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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 53, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2005

A Simple and Robust Adaptive Parasitic Antenna


Marco Donald Migliore, Member, IEEE, Daniele Pinchera, Student Member, IEEE, and
Fulvio Schettino, Member, IEEE

AbstractA novel UdaYagi adaptive antenna is numerically


and experimentally investigated. The antenna consists of an active
element and a relatively large number of parasitic elements closed
on two different loads selectable by simple electronic switches. The
use of fuzzy-logic based cost function and self-adaptive biological
beamforming algorithms allows to obtain quite good performances
both in terms of signal to interference plus noise ratio and voltage
standing wave ratio. The antenna is simple, low cost, and is robust
with respect to mechanical and electrical tolerances and with
respect to failures of some passive elements. Experimental results
on two different prototypes confirm the good performances of the
proposed antenna.
Index TermsAdaptive antennas, evolutionary algorithms,
fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, particle swarm optimization,
switched parasitic array.

I. INTRODUCTION

N THE LAST years we have witnessed an extraordinary increasing of services based on wireless communications. In
fact, the number of subscribers to mobile networks has risen
beyond all expectations. At the same time, a quickly increasing
number of subscribers requires wireless Internet-based services.
Since the radio channel represents a serious bottleneck for the
high transmission rate required by these services, the success of
the next generation of wireless systems strongly depends on a
more efficient use of the spectrum resource.
At present, two different philosophies are pursued. The first
one is to use spectrum resources that are not licensed adopting
sophisticated time-domain processing to reach extremely high
bit rate. This way is pursued, e.g., by the ultrawide-band (UWB)
systems [1]. However, such systems are limited to short-range
communications.
A completely different approach is based on the use of spaceprocessing besides of classical time-processing [2]. Two main
technologies adopting space-processing have been proposed:
adaptive antennas [3] and multiple-input multiple-output systems [1]. Among them, systems based on adaptive antennas have
been first investigated, and nowadays some commercial applications are available on the trade. The fast development of adaptive antennas in wireless communications has been helped by
the large investigation performed for military applications, e.g.,
see [4], [5]. However, the architecture proposed in the literature is quite complex, being based on a relatively large array,

Manuscript received December 15, 2004; revised March 24, 2005. This
work is supported in part by the Italian Ministry of University (MIUR) under
a Program for the Development of Research of National Interest PRIN Grant
2003095273.
The authors are with the Microwave Laboratory at the DAEIMI, University of
Cassino, 03043 Cassino, Italy (e-mail: mdmiglio@unicas.it, pinchera@unicas.it,
schettino@unicas.it).
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2005.856361

in which each element has its receiver. This makes the adaptive
antenna quite expensive, and sensible with respect to failures.
Recently, a new class of low-cost adaptive antennas has been
proposed [6], [7]. The architecture of these antennas is based on
the UdaYagi scheme, and consists of a single active antenna,
connected to the receiver/transmitter, and a number of parasitic antennas closed on passive loads whose impedance can be
electronically changed. The UdaYagi adaptive antennas have
been originally proposed for military applications [8], but had a
limited success due to the worse performances with respect to
full-active adaptive arrays. However, their low cost makes this
kind of antennas attractive for the commercial market, and at
present a large number of UdaYagi adaptive antennas has been
proposed in literature.
A class of UdaYagi adaptive antennas has as objective the
reduction of the signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR).
These antennas are usually based on a small number of parasitic
elements placed in a circle around the active elements, each of
them closed on a passive load whose impedance can be continuously changed in a given range of values [6].
A simpler class of UdaYagi adaptive antennas is based on
the switched beam philosophy. Also these antennas are usually
based on a relatively small number of parasitic elements placed
in a circle around the active elements, each of them closed on a
passive load. According to the value of the load, each parasitic
element can work as reflector, director, or out of resonance [7].
Consequently, in this kind of antenna the loads must assume
only three different values, and simple microwave switches
can be adopted. Furthermore, the voltage standing wave ratio
(VSWR) of the antenna is constant during the adaptive process,
and can be kept very low. However, such antennas are not fully
adaptive, and the performances reachable by switched-beam
UdaYagi antennas are modest in presence of interference
signals due to the absence of null-forming capacity.
In this paper we propose a novel UdaYagi adaptive antenna
architecture, that is half way between the above described two
classes. The antenna consists of a relatively large number of parasitic elements placed on circles around the active element. Each
element of the rings is terminated in two electronically controllable loads, e.g., a short circuit and an open circuit, by means of
electronically controllable switches, i.e., PIN diodes or MEMS.
Consequently, each antenna assumes two states, corresponding
to different scattered fields. The adaptivity of the antenna is obtained by choosing the state of the elements in order to minimize
a proper cost function.
Usually, in adaptive antennas the objective is the maximization of the SINR. However, in the proposed antenna the
VSWR depends on the state of the switches. Consequently, it
is necessary to perform a multiobjective minimization taking

