Advanced Circularly Polarised Microstrip Patch Antennas

TitleAdvanced Circularly Polarised Microstrip Patch Antennas
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNarbudowicz, A
Academic DepartmentSchool of Electronic and Communications Engineering
Date Published09/2013
UniversityDublin Institute of Technology
CityDublin, Ireland
Thesis TypePhD Thesis

The thesis describes outcomes of research on advanced circularly polarised antennas. The proposed designs are intended for integration into small mobile devices, therefore low profile and easy manufacturability are key parameters, along with good CP radiation properties. The designs were validated by simulation and measurement, and are also backed by theory and design guidelines.

The primary focus is on the development of planar omnidirectional circularly polarised antennas, which are fabricated using multilayer PCB techniques and thus are lightweight and cost-efficient. Unlike in classical microstrip patch antenna designs, the groundplane of the proposed antenna was substantially reduced. This helps to achieve an omnidirectional circular polarisation pattern and miniaturize the antenna, however at the cost of increased feed circuit complexity. The basic design, its advantages and disadvantages are discussed in Section 3.

In the next step, the omnidirectional circularly polarised antenna was extended with additional, advanced features. A miniaturized version is investigated, which offers a 20% footprint reduction by folding parts of the patch underneath itself. Further miniaturization is possible by increasing the dielectric constant of the substrate.

A method to adjust the omnidirectional circularly polarised antenna performance by trimming four lumped capacitors is also investigated. Manufacturing inaccuracy in large scale production may cause some of the units to radiate outside of the desired frequencies. By integrating four trimmed capacitors into the antenna it can be precisely tuned to the desired band. Simulated results demonstrate this property by trimming the antenna between GPS L1 band (centre frequency at 1.575 GHz) and Galileo/Beidou-2 E2 band (1.561 GHz).

Furthermore, a dual-band omnidirectional circularly polarised antenna is presented, which employs slots and capacitor loading to steer the current path of the first and second resonant mode. The design offers a small frequency ratio of 1.182.

The methods to obtain a planar omnidirectional circularly polarised antenna have been further advanced to propose a reconfigurable antenna. The beam reconfiguration is capable of rotating it dipole-like radiation pattern around an axis, thus allowing reception or transmission from any spherical angle. The switching method is simple and does not require any semiconductor devices.

Finally, a dual circularly polarised antenna is presented, which achieves dual-polarisation by employing even and odd modes in a coplanar waveguide. This technique allows greater flexibility and size reduction of the feed network, as two signals can be transmitted by a single multi-mode transmission line.

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