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Published in IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation Received on 9th September 2010 Revised on 11th April 2011 doi: 10.1049/iet-map.2010.0450

ISSN 1751-8725

Miniature microstrip-fed ultra-wideband printed monopole antenna with a partial ground plane structure
M. Koohestani1 M.N. Moghadasi1 B.S. Virdee2
1 2

Faculty of Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran Faculty of Computing, Centre for Communications Technology, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK E-mail: koohestani.telecom@gmail.com

Abstract: A new microstrip-fed planar monopole antenna is presented for ultra-wideband (UWB) communication systems. The antenna structure consists of a dome-topped, bowl-shaped patch with a truncated ground plane structure. The ground plane is predominately tapered and includes a notch below the feed-line in the vicinity of the patch. The effects of dimensional parameters on the performance of the antenna have been investigated through a parametric study. Current density distribution on the antenna was also computed to gain a better insight of its behaviour. The antenna performance is validated through measurement, including its radiation patterns. The measured impedance bandwidth of the proposed antenna for |S11| 2 10 dB is 10.35 GHz (2.65 13.0 GHz), constituting 132% impedance bandwidth. The fabricated antenna has a compact size of 18 20 1.6 mm3. Additional features that make the antenna a suitable candidate for UWB systems are its simple conguration, compactness and low fabrication cost.

Introduction

Tremendous effort has been expended to date on the development of ultra-wideband (UWB) antennas since the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) allocated the frequency band (3.1 10.6 GHz) for communication system applications. This is because the design of such antennas is one of the challenging tasks in these systems. In order to make such systems coexist with and overlay existing narrow band radio services, the maximum permissible effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) density is restricted to 41.3 dBm/MHz. Hence, the emission limit of the radiated power is a critical consideration in a UWB system, especially for the antenna design [1]. In addition, many systems now operate in multiple frequency bands, requiring dual- or triple-band operation of fundamentally narrowband antennas. These include satellite navigation systems, cellular systems, wireless LANs and combinations of these systems. Advances in software-dened and recongurable radio networks necessitate their operation over a wide range of frequencies or operation in a multi-band manner. Hence, to cover more wireless communication services, antennas operating at a broadband range are in high demand. A suitable UWB antenna should possess properties of low return loss performance with satisfactory radiation pattern properties over the entire UWB frequency range. Various antennas have been investigated and implemented for UWB systems, such as the waveguide horn [2], log periodic [3]
IET Microw. Antennas Propag., 2011, Vol. 5, Iss. 14, pp. 1683 1689 doi: 10.1049/iet-map.2010.0450

and biconical [4]. These antennas usually radiate different frequency components from different parts of the antenna, which tend to be dispersive. In addition, several broadband monopole congurations, such as circular, square, elliptical and pentagonal, have been proposed for UWB applications [5 8]. These broadband monopoles are not planar structures because their ground planes are perpendicular to the radiators and therefore are not suitable for integration with a printed circuit board (PCB) technology. Recent antenna investigations for UWB applications include double-sided microstrip antennas with a modied ground plane. For example in [9] to enhance the impedance bandwidth, antenna parameters are optimised and the ground plane is modied by cutting slots on the top edge to form a symmetrical sawtooth shape. Another double-sided printed omni-directional UWB antenna operating within a band from 3.2 to 12.2 GHz is presented in [10]. In this case, the antenna comprises a rectangular patch with inverted L-shaped slits cut out in the ground to control the antennas resonant frequency and bandwidth. Microstrip antennas because of their ability to be integrated easily on a PCB are popular. In addition, this technology offers antennas with the attributes of low prole, light weight, low cost and ease of fabrication. These features make microstrip antennas very attractive for wireless communications systems [11 21]. To realise ultra-wide impedance bandwidth from microstrip antennas several techniques have been explored including the monopole antenna [11 13], backed conduct resonator [14] and partial
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ground plane [15]. Furthermore, miniaturisation of antennas is also a highly desired attribute, and it represents another challenge in the design of such antennas. Hence, the aim of this paper is to present an UWB microstrip antenna with a compact size and that operates across the entire ultrawide spectrum dened by FCC. This paper presents a new compact UWB monopole antenna having a partially modied ground plane structure. The characteristics of the proposed antenna are investigated through a parametric study. The measured results of impedance bandwidth and radiation pattern of the proposed antenna are presented to validate the design. The results show ultra-wide bandwidth performance and stable omni-directional radiation patterns. Furthermore, the physical size of the proposed antenna is substantially smaller than recently developed UWB antennas in [9] by 45.5%, in [10] by 85.6% and in [12] by 40%.