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MIGLIORE et al.: A SIMPLE AND ROBUST ADAPTIVE PARASITIC ANTENNA

into account both the SINR and the VSWR. This goal has been
achieved by using the fuzzy logic [9] to define the cost function.
The minimization of the cost function has been achieved
by biological beamforming algorithms. In particular, two algorithms, the binary genetic algorithm (BGA) [10], [11] and
the binary particle swarm optimization algorithm (BPSO) [12],
[13] have been tested.
The BGA is the most adopted biological beamforming algorithm in the adaptive antenna field, and an excellent review
can be found in [14]. Instead, the use of the BPSO for adaptive
beamforming is not reported in literature at the best knowledge
of the authors.
In particular, besides the standard version of the two algorithms, a self-adaptive version changing its parameters during
the minimization process has been also developed and tested.
It is worth noting that, while this concept is well known for the
GAs [15], [16], and has been applied to adaptive arrays by many
groups [17], [18], the development of self-adaptive PSO is a new
field of research [19], and no self-adaptive BPSO is discussed
in literature.
Summarizing, the proposed antenna is based on three key
factors: the large number of possible states of the antenna, obtained by using a large number of elements, the use of an efficient (self-adaptive) biological beamforming algorithm, and the
use of the fuzzy logic to control both the SINR and the VSWR.
The last two points are, at the best knowledge of the authors,
new in the framework of null-forming parasitic antennas. Moreover, the use of a large number of elements (up to 25) closed
in switched-loads is, at the best knowledge of the authors, new
in the framework of null-forming parasitic antennas as well. In
fact, though in literature the theoretical advantage of a large
number of antennas is generally accepted, null-forming parasitic
antennas actually tested have only a small number (less than 8)
antennas due to the computational effort of the algorithms required in varactor-controlled loaded antennas.
The above mentioned three key factors allow to obtain a
number of practical advantages. The antenna is extremely
simple, and has good space-filtering performances. Furthermore, the antenna is also robust with respect to the failures
of some elements. The use of multiobjective biological beamforming makes the antenna also robust with respect to errors
in the position of the elements or in the value of the two
loads. Consequently, it is possible to accept relatively large
mechanical and electrical tolerances, making the realization of
the antenna simpler and cheaper than other adaptive antenna
schemes. Furthermore, more complex objectives can be considered, by taking into account other parameters of interest (e.g.,
broad-band response, etc.). Finally, even if in this example
a rotationally symmetric antenna geometry has been chosen,
more complex configurations of the parasitic element positions
can be adopted to match geometrical constraints of the place
wherein the antenna must be placed.
The paper is organized in Sections IIIV. In Section II the algorithm to choose the state of the parasitic antennas is presented.
The use of a fuzzy-logic approach to determine a cost function
giving an acceptable value of SINR and VSWR is discussed.
Then, we briefly introduce two evolutionary search algorithms,
the genetic one and the particle swarm one; a novel dynamic

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version of both types of algorithms is also presented, and compared to nondynamic ones.
In Section III a number of numerical simulations are presented. Firstly, classical beamforming algorithms with static parameters are compared to beamforming algorithms with selfadaptive dynamic parameters. Then the dynamic version of the
BGA and BPSO (called VD-BGA and VD-BPSO) are compared. Finally, the performances of an antenna consisting of 25
elements are investigated using the VD-BPSO.
Section IV is devoted to experimental results obtained with
two different prototypes having, respectively, 13 and 25 elements.
Conclusions are reported in Section V.
II. CONTROL ALGORITHM
As described in the Introduction, the antenna that we propose
consists of elements: a single active antenna and a relatively
of parasitic elements, each terminated on a
large number
load that can assume two different values, i.e., short circuit and
open circuit. Consequently, the number of different states that
and the state of the antenna can
the antenna can assume is
. The goal
be represented by a binary vector having length
of the control algorithm is to select one of the states giving an
acceptable value of SINR and VSWR. This goal is reached by
minimizing a proper cost function defined by means of a fuzzy
approach.
A. The Cost Function
The definition of the state of the antenna, i.e., the values of
the switches, is a multi target problem, since two different (and
concurrent) parameters must be taken into account, the SINR
and the VSWR. Furthermore, no unique choice exists for a cost
function that globally takes into account both the quantities of
interest.
Generally speaking, we are interested in obtaining a reasonably high SINR with a fairly low VSWR. The quantification of
reasonably high and fairly low depends on the characteristics of the communication system. Consequently, we must associate quantitative values to a linguistic knowledge. This goal
can be reached by defining the cost function from a fuzzy point
of view.
Fuzzy logic [9] is a powerful tool widely adopted in the area
of control. It consists into three phases: in the first one the variables involved in the calculation are fuzzyfied, i.e., a nonlinear
by the use of the
mapping of these variables in the interval
membership functions is considered; then an appropriate fuzzy
inference operator is applied, whose role is to map its fuzzy inputs in a proper fuzzy output; at the end this output is defuzzyfied to obtain, for example, the desired control action.
However, in our work we only use fuzzy concepts for classification. Consequently our fuzzy algorithm consists of only the
first two steps. In particular first we make a suitable fuzzyfication of the variable SINR and VSWR using two membership
and
, then we combine this two quantifunctions
ties by a fuzzy norm. The main advantage of this method is that
we are making a sort of block decomposition of the problem:

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 53, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2005

the fuzzyfication of the variables gives us a uniform set of variables, that can be treated by the preferred fuzzy norm.
In this particular situation a possible choice for the membership function can be the use of the sigmoid function defined as
[20]
(1)
where and define the position and the gradient of the slope,
and represents SINR or VSWR.
We also get good results by the use of one of the simplest
fuzzy inference rules, the probabilistic OR, defined as
(2)
B. The Minimization Algorithm
Due to the discrete nature of the search space, it is quite natural to use biological beamforming algorithms for the minimization of the cost function.
Biological beamforming is a very active research area, and
many different algorithms have been proposed. Generally
speaking, no minimization algorithm can be considered a
priori the best one [21]. Consequently, we have tested many
different biological beamforming algorithms on our specific
problem. In particular, as discussed in the Introduction we
tested a simple Monte Carlo approach, the BGA [10], [11] in
many versions and the BPSO [13].
The BPSO is an extension of the PSO algorithm [12] to a
binary search space in which the speed of the particle is substituted by the probability of a bit to assume a value.
In particular, besides the standard BPSO, we introduced an
improved version of the BPSO, that we will call variable behavior binary particle swarm (VB-BPSO), that, generally, performs better than the other BPSO checked algorithms.
Let us now consider the th particle. The probability of the
th bit of the vector describing the position of the th particle at
to be 1 can be set as
step

(3)
wherein
is the th bit of the vector describing the posiis the th bit of the vector
tion of the particle at step ,
describing the position of the local best found up to step (the
of the particle, [12]),
is the th bit of the vector

describing the position of the global best found up to step (the


, [12]),
, is a random value chosen uniformly in

, and
is the th bit of a novel vector given by
(4)
In (4),
is the number particles, and in (3) , , , , and
are the weights, whose sum must be equal to 1, describing the
behavior of the particles. In particular is a sort of inertial
weight, is a sort of memory weight, is a sort of mode
weight, is used to obtain the desired amount of randomness,

and is a novel parameter that we have introduced to prevent


that all particle search around the same local minimum point.
Since the behavior of the particles depends on the weights,
it is easy to assign to each particle a different vector of the
weights so that the particles that are close to a minimum perform a local search, while the other particles perform a wide
range search, obtaining a VB-BPSO. In order to reach this goal
the particles are sorted according to their cost function. Then
the weight assigned to the th particle is calculated by linear
and
. In the following,
interpolation of two constants
we will refer to the complete behavior of the swarm as dynamic.
Obviously the dynamic of an algorithm has to be chosen to
fit the nature of the problem to solve; it would be desirable that
an algorithm could adjust its dynamic to automatically fit the
problem, changing its dynamic on the base of the actual state of
convergence. Firstly we note that in the case of a binary search
space it is possible to easily relate the convergence of the al: if
is close to 0.5 it
gorithms to the values assumed by
is clear that there are as many gene vectors with th element
equal to 1 than gene vectors with th element equal to 0; even
if this is not always true, it is possible to affirm with reasonable
are around 0.5 the algorithm is
approximation that if many
still searching, otherwise the algorithm is almost stalled around
a local minimum. So we found that a suitable estimator of the
state of convergence of the algorithm is given by the function
(5)
is the vector defined by (4). In fact we observed
where
that with a standard implementation of BGA-BPSO
is a monotonic decreasing function of the iterations, and we
can relate it to the diversity of the population: a value of
close to 1 indicates that the particles are searching in
close to
different positions of the space, while a value of
0 indicates that the particles are searching around a localized
area. Consequently, it is possible to vary the dynamic according
. The above described algorithm allows a
to the value of
self-adaptive choice of the parameters.1 However, in order to
avoid confusion in the use of the term adaptive in the text,
this kind of algorithm will be referred to as variable dynamic
BPSO (VD-BPSO) algorithm in the following.
The literature on the BGA is very large, and we do not recall the principles of the algorithm. The interested reader can
refer to the excellent paper [11] for an introduction. It is worth
recalling that also for the BGAs we can define a dynamic as
the set of parameters and rules that influence the behavior of the
evolutionary process [16]. In particular we obtained a variable
dynamic BGA (VD-BGA) by evaluating the vector using (4)
on the individuals that have been selected by the chosen selection operator, and by modifying the probability of mutation in
function of the estimator defined in (5). This is the simplest form
of VD-BGA, since only one of the many parameters is modified

