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Fig. 10. The phase differences for the forward and reflected signals for odd mode
excitation. For even mode excitation the directions of the arrows are reversed.

realized gains are 7.4 dBic for LHCP in port 1 and 4.8 dBic for RHCP in
port 2. The difference is most likely due to the loss in the coupling mechanism. The additional length of the phase shifter impacts both RHCP and
LHCP simultaneously and hence does not contribute to this difference.
Isolation between RHCP and LHCP ports is a crucial issue for potential applications. However, due to the use of 90 phase shifter, the principles for achieving good and wideband isolation are different to those
presented in [9]. Fig. 10 illustrates the phase of the signal, which is reflected from the patch. The odd mode is excited, hence 0 phase difference at the input. As the wave travels through the line a 90 phase difference is added by the phase shifter. When the energy is reflected from the
patch (red dashed arrows) the signal travels back and through the phase
shifter for the second time, effectively producing 180 phase shift. As a
result although excitation is in odd mode the reflected wave is in even
mode (and vice versa for the even mode excitation). This shows that the
limiting factor for good isolation is the patch impedance matching and
its bandwidth. This is especially critical because traditional patch antennas are narrowband. The use of bandwidth enhancement techniques
([11], [13]) is therefore strongly recommended for the proposed designs.
In this communication a new antenna for circular polarization diversity is proposed. Good isolation in the operating band makes the
antenna a suitable candidate for wireless applications. Other applications include polarization sensor antennas. Apart from the 90 phase
shifter (which can be easily realized within a limited footprint) the antenna feed has no wavelength dependent elements, therefore providing
a compact solution. The use of a single CPW to transmit two separated
signals allows a flexible design, especially in small devices where the
space available for RF circuits is constrained.
The use of CPW and a coupling mechanism to generate the odd mode
was used to facilitate measurement with a VNA. In fact almost any line
supporting even/odd modes can be employed and the two modes can
be generated in various ways, for instance directly by a MMIC, as even
and odd modes are often used in microwave circuits.

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Triple-Band Unidirectional Circularly Polarized Hexagonal

Slot Antenna With Multiple L-Shaped Slits
Jong Gyun Baek and Keum Cheol Hwang

AbstractThe design of a triple-band circularly polarized hexagonal slot

antenna with L-shaped slits is presented in this study. By adding three
L-shaped slit arms to the hexagonal slot, circularly polarized radiation is
achieved at three different frequencies. The proposed slot antenna is excited by a simple tapered microstrip feeding line. A conducting reflector
is also used to enhance the antenna gain. The measured 10 dB reflection bandwidths are 33.16% (3.224.5 GHz) and 22.72% (4.765.98 GHz).
The measured 3 dB axial ratio bandwidths for the triple bands are 1.7%,
3.86%, and 5.23%, respectively. The measured peak gains within the 3 dB
axial ratio bands are 5.5 dBic, 4.63 dBic, and 6.77 dBic.
Index TermsCircular polarization, microstrip, multi-band antenna,
slot antenna.

Circularly polarized, microstrip-fed antennas have been intensively
studied due to their low profile, ease of fabrication, and excellent
transmission characteristics [1]. The design of multi-band circularly
polarized microstrip antennas seeks to apply these antennas to various
communication services, such as satellite communications and global
positioning systems (GPS) [2][7]. Dual-band circularly polarized
Manuscript received October 11, 2012; revised January 31, 2013; accepted
May 21, 2013. Date of publication May 30, 2013; date of current version August 30, 2013. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012-0003052).
The authors are with the Division of Electronics and Electrical Engineering,
Dongguk University-Seoul, Seoul 100-715, Korea (e-mail: kchwang@
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this communication are available online at
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2013.2265216

0018-926X 2013 IEEE



Fig. 1. Geometry of the proposed triple-band circularly polarized hexagonal

slot antenna: (a) top view and (b) side view.

Fig. 3. Simulated results with different

(a) reflection coefficient and (b) axial ratio.