Fig. 2 Photograph of the proposed antenna (front and back views)

Antenna structure and design

A new compact UWB antenna structure is proposed here which is based on the recent work in UWB antenna design [12]. The geometry of the proposed antenna comprises a dome topped, bowl-shaped patch with a truncated ground plane structure, as shown in Fig. 1 along with its dimensional parameters. The antenna feed structure consists of a microstrip line connected to the radiating patch. In this study, a modied ground plane structure was employed to achieve the desired ultra-wide bandwidth operation. The truncated ground plane comprises a rectangular notch centred under the feed-line in the vicinity of the patch, and its upper side is tapered as shown in Fig. 1. The antenna is located in the x y plane and the normal direction is z-axis. As shown in Fig. 1, parameters a and b denote the width and the length of the dielectric substrate, respectively. The combination of two semicircles with difference radii forms the radiator element. The larger and smaller semicircles have radii of r1 and r2, respectively. On the opposite side of the substrate, the conducting ground plane with a length of f 5 mm only covers the section of the microstrip feed-line. Parameter k is the height of the feed

gap between the radiator and the ground plane. The antenna structure was fabricated on FR4 microwave substrate with a relative permittivity of 4.4, thickness of 1.6 mm and metal thickness of 35 mm. The rectangular notch section on the ground plane (c d), the tapered sides of the ground plane, the feed gap (distance between the radiator and the ground plane) and the radii of the semicircles strongly affect the antenna impedance bandwidth. The proposed antenna was fabricated using the optimised parameter values given in Table 1. The photograph of the antenna is depicted in Fig. 2, which has a surface area of 18 20 mm2. Although the performance of the monopole antenna presented here and slot antenna in [12] is different from each other, it should be noted that the total area of the proposed antenna herein is signicantly smaller ( 40%) than the antenna presented in [12]. Compared with recent UWB antennas in [9] and [10] the antenna is substantially smaller by 45.5 and 85.6%, respectively.

Simulation and measurement results

Fig. 1 Antenna geometry and its design parameters Table 1


Parameter value, mm Parameter values of the fabricated antenna a 18 b 20 c 4 d 2 e 2.5 f 5

To validate the proposed design, the fabricated antenna was measured using an Agilent E8363 network analyser (10 40 GHz). Fig. 3 presents the simulated and measured return loss responses. The measured 10 dB return loss bandwidth is from 2.65 to than 13.0 GHz, whereas its simulation return loss bandwidth is from 2.6 to 12.7 GHz. The measurement conrms the UWB characteristic of the proposed antenna, as predicted in the simulation. The measured input return loss reasonably agrees with the simulated results. The discrepancy between two responses is attributed to factors such as imperfect solder joints of the SubMiniature version A connector to microstrip feed-line, and manufacturing tolerance. To gain an insight of the effects associated with the antenna parameters, and the relation between radiation pattern and current distribution over the frequency range of interest, the current distributions of the proposed antenna were computed. Fig. 4 shows the current distribution on the radiator and the ground plane of the antenna at 3.4, 8 and 11.8 GHz. Fig. 4a shows the electric current distribution

i 1.25

k 2.5

w 1.7

r1 8.5

r2 4

h 1.6

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IET Microw. Antennas Propag., 2011, Vol. 5, Iss. 14, pp. 16831689 doi: 10.1049/iet-map.2010.0450

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Fig. 3 Measured and simulated return loss of the antenna

Fig. 4 Current distributions of the antenna at


a 3.4 GHz b 8 GHz c 11.8 GHz IET Microw. Antennas Propag., 2011, Vol. 5, Iss. 14, pp. 1683 1689 doi: 10.1049/iet-map.2010.0450

near the rst resonance frequency at 3.4 GHz. As shown in Fig. 4a, the electric current is concentrated around the middle of the ground plane and in the lower portion of the radiator patch, which conrms that the feed gap affects the antenna performance at the lower operating frequencies. On the other hand, the current distribution on the radiator patch suggests that the radiator patch has a signicant effect on the antenna impedance bandwidth. It is observed in Fig. 4b that the current distributions are more complicated than those in Fig. 4a. It is mostly concentrated around the lower portion along the edge of the bowl-shaped patch radiator and virtually all over the ground plane. That means the ground plane structure and the feed gap affect the impedance matching. Current distribution, shown in Fig. 4c, illustrates that the current is distributed everywhere except for the outer left- and right-hand sides of the ground plane structure, and along the lower curved portions and the upper sides of the bowl-shaped part of the radiator, as well as the sides of the dome part constituting the patch radiator. It can be elucidated from this that the higher end frequency of the 10 dB return loss bandwidth of the antenna is related to the dimension of the larger semicircle radius. As a result, the impedance matching at high frequencies is more sensitive to the larger semicircle radius than the smaller semicircle radius because the electric currents are more intensive than those on the upper radiating element. It also can be observed that the majority of the electric currents are concentrated on the antennas ground plane at all operating frequencies, which conrms that the ground plane greatly affects the antenna performance. This suggests that the radio frequency (RF) circuitry section of a transceiver cannot be located too close to antenna when it is integrated in a system. The fabricated antennas radiation pattern was measured in an anechoic chamber in the principal orthogonal planes at 3.4, 8 and 11.8 GHz, which are shown in Fig. 5. At higher frequencies as the antenna operates in hybrid modes of travelling and standing waves [22], the current distributions are more complicated and this affects the antenna radiation patterns. The normalised measured results clearly show the stable omni-directional behaviour in the x z plane (H-plane) and unsymmetrical bidirectional in the y z plane (E-plane). It is obvious from these results that the omni-directional radiation patterns are acceptable over the UWB bandwidth.
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Fig. 5 Normalised measured radiation pattern of the antenna at


a H-plane b E-plane

Effects of key parameters

4.2

Effect of the smaller semicircle radius (r2)

To obtain the optimum performance from the antenna, results of a parametric study were necessary and are reported in this section. As will be shown below, the performance of the proposed antenna is mainly affected by its geometrical parameters, that is, the radiator shape, ground plane structure and feed gap. The proposed structure was optimised using Ansoft high-frequency structure simulation electromagnetic solver (HFSSTM) [23]. 4.1 Effect of the larger semicircle radius (r1)

As dened in Fig. 1, parameter r2 represents the smaller semicircle radius. As this element is a part of the radiator, its dimensions have direct effect on frequency characteristics. Fig. 7 shows the results of the variation in r2 when other parameters are xed as given in Table 1. The optimum value of the r2 to achieve maximum bandwidth is 4 mm. The results demonstrate that by decreasing r2 the upper and lower edges of 10 dB frequency bandwidth will shift slightly down and up, respectively. Hence, the antennas impedance bandwidth decreases marginally. 4.3 Effect of the feed gap (k)

In this study, parameter r1 represents the larger semicircle radius. The current distribution suggests that the larger semicircle radius of the radiating patch provides the necessary curvature to the radiator that inuences the impedance bandwidth of the antenna. This is evident in Fig. 6, which shows the effect of parameter r1 on the antennas return loss performance when other parameters are xed as given in Table 1. As shown in Fig. 6, by decreasing r1 the upper edge of 10 dB frequency bandwidth shifts down from 12.7 to about 10 GHz, effectively decreasing the antennas impedance bandwidth.

The electric current, which is distributed around the feed gap, as shown in Fig. 4, indicates that it affects the return loss performance of the antenna. As shown in Fig. 1, the feed gap represented by k is the distance between the radiating element and the ground plane. The simulated return loss for different values k is exhibited in Fig. 8. The results show that by decreasing k , the return loss response improves (between 4.0 6.5 GHz and between 9.5 and 11.5 GHz); however, the impedance bandwidth of the antenna

Fig. 6 Simulated return loss performance as a function of antenna parameter r1


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Fig. 7 Simulated return loss performance as a function of antenna parameter r2

