturization.

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