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MINIATURIZATION OF MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS FOR GPS

APPLICATIONS








A Thesis Presented

by

STEVEN S. HOLