Multi-Band Patch Antenna Tuning by a Fractal-Shaped Erosion Process

P.Rocca*, R. Azaro, M. Benedetti, F. Viani, E. Zeni, and A. Massa
ELEDIA Group - Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science
University of Trento, Via Sommarive 14, I-38050 Trento, Italy
E-mail: andrea.massa@ing.unitn.it, Web-page: http://www.eledia.ing.unitn.it


Introduction

The synthesis of compact multi-band antenna is one of the most promising
research area for the development of electronic products characterized by the
integration of multiple wireless functions and a high degree of miniaturization. An
interesting antenna technology aimed at fitting these geometrical and integration
constraints is based on planar patch structures [1], especially when the synthesis
of an hemispherical radiation pattern is requested. Patch antennas are
characterized by a low profiles, reduced weights and costs, and their integration
into electronic devices is usually very easy. Moreover, recent researches have
shown that these structures can be profitably modified by perturbing their original
shapes to improve their geometrical and electrical performances. As an example,
some interesting miniaturization results have been presented in [2] and [3] where
H-shaped geometries or Koch fractal shapes have been considered, respectively.
The presence of slit cuts in the patch area has been taken into account in [4] to
tune the resonance frequencies as well as to reduce the antenna dimension. Fractal
shapes [5] demonstrated their efficiency for the development of miniaturized and
multi-band antennas and several researches have been carried out to study their
radiating properties. Unfortunately, standard fractal or prefractal shapes show a
harmonic frequency behaviour instead of uncorrelated multiband resonances [6].
An effective way to overcome such a drawback consists in perturbing the fractal
geometry by “adding” some degrees of freedom to the antenna structure.
Following such an approach, very effective prototypes have been realized and
described in [7] starting from a reference Sierpinski fractal shape and by
perturbing its scale factor. As a matter of fact, the effects of suitable perturbations
on the descriptive geometrical parameters of fractals proved to be a possible way
to improve their performances or modify their standard electrodynamic
behaviours. According to such an idea, the constrained syntheses of non-harmonic
dual-band radiators by means of the optimization of a perturbed pre-fractal Koch-
like shape has been carried out in [8] [9]. In this paper, the same methodology is
employed to tune in four non-harmonic frequency bands of a microstrip patch
antenna. A perturbed pre-fractal erosion is superimposed on two sides of a
rectangular patch shape. Moreover, its geometrical parameters are varied
according to a PSO optimization strategy [10] to set the antenna operations in two
Galileo bands and in two Wi-Max bands.

978-1-4244-2042-1/08/$25.00 ©2008 IEEE
L1,2,1,1
L1,2,1,2
L1,2,1,3
L1,2,1,4
Q1,2,1,1
1,2,1,2 Q
L1,2,2,2
Q1,2,2,1
Q1,2,2,2
L1,2,3,3
L2,2,1,2
Q1,2,3,1
L1,2,3,4
Q1,2,3,2
L1,2,4,4
L1,2,4,1
Q1,2,4,2
L1,2,2,1
L1,2,2,3
L1,2,2,4
L1,2,3,1
Q1,2,4,1 L1,2,4,3
1,2,4,2 L
L2,2,1,3
L2,2,1,4
Q2,2,1,1
2,2,1,2 Q
L2,2,1,1
L1,2,3,2
PX,Y
L2,2,3,1
Q2,2,1,1
L2,2,3,2
L2,2,3,4
2,2,3,2 Q
L2,2,3,3

(a) (b)

Fig. 1 – Quad-band fractal-eroded patch antenna: (a) reference geometry and descriptive
parameters, (b) photograph of the prototype.

Quad-band patch design

Starting from a rectangular patch, the perimeter of the antenna is optimized to
satisfy the following project constraints. The return loss values in the Galileo
frequency bands
5
E and
1
L ( 795 . 1191
5
=
E
f MHz, 42 . 1575
1
=
L
f MHz) and Wi-
Max bands ( 5 . 2
1
=
WM
f GHz and 5 . 3
2
=
WM
f GHz) are required to be lower than -
10 dB. Moreover, gain values greater than 3 dBi at ° = 0 θ and 4 dBi at ° ± = 70 θ
are imposed in the Galileo bands. On the other hand, a minimum gain value of
5 − dBi at ° ± = 5 . 88 θ and on average 2 − dBi in the angular range
° ≤ ≤ ° ° − ≤ ≤ ° − 90 70 70 90 θ θ ∪ are needed in the Wi-Max bands. Concerning the
geometrical requirements, the maximum planar dimension are set to
2
10 10 cm ×
on an Arlon substrate of thickness mm h 8 . 0 = and dielectric characteristics
mm
r
38 . 3 = ε and 0025 . 0 = δ tg .
Towards this purpose, the descriptive parameters [Fig. 1(a)] of the second order
Koch-like fractal shapes of the two sides of the patch are modified to locate four
resonant modes of the reference structure in the user-defined bands. The arising
synthesis problem is then faced as an optimization one by assuming as constraints
the antenna design requirements. Towards this end, the whole set of geometrical
descriptive parameters to be optimized are coded into the unknown vector χ :