1We tried different functions for


( ), such as higher order polynomial functions or simple lambda functions. The Omega function has finally been chosen
for its effectiveness and for its relative algebraic simplicity.

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during the evolution, but, as can be seen in the following, the


performances obtained are satisfactory.
In Sections III and IV some numerical examples of a large
investigation performed on both the biological beamforming algorithms are shown, using the best VD-algorithms found after
an heuristical search over a large number of possible schemes.
III. NUMERICAL EXAMPLES
The numerical simulations reported in this Section were obtained by solving the Hallns system of integral equations describing the mutual coupling of an array of dipoles [22] using
the MoM. The code was built to give the impedance matrix
of the entire array and the current distribution over the wires as
a linear function of the tension on the gaps.
Let us suppose that the first wire is the active one and that
wires are loaded on
its gap voltage is , while the other
. The currents at the gaps
impedances whose values are
can be derived by the solution of the linear equation

Fig. 1. Geometry of the 24 passive elements antenna (all the distances are in
terms of . Circles: passive antennas; square: active antenna; the 12 passive
elements antenna consists of the active antenna and the 12 passive antennas
placed on the two inner circles.

(6)
and
. After evaluating the currents at the gaps, it is possible to obtain the current distribution
over the wires.
The structure we have chosen for our tests is formed by an
,
array of 25 monopoles of 0.235 , whose diameter is
placed on an infinite plane of P.E.C. as depicted in Fig. 1. The
active element is the central one, while the others can be loaded
on an impedance whose possible values are
and
(these values are the mean
impedances of the switches used in the experimental investigation); we imagine to feed the structure with a 50 line. This
geometry is the one used in the final experimental prototype described in Section IV.
In the simulation of this chapter we do not consider the noise,
to emphasize the sole interference reduction capability of the
parasitic element antenna, so we refer to the SIR instead of the
SINR. Moreover, the desired and interfering signals are supposed to have the same power.
As a first step, let us investigate the performances of the
classical and VD algorithms. Many algorithms of the types described in Section II were tested. In the following we consider
the algorithms that gave best mean performances.
The genetic algorithms will be labeled in the following as
follows.
where

BGA1: this is a standard genetic algorithm, the population size is 30,


we have 10 tournaments of 3 individuals, the crossover is made using a
random bit mask, the parents couples are chosen randomly, and the
probability of mutation is 3%; we
also used the overlapping of generations (for details see [11]).

BGA2: this algorithm is almost identical to the previous, but the probability of mutation is increased to
9%.
VD-BGA: even this algorithm is identical to the first one, but the
probability of mutation is chosen
at each iteration according to the
, as
.
value of

These three algorithms are almost identical, the sole thing


changing being the probability of mutation. It could be useful to
note that because we have the overlapping of generations only
20 oracle calls are to be done every iteration.
The particle swarm algorithms are as follows.

BPSO1: this is a VB-BPSO made


with 20 particles. The constant vector for the best particle is
, and for the
worst particle is
.
BPSO2: also this is a VB-BPSO
made with 20 particles. In this
case the constant vector for the
best particle is
,
and for the worst particle is
.
VD-BPSO: this is a VD-BPSO obtained
switching from BPSO1 to BPSO2 when
is below 0.3.
the value of

It is useful to point out that it is possible to consider more


complex schemes for the BPSO, but we were interested to show
the gain in performances obtainable with a simple threshold
switch.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 53, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2005

Fig. 3.
Fig. 2.