Fig. 8 Simulated returns loss performance as a function of feed gap k

decreases. To have a wider impedance bandwidth, the feed gap needs to be optimised. It is noticeable that the values of k in Fig. 8 cover the UWB spectrum dened by the FCC. 4.4 Effect of the ground plane shape

performance is achieved by the notch that is proposed in Fig. 1 with a side ratio of 2:1. 4.5 Effect of the truncated ground plane rectangular notch (c d ) Fig. 4 shows that the RF current is mostly distributed on the top edges and middle of the ground plane. Accordingly, by tuning the dimensions of the rectangular notch, we can control the antenna impedance bandwidth behaviour. Parameter d is made constant (d 2 mm) and c changed and then vice versa. Fig. 10 shows the return loss response of the antenna through the variation of these two parameters. It can be seen that when c and d are changed they both can signicantly increase or decrease the impedance bandwidth. The optimum parameter values extracted are c 4 mm and d 2 mm. 4.6 Effect of the truncated triangles dimensions

Since the ground plane acts as a radiator, its dimensions inuence the antennas return loss characteristic. The current distribution indicates that the notch is an important part of the antenna ground plane structure. The characteristics features of a rectangular notch, a triangular notch and the notchless case are compared to understand the function of the notch in the antenna design. In order to examine the effect of the ground plane notch shape on the antennas impedance matching performance, the notch in Fig. 1 was removed while keeping all other antenna dimensions constant. Fig. 9 illustrates the results of the simulation. It can be seen that the antenna without a notch is only able to achieve an impedance bandwidth with a lower and upper edge frequency of 2.9 and 9.4 GHz, respectively. It is also observed that using the rectangular or a triangular notch cannot cover the UWB bandwidth dened by FCC. It is therefore clear that the best
IET Microw. Antennas Propag., 2011, Vol. 5, Iss. 14, pp. 1683 1689 doi: 10.1049/iet-map.2010.0450

To achieve a wider impedance bandwidth the truncated ground plane needs to be tapered. The current distribution of the antenna in Fig. 4 shows that this portion of the
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Fig. 9 Effect of the ground plane notch on the antenna impedance bandwidth

Fig. 10 Simulated return loss performance as a function of ground plane rectangular notch dimensions (c d)

Fig. 11 Simulated return loss performance as a function of ground plane dimensions (e i)