[ ]
w h q p j i n m input input
L L y x
, , 2 , 2 , , 2 , 2 , , 2 , 1 , , 2 , 1
; ; ; ; ; Θ Θ = χ (1)

where ( )
input input
y x , are the coordinates of the antenna feed point and
n m
L
, , 2 , 1
,
q p
L
, , 2 , 2
,
j i, , 2 , 1
Θ ,
w h, , 2 , 1
Θ , 4 ..., , 1 , , , , , , , = w h q p n m j i are the lengths and the angles
describing the second stage Koch-like shapes. In order to complete the
mathematical formulation of the optimization problem, a two-term cost function
is defined, as follows:
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0
|

Γ

|
Frequency [GHz]
Simulated
Measured
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
100 75 50 25 0
Iteration number k
Φ
tot
(a) (b)

Fig. 2 – Quad-band fractal-eroded patch antenna synthesis: (a) reflection coefficient of
the synthesized antenna, (b) behavior of the cost function during the iterative
optimization process.

( ) ( ) ( ) χ χ χ Γ + Ω = Φ (2)
where
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( )
¦
¦
¹
¦
¦
´
¦
¦
)
¦
`
¹
¦
¹
¦
´
¦
(
¸
(

¸
∆ ∆ ∆ Λ − ∆ ∆ ∆
= Γ
¦
)
¦
`
¹
¦
¹
¦
´
¦
(
¸
(

¸
− ∆ Φ
= Ω
∑∑∑


=

=

=

=
1
0
1
0
1
0 min
min
1
0 max
max
, , , ,
, 0 max
, 0 max
U
u
V
v
Z
z
T
t
G
f z v u f z v u G
VSWR
VSWR f t
ϕ θ ϕ θ
χ
χ
(3)

where ( ) f Φ and ( ) f , ,ϕ θ Λ are the estimated values of the VSWR and of the
antenna gain in correspondence with the solution χ , respectively. Moreover, f ∆
is the sampling frequency step in the four working bands, and θ ∆ , ϕ ∆ are the
sampling angular steps for the gain function. The integrated synthesis procedure is
based on a fractal boundary geometry generator, a MoM electromagnetic
simulator [11] and a PSO strategy [10]. A prototype of the optimized quad-band
patch antenna has been realized [Fig. 1(b)]. In Figure 2(a) both measured and
simulated (after 98 iterations) amplitude of the reflection coefficient [Fig. 2(b)]
are shown. For completeness, Figure 3 shows the plot of the gain function in the
horizontal ( ° = 90 θ ) and in the vertical ( ° = 90 φ ) planes, respectively.

Conclusions

In this paper, the synthesis of a quad-band patch antenna has been presented. The
synthesis problem has been reformulated in an optimization one by considering a
reference patch antenna and successive perturbations. The shape modifications
have been performed according to a fractal-shaped erosion strategy in order to
tune the resonance frequencies and to fit the user requirements. Selected
numerical and experimental results have been shown to assess the effectiveness of
the synthesis process as well as the reliability of the designed prototype.

-30
-20
-10
0
10
20
0 60 120 180 240 300 360
G
a
i
n

[
d
B
i
]
Φ
Simulated (1189 MHz)
Simulated (1577 MHz)
Simulated (2500 MHz)
Simulated (3500 MHz)
-20
-10
0
10
20
-90 -60 -30 0 30 60 90
G
a
i
n

[
d
B
i
]
Θ
Simulated (1189 MHz)
Simulated (1577 MHz)
Simulated (2500 MHz)
Simulated (3500 MHz)
(a) (b)

Fig. 3 – Quad-band fractal-eroded patch antenna gain functions: (a) horizontal plane
( ° = 90 θ ), (b) vertical plane ( ° = 90 φ ).

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