Comparison between BPSO algorithms.

Iso-cost curves.

All the algorithms were launched 300 times for a maximum


value of 100 iterations; for each iteration every considered algorithm realizes 20 oracle calls [21].2 We considered the mean
values obtained for the cost function, the SIR and the VSWR.
As a benchmark, we will compare the algorithms presented with
a random search function.
We also tried different fuzzy cost functions; the best results
have been obtained using as membership functions two sigfor the
moids whose parameters are
and
for
. In Fig. 2 the iso-cost curves
of the global fuzzy cost function considered as function of the
SIR and the VSWR is drawn.
The first problem we investigate is the maximization of the
SIR between a desired signal and an interference signal. In the
following we choose the angle of arrival (AOA) of the desired
signal equal to 0 , and the AOA of the interference signal equal
to 45 .
In Fig. 3, a first comparison between different BPSO algorithms is presented; BPSO1 gives optimum performances in the
first 35 iterations, whilst BPSO2 gives the best performances
after a high number of iterations. As previously discussed,
VD-BPSO is obtained simply combining BPSO1 and BPSO2,
and it is possible to have good performances for both the first
iterations and for the last ones.
In Fig. 4 the comparison between different BGA algorithms
is shown; also in this case BGA1 is an algorithm that gives very
good performances in the first 35 iterations, and BGA2 is an
algorithm that gives better performances in the advanced phase:
finally VD-BGA outperforms both.
The above results confirm the better mean performances of
VD biological algorithms with respect to static ones.
2It is worth noting that the algorithms themselves are very fast: an assembler
implementation of the proposed GA requires less than 200 s for each iteration on a low-cost 200 MHz DSP (without considering the possible pipelining
speedup). Of course, the use of more expensive DSP would significantly decrease the time.

Fig. 4. Comparison between BGA algorithms.

Let us now compare the performances of the VD versions of


the BGA and the BPSO. In Fig. 5 it is possible to see the comparison between VD-BPSO and VD-BGA in terms of SIR. The
plot shows some small differences between the algorithms. In
particular, the VD-BPSO gives slight better mean performances
in the first steps, while the VD-BGA slightly outperforms the
VD-BPSO after the first 15 iterations. However, the differences
are small, so that we can state that in practice the performances
of the two algorithms are almost the same. For the sake of comparison, the SIR obtained by a random search is also shown in
the same figure, showing that while the beamforming algorithms
exceed the mean value of 30 dB within ten iterations the random
search do not reach this level within 100 iterations.
About the VSWR, in this example its value is always lower
than 1.3, and is almost the same for the two biological algorithms.

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Fig. 7. Distribution of the VSWR over 1000 sessions after 100 iterations of
VD-BGA in the case of a sole interference with and without VSWR control via
the fuzzy cost function (desired signal from 0 , interference from 45 ).
Fig. 5. Mean SIR as function of the number of iterations.

Fig. 6. Mean SIR as function of the AOA of the interference signal (desired
signal from 0 ).

In Fig. 6 the SIR obtained varying the AOA of the interference


is shown, with a fixed 0 AOA of desired signal, after five iterations, and after 100 iterations, considering the two self-adaptive
algorithms. As could be expected, a decay of the performances
as the angle between the signals gets smaller is observable.
It is also interesting to note that VD-BPSO slightly outperforms the VD-BGA for any angle after five iterations, but we
have the inverse situation after 100 iterations.
Summarizing, numerical simulations show very close performances of the VD-BGA and VD-BPSO. Both of them allow
suitably good performances in terms of SIR and VSWR with a
relatively small number of iterations. This was true for all the
simulations we performed. Consequently, in the following we
will show the results obtained by only one of the two biological
algorithms. In particular, since the VD-BPSO showed a slightly
faster convergence in the first ten steps of the simulation, we will

show the results obtained by using this latter algorithm. However, it must be stressed that this convergence behavior depends
on the particular parameters chosen for the two algorithms. Even
if the choice has been done with great care, it cannot be excluded
that other choices of parameters could give a faster convergence
of the VD-BGA in the first iterations.
As further general observation, in all the simulations the value
of the VSWR has always been kept below 1.5, a value that can
be considered suitable low for the practical applications. This
is due to the use of the fuzzy cost function: in Fig. 7 the improvement of the distribution of the VSWR after 100 iteration
of VD-BGA can be seen; the sole negative effect of the presence
of a fuzzy cost function is the reduction of the mean SIR of 1.1
dB, which is an affordable drawback. Consequently, in the next
diagrams we will refer to the sole SIR.
The above examples showed the performances of the system
in case of a single interference. An extensive numerical investigation has been performed considering a large number of different combinations of angles of arrival. As an example in Fig. 8
the mean SIR is shown considering a desired signal arriving
from 0 , and an increasing number of interferences arriving
from 45 , 120 , and 240 , each of them having the same level.
The plot shows that even in presence of three interferences the
antenna shows acceptable space filtering properties.
A further relevant practical problem is that in real-life application the scenario dynamically changes due to the fact that the
AOA of the desired signal and/or of the interferences changes
during the communication. The biological algorithms were
modified to solve dynamical problems: in BGA we imposed
that any individual had to be evaluated every iteration, even
if it had been evaluated previously; in BPSO we had instead
to evaluate the p-best vector every iteration; to make the right
comparison we chose the algorithms parameters to make 30
oracle calls every iteration.
As a first investigation on the capability of evolutionary algorithms to handle these problems we considered the simple case
of an interference whose AOA changes every iteration. In Fig. 9
we show the mean performances of VD-BPSO in the case of

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 53, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2005

Fig. 8. Mean SIR (VD-BPSO) as function of the number of iterations in case


of multiple interferences (AOA of the desired signal: 0 ): continuous line: 1
interference (AOA = 45 ); dashed line: 2 interferences (AOA = 45 and
120 ); dotted line: 3 interferences (AOA = 45 , 120 and 240 ).

Fig. 10. Mean SIR value obtained with VD-BPSO as function of the number
of iterations in presence of failures randomly positioned.

degradation of the mean performances of the antenna as function of the number of failures.
Good results have been also obtained varying the values of
the impedance of the switches, or the position of the elements
to simulate the effect of tolerance in the manufacture process.
IV. EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION

Fig. 9. Mean SIR values obtained with VD-BPSO when the AOA of the
interfence signal changes from 25 to 75 (AOA of the desired signal: 0 );
continuous line: 0.25 each iteration; dashed line: 0.5 each iteration; dotted
line: 1 each iteration.

an interference moving from 25 to 75 with a velocity ranging


from 1/4 degree/iteration to 1 degree/iteration. The plot shows
that the algorithm is able to converge toward a suitable solution following the source, even if, as we must expect, the performances decrease in case of fast moving source.
A further interesting feature of the proposed antenna is its
robustness with respect to failures. To show this characteristic,
let us suppose that a number of switches of the array, randomly chosen, are failed so that the elements connected to these
switches are always in a state, e.g., the OFF state. Of course this
causes a degradation of the performances of the antenna. However, this degradation is quite smooth, so that the antenna can operate also in case of failures of some elements. For example, in
Fig. 10 the mean SIR in case of 1000 simulations and a number
of failures between 0 and 8 is shown. The plot confirms a smooth

In order to validate the numerical results obtained in the


previous Section, an experimental investigation has been
undertaken.
Two different prototypes have been realized, both working
at 1 GHz. The first one consists of 13 monopole antennas of
copper wire, whose length and diameter was respectively 0.235
and
, placed on an aluminum dish having radius 2.08
. The passive antennas were placed on two concentric circles
having radius 0.45 and 0.60 , while the active antenna was
positioned in the center of the circles (see Fig. 1).
The second prototype (Fig. 11) is equal to the first one, but
with the presence of further 12 passive antennas, 6 placed on
a circle having radius 0.75 and 6 placed on a circle having
radius 0.90 , increasing the number of antennas to 25 (Fig. 1).
The passive antennas were closed on an electronic switch
based on BAP 5131 PIN diode of Philips Semiconductors.
Each switch was accurately characterized in both ON and OFF
state by means of a vector network analyzer Anritsu 37 217C
with SOLT calibration using the Anritsu 3650 calibration kit.
The mean measured impedance values of the switch was
and
, with a standard defor ON state and
for OFF
viation of
state.
The switches were designed to be controlled by means of a
voltage ranging in 05 V, with a very small current absorption.
Consequently, the control of the switches could be obtained by
means of a standard DAQ-24 Digital I/O PCMCIA card of the
National Instruments. The card was programmed by the Matlab
Instrumentation tool, obtaining a strong simplification of the
hardware required to control the antenna.

MIGLIORE et al.: A SIMPLE AND ROBUST ADAPTIVE PARASITIC ANTENNA

Fig. 11.

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Prototype of the 25 elements adaptive antenna.

Fig. 13. Far-field pattern of the 13 elements antenna in case of AOA of the
desired signal from 0 .

Fig. 12.