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ground plane has an effect on the 10 dB impedance bandwidth. In this part of the parametric study, the dimensions e and i were changed to show the effect of this variation on the antennas performance. First the parameter i was kept constant (i 1.25 mm) and e changed and then vice versa. Fig. 11 shows the simulation results for various values of the parameters e and i . It can be seen that by increasing e the lower and upper edge of 10 dB impedance bandwidth improves, and decreasing it causes the upper edge of 10 dB to shift slightly down. Also it is observed that by increasing i the return loss degrades between 5 and 10.5 GHz and with the decrease of i the upper edge of 10 dB frequency bandwidth shifts down. Although the variation in values of i is small, it can be seen that the 10 dB impedance bandwidth is reduced.
4 Ghannoum, H., Bories, S., Roblin, C., Sibille, A.: Biconical antennas for intrinsic characterization of the UWB channel. IEEE Int. Workshop Antenna Technology, March 2005, pp. 101104 5 Ammann, M.J., Chen, Z.N.: Wideband monopole antennas for multiband wireless systems, IEEE Antennas Propag. Mag., 2003, 45, (2), pp. 146150 6 Agrawall, N.P., Kumar, G., Ray, K.P.: Wide-band planar monopole antennas, IEEE Trans Antennas Propag., 1998, 46, (2), pp. 294295 7 Antonino-Daviu, E., Cabedo-Fabres, M., Ferrando-Bataller, M., Valero-Nogueira, A.: Wideband double-fed planar monopole antennas, Electron. Lett., 2003, 39, (23), pp. 16351636 8 Chen, Z.N., Chia, M.Y.W., Ammann, M.J.: Optimization and comparison of broadband monopoles, Proc. Inst. Electr. Eng. Microw. Antennas Propag., 2003, 150, (6), pp. 429 435 9 Azim, R., Islam, M.T., Misran, N.: Ground modied double-sided printed compact UWB antenna, Electron. Lett., 2011, 47, (1), pp. 9 11 10 Azer, M.M., Shams, S.I., Allam, A.M.M.A.: Compact double-sided printed omni-directional ultra wideband antenna. Int. Symp. on Antenna Technology and Applied Electromagnetics and the American Electromagnetics Conf., 2010, pp. 1 4 11 Koohestani, M., Golpour, M.: Compact rectangular slot antenna with a novel coplanar waveguide fed diamond patch for ultra wideband applications, Microw. Opt. Technol. Lett., 2010, 52, (2), pp. 331 334 12 Koohestani, M., Golpour, M.: Very ultra wideband printed CPW-fed Slot Antenna, Electron. Lett., 2009, 45, (21), pp. 1066 1067 13 Moghadasi, M.N., Koohestani, M., Golpour, M., Virdee, B.S.: Ultra wideband square slot antenna with a novel diamond open-ended microstrip feed, Microw. Opt. Technol. Lett., 2009, 51, (4), pp. 1075 1080 14 Zaker, R., Ghobadi, C., Nourinia, J.: Novel modied UWB plannar monopole antenna with variable frequency bandwidth function, IEEE Antennas Wirel. Propag. Lett., 2008, 7, pp. 112 114 15 Jung, J., Choi, W., Choi, J.: A small wideband microstrip-fed monopole antenna, IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett., 2005, 15, (10), pp. 703705 16 Qu, S.-W., Ruan, C., Wang, B.-Z.: Bandwidth enhancement of wideslot antenna fed by CPW and microstrip line, IEEE Antennas Wirel. Propag. Lett., 2006, 5, pp. 1517 17 Li, P., Liang, J., Chen, X.: Study of printed elliptical/circular slot antennas for ultra wideband applications, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., 2006, 54, (6), pp. 1670 1675 18 Lin, C.-C., Kan, Y.-C., Kuo, L.-C., Chuang, H.-R.: A planar triangular monopole antenna for UWB communication, IEEE Microw. Wirel. Compon. Lett., 2005, 15, (10), pp. 512 515 19 Lao, J., Jin, R., Geng, J., Wu, Q.: An ultra-wideband microstrip elliptical slot antenna exited by a circular patch, Microw. Opt. Technol. Lett., 2008, 50, (4), pp. 845 846 20 Jung, J., Lee, H., Lim, Y.: Compact modied trapezoid shaped ultrawideband antenna with parasitic loops, Microw. Opt. Technol. Lett., 2009, 51, (5), pp. 1261 1263 21 Koohestani, M., Golpour, M.: U-shaped microstrip patch antenna with novel parasitic tuning stubs for ultra wideband applications, IET Microw. Antennas Propag., 2010, 4, (7), pp. 938946 22 Allen, B., Dohler, M., Okon, E.E., Malik, W.Q., Brown, A.K., Edwards, D.J.: Ultra-wideband antennas and propagation for communications radar and imaging (John Wiley & Sons, 2007) 23 Ansoft HFSS Users manual, Ansoft Corporation, Beta Release 11.0, April 2007

Conclusion

A new small monopole antenna, fed by a microstrip line, is presented for UWB applications. The antenna, which occupies an area of 18 20 mm2, provides an ultra-wide bandwidth corresponding to an impedance bandwidth of 10.35 GHz (2.65 13.0 GHz), that is, 132%, exceeding the UWB frequency band dened by FCC. The radiation patterns of the antenna were measured and presented. It has been observed that the proposed monopole antenna has an omni-directional radiation pattern in the H-plane across a major portion of its bandwidth. The effect of the salient antenna parameters was investigated to achieve an optimal design. In addition, the antenna electric current distribution was studied to gain a deeper insight of its operation. It has been shown that the performance of the antenna is mostly dependent on the feed gap, the ground plane structure and the dimension of the radiator patch. The ultra-wide bandwidth, small size and low cost make the antenna suitable for the next generation of UWB communication systems.

References

1 Federal Communications Commission, FCC 02-48, Washington, DC, 22nd April, 2002 2 Henrique, C.H.G., Afonso, M.M., Alfpio, R.S., Resende, U.C., Schroeder, M.A.O., Santos, L.A.L.: Approximated raising of the curvature of a double-ridged waveguide horn in a computational model. IEEE MTT-S Int. Conf., October 2007, pp. 435 438 3 Engargiola, G., Holzapfel, W., Lee, A., et al.: Planar channelized logperiodic antenna. IEEE Int. Symp., August 2005, pp. 306 309

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