Fig. 2. Simulated results with and without L-shaped slits: (a) reflection coefficient and (b) axial ratio. Note that the antenna parameters are shown in Table I.

antennas have been proposed with stacked, corner-truncated square

patches [2], a pair of L-shaped stubs [3], and cavity-backed slots with
a dual-feeding structure [4]. Single-layer microstrip patch antennas
with slits on the patch or ground plane have also been demonstrated
for triple-band applications [5], [6]. Although these antenna designs
induce a circularly polarized wave in their three bands, the 3 dB axial
ratio bandwidths are very narrow (2 MHz, 0.13%) [5] or the second

, and

and the third circular polarization bands cannot be controlled independently [6]. In another study [7], a triple-band circularly polarized
rectangular patch antenna was proposed for GPS applications, in
which three patches with different dimensions were stacked. However,
the bandwidths when the VSWR is less than 2 at each frequency are
narrow, at 1.9%, 1.4%, and 1.7%. Furthermore, the use of a triple-layer
patch complicates the fabrication of the antenna.
In this communication, a circularly polarized slot antenna is proposed for triple-band applications. The proposed antenna exhibits not
only a broad resonance characteristic but also independent tuning
capability for each operating band of circular polarization. In order
to realize circular polarization operation in a triple-band design, three
L-shaped slit arms were engraved on a hexagonal slot. The shape
of a conventional microstrip feeding line is tapered to enhance the
impedance matching. In addition, a conducting reflector is placed
below of the antenna substrate to achieve unidirectional radiation,
thereby increasing the antenna gain. The performance of the antenna
was simulated using the ANSYS High-Frequency Structure Simulator
(HFSS). Detailed geometry of the proposed antenna, parametric
analysis, and the measured results are presented and discussed in the
following sections.
Fig. 1 illustrates the geometry of the proposed antenna, which is
designed on the Taconic RF-35 substrate with a thickness of 1.52
mm, a dielectric constant of 3.5 and a loss tangent of 0.0018. The
antenna consists of a hexagonal radiating slot with three L-shaped
slits and a tapered microstrip feeding line. The hexagonal slot with


Fig. 4. Simulated results with different

(a) reflection coefficient and (b) axial ratio.

Fig. 5. (a) Simulated reflection coefficients for various dimensions of ground

and (b) simulated electric current distribution on the ground plane at
3.5 GHz. Note that the other antenna parameters are shown in Table I.

, and


two pairs of vertical and horizontal sides with a length of

and two diagonal sides with a length of
is located at the center
. The
of the square ground plane with dimensions of
proposed radiating slot is fed by a non-uniform, tapered microstrip
feeder with a line impedance of 50
. The
feeding line has a uniform width from the SMA connector to a
height of
. However, at the latter part of the feeding strip, the
width of the line is tapered from 3.4 mm to
to enhance the
resonance bandwidth of the antenna. A conducting reflector is also
located at a distance of under the substrate to obtain unidirectional
radiation along the
First, the hexagonal slot configuration was designed to generate
right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) radiation at 4.8 GHz. The
unequilateral, hexagonal slot fed by the tapered microstrip line induces
two orthogonal magnetic currents with equal amplitude but with a
90 phase difference, thereby exhibiting the RHCP radiation [8]. In
this hexagonal slot design, additional RHCP radiation at two different
frequencies can then be achieved by inserting three L-shaped slits on
each side of the hexagonal slot, as shown in Fig. 2. Two L-shaped
slits (slit 1 and 2), each with a length of
and a height of , are
connected to the vertical and horizontal sides of the hexagonal slot
to induce RHCP radiation at 4.2 GHz. Fig. 3(a) and (b) show the
influence of
, which is the length of the pair of the L-shaped slits
on the horizontal and vertical sides, on the resonance and operating
circular polarization frequency, where the minimum axial ratio exists.
It is observed that the resonant frequency and operating circular
polarization frequency near 4.2 GHz shift to the lower frequency
region as
increases from 9.5 mm to 11 mm. Another L-shaped slit


arm with a length of

and a height of
(slit 3) is also engraved on
a diagonal side for the generation of RHCP radiation near 3.5 GHz.
Fig. 4 illustrates the simulated reflection coefficient and axial ratio for
the various values of
. Similar to the influence of
, the change
affects both the resonant frequency and the operating circular
polarization frequency near 3.5 GHz without deteriorating the antenna
performance at 4.2 GHz and 5.1 GHz. Therefore, the circular polarization performance of the proposed antenna can be independently tuned
at three different frequencies by the hexagonal slot and L-shaped slits
engraved on each side. Note that the widths of the slits are identical, at
0.95 mm, and that the slit arms are placed at distances of , , and
from the right end point of each respective orientation (horizontal,
vertical, or diagonal).
We simulated the reflection coefficient of the antenna for various dimensions of the ground plane to assess the ground size of the proposed
antenna. The result is shown in Fig. 5(a). This figure shows that an
increase in the ground size does not significantly affect the reflection
coefficient because the leaky current on the ground surface is negligible



Fig. 6. Simulated magnetic current distribution with period at 3.57 GHz: (a)
, (b)
, (c)
, (d)
. Note that the antenna
parameters are shown in Table I.