Set-up measurement scheme.

The antennas were tested in the semi-anechoic chamber of


the University of Cassino. The measurement set-up is shown
in Fig. 12. The antenna under test (AUT) operated in the receiving mode and was placed on a rotating table at 1.0 m from
the floor. Two log periodic antennas Electro-Metrics EM6917C
were placed at distance 6.0 m from the AUT, again at 1.0 m from
the floor. The two antennas were connected to the output port of
the Vector Network Analyzer by means of a switch allowing
to select the transmitting antennas. GORE Faseflex cables were
used to connect the antennas to the VNA. All the electronic parts
of the set-up (electronic switches, and VNA) were controlled by
means of a MatLab program running on a Laptop. The same program included also the adaptive algorithms. Consequently, we
obtained an integrated code allowing to adapt the antenna and
to perform far-field pattern measurements automatically using
the rotating plane.
The above described set-up allows to perform measurements
of the azimuthal complex (amplitude and phase) far-field pattern
of the AUT.
The semi-anechoic chamber environmental reflections were
minimized by carefully positioning anechoic materials on the
floor of the chamber.
As preliminary step, the performances of the 13-elements antenna were investigated in absence of interfering signal, and
only one of the two transmitting antennas was fed. We used the
VD-BPSO algorithm with the same parameters adopted in the
numerical simulations discussed in Section III. The azimuthal

Fig. 14. Far-field pattern of the 25 elements antenna in case of AOA of the
interference signal from 0 .

far-field pattern after ten iterations is shown in Fig. 13 as continuous line, showing that the algorithm tried to maximize the gain
of the AUT. For the sake of comparison, in the same figure the
far-field pattern obtained by numerical simulation considering
the same state of the switches obtained in the experimental result is also shown as dashed line. The good correspondence of
the two patterns confirms the validity of the numerical code used
to obtain the results shown in Section III.
Other preliminary measurements were performed by considering only the presence of one interference signal. As an example, in Fig. 14 the measured far-field (continuous line) pattern
of the 25 elements prototype in presence of only an interference
signal whose AOA is equal to 0 is shown. The plot shows a deep
minimum of the pattern in the direction of the interference. The
far-field pattern obtained by numerical simulation considering
the same state of the switches obtained in the experimental result is also shown in the same figure as dashed line, confirming
again the validity of the numerical code.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 53, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2005

Fig. 15. Measured SINR in case of 0 AOA of desired signal and 45 AOA
of the interference signal; circles: 13 elements antenna; triangles: 25 elements
antenna.

Fig. 17. Far-field pattern of the 13 elements antenna in case of 0 AOA of


desired signal and 45 AOA of the interference signal.

Fig. 16. Measured VSWR in case of 0 AOA of desired signal and 45 AOA
of the interference signal; circles: 13 elements antenna; triangles: 25 elements
antenna.

Then, the performances of the two AUTs were investigated


in the case of interference reduction. The two antennas were
positioned at an angle of 45 each other, obtaining two angularly
spaced signals. In order to simulate an incorrelated interference
the two transmitting antennas were fed alternatively. The signal
received by feeding one of the two antennas was considered the
desired signal, while the signal received by the other antenna
was considered the interference signal.
The VD-BPSO algorithm was used to adapt the AUT. In
Fig. 15 the SINR as a function of the number of iterations in the
case of 13-elements antenna (circles) and 25-element antennas
(triangles) is shown. The plot shows good performances of
both antennas. In particular, a SINR of almost 20 dB is reached
in less than ten iterations in both the AUT configurations,
according to the numerical simulations. It is useful to note that
the performances of the 25-elements AUT are higher than the
13-elements AUT. In fact, in case of 25-elements AUT the
SINR reaches more than 30 dB in less than ten iterations (note
that SNR of the system is around 30 dB; consequently the SINR
oscillates at about 30 dB due to the presence of random noise).
In Fig. 16 the VSWR in case of 13-elements AUT (circles)
and 25-elements AUT (triangles) are plotted as function of the
number of iterations, showing a VSWR lower than 1.5 during
the adaptive processing.
The azimuthal far-field patterns of the 13-elements AUT and
25-elements AUT after ten iterations are shown in Figs. 17 and

Fig. 18. Far-field pattern of the 25 elements antenna in case of 0 AOA


of desired signal and 45 AOA of the interference signal; continuous line:
measured after ten iterations; dashed line: measured after four iterations; dotted
line: measured after one iteration.

18, respectively. For the sake of completeness, in Fig. 18 the


far-field patterns after one iteration (dotted line) and after four
iterations (dashed line) are also plotted.
Finally, in Fig. 19 the effect of a number of failures variable
between 0 and 4 on the 13 elements prototype is shown, comparing the mean SIR achieved after 20 iteration of BGA3 in the
case of desired signal arriving from 0 and interference signal
arriving from 40 . The experimental results (stars in Fig. 19)
confirm the robustness of the antenna with respect to the failure
of the elements. Furthermore, the plot shows a good agreement
between the experimental results and the results of the numerical simulation (circles in Fig. 19), confirming again the effectiveness of the numerical results shown in Section III.
Globally, the above experimental results are in good agreement with the numerical results and confirm the good performances of the proposed antenna.

MIGLIORE et al.: A SIMPLE AND ROBUST ADAPTIVE PARASITIC ANTENNA

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and realization of the switches, and Prof. G. Panariello for his


valuable suggestions on many aspects of the antenna design.

REFERENCES

Fig. 19. Comparison of the mean SIR achieved after 20 iteration of VD-BGA,
showing the effect of a number of failures variable between 0 and 4 on the 13
elements prototype (signal arriving from 0 interference signal 40 ).

V. CONCLUSION
A new architecture for space-filtering UdaYagi adaptive antennas is proposed.
The antenna consists of a relatively large number of parasitic
elements placed on a number of circles around the active element. Each element of the rings is terminated in two loads by
means of electronically controllable switches.
The adaptivity of the antenna is obtained by choosing the
state of the elements in order to minimize a proper cost function, based on the SINR, by means of self-adaptive versions
of biological beamforming algorithms whose objective function
is chosen using fuzzy logic in order to obtain both a good SINR
and a good VSWR.
The antenna is simple, low-cost and robust with respect to
failures of the passive elements. Experimental results confirm
the effectiveness of the proposed antenna.
It is worth noting that the convergence of the biological beamforming algorithms investigated is quite fast, requiring less than
ten iterations to obtain a fairly good SINR with a VSWR that is
kept stably low during the adaptive process.
The architecture proposed in this paper is also suitable for
further improvements. In particular, the adoption of a neural
network in order to further increase the velocity of the adaptive process is worth to be investigated. Furthermore, the use of
space-time processing parallelizing the solution adopted in [23]
is another interesting field of research.
Finally, the results shown in the paper indicate that also a
simple switched-loaded antenna can give null-forming performances similar to the more complex varactor-controlled loaded
antennas. This is an interesting result, since it is generally accepted that a switched-load antenna would give very poor nullforming performances [24], and re-opens the question on the
limits of the performances of simple switched-load null-forming
parasitic antennas.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors thank Dr. F. Iannuzzo, whose deep experience
on electronic circuits was absolutely fundamental in the design

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Marco Donald Migliore (M04) received the Laurea


degree (honors) in electronic engineering and the
Ph.D. degree in electronics and computer science
from the University of Napoli Federico II, Naples,
Italy, in 1990 and 1994, respectively.
He was a Researcher at the University of Napoli
Federico II until 2001. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Cassino, Cassino,
Italy, where he teaches adaptive antennas, radio propagation in urban area and electromagnetic fields. He
teaches microwaves at the University of Napoli Federico II. He is also a consultant of industries in the field of advanced antenna
measurement systems. His main research interests are antenna measurement
techniques, adaptive antennas and medical and industrial applications of microwaves.
Dr. Migliore is a Member of the Antenna Measurements Techniques Association (AMTA), the Italian Electromagnetic Society (SIEM), the National
Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunication (CNIT) and the Electromagnetics Academy. He is listed in Marquis Whos Who in the World, Whos
Who in Science and Engineering and in Whos Who in Electromagnetics.

Daniele Pinchera (S05) was born in Cassino, Italy,


on March 6, 1980. He received the Dr. Eng. degree
in telecommunication engineering (summa cum
laude) in July 2004. He is currently working toward
the Ph.D. degree in the Microwave Laboratory at the
University of Cassino.
His current researches are in the fields of smart antenna technologies, MIMO systems and the development of efficient evolutionary computation techniques.

Fulvio Schettino (M99) was born in Naples, Italy,


in 1971. He received the Laurea degree (summa cum
laude) in electronic engineering in 1997, and the
Ph.D. degree in electronics and computer science in
2001, both from the University Federico II, Naples.
Since June 2001, he has been a Researcher at
the University of Cassino, Cassino, Italy. His main
research activities concern analytical and numerical
techniques for antenna and circuits analysis and
adaptive antennas.