Fig. 8. Simulated magnetic current distribution with period at 5.15 GHz: (a)
, (b)
, (c)
, (d)
. Note that the antenna
parameters are shown in Table I.

Fig. 9. Photograph of the fabricated antenna.

Fig. 7. Simulated magnetic current distribution with period at 4.17 GHz: (a)
, (b)
, (c)
, (d)
. Note that the antenna
parameters are shown in Table I.

slits 1 and 2 and the hexagonal slot are involved in the current generation, rotating counterclockwise. Fig. 8 depicts the current distribution
at 5.15 GHz. Similar to the current distribution at 4.17 GHz, the slits
1 and 2 and the hexagonal slot generate the major currents that induce
the vector sum, causing it to point from the upper right corner to the
lower left corner at
. This vector sum also rotates counterclockwise, thereby yielding the RHCP radiation.

(see Fig. 5(b)). Based on the parametric analysis, the finally optimized
geometrical parameters of the proposed antenna are listed in Table I.
Finally, magnetic current concentrations on the aperture were simulated at each CP band to visualize the operation of the antenna. Fig. 6
illustrates the current distribution, as observed from
-direction at
3.57 GHz. Note that Ms and Mtotal represent a current vector on a
hexagonal slot and the vector sum of all major current contributions,
respectively. At
, the currents on slit 1 and the hexagonal slot
rise and their vector sum points from the upper left corner to the lower
right corner. At
, the currents near slit 3 and hexagonal slot
dominate the radiation, producing a vector sum pointing from the lower
left corner to the upper right corner. This vector sum is orthogonal to
that at
and rotates counterclockwise as the time increases, thus
producing CP radiation, as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 7 shows the current
distribution at 4.17 GHz. Unlike the case at 3.57 GHz, it was found that

Based on the optimized design parameters, the proposed antenna was

fabricated and tested. A photograph of the fabricated antenna is shown
in Fig. 9. Four foam hexahedrons were used to support the RF-35 substrate, which was suspended in midair above the conducting reflector.
The reflection coefficient of the fabricated antenna was measured using
an Agilent 8510C network analyzer. The measured operating bands
for the 10 dB reflection coefficient range from 3.22 GHz to 4.5 GHz
(33.16%) for the lower band and from 4.76 GHz to 5.98 GHz (22.72%)
for the upper band, as shown in Fig. 10. The simulated and measured
axial ratios of the proposed antenna are illustrated in Fig. 11. A dual-polarization horn antenna with horizontal and vertical polarizations was
used to measure radiation characteristics of the fabricated antenna. This
figure shows that the measured result is in good agreement with the simulated result. The measured 3 dB axial ratio bandwidths in the broadare 1.7% (3.493.55 GHz), 3.86% (4.064.22
side direction



Fig. 10. Simulated and measured reflection coefficients of the proposed


Fig. 13. Measured radiation patterns at (a) 3.53 GHz, (b) 4.15 GHz, and (c)
5.08 GHz.

all of the measured patterns exhibit unidirectional radiation along the

Fig. 11. Simulated and measured axial ratios of the proposed antenna.

A hexagonal slot antenna with multiple L-shaped slits was presented

to achieve triple-band circular polarization. The measured 10 dB reflection bandwidths of the fabricated antenna were 33.16% and 22.72%
and RHCP radiation with axial ratios of less than 3 dB was observed in
all three bands. The implemented antenna also exhibits unidirectional
radiation at all measured frequencies. Therefore, the antenna proposed
in this communication is an attractive candidate for wireless and satellite applications that require a high-gain, multi-band circularly polarized antenna.


Fig. 12. Simulated and measured gains of the proposed antenna.

GHz), and 5.23% (5.035.3 GHz). Fig. 12 shows a comparison of simulated and measured RHCP gains of the antenna. The measured peak
gains within the 3 dB axial ratio bands are 5.5 dBic, 4.63 dBic, and
6.77 dBic, respectively. Fig. 13 shows measured right-hand circularly
polarized and left-hand circularly polarized (LHCP) radiation patterns
planes at 3.53 GHz, 4.15 GHz, and 5.08 GHz.
on the
The level of co-polarization (RHCP radiation) is 16 dB higher than
that of cross-polarization (LHCP radiation) in the broadside direction
at all measured frequencies. In addition, it is important to note that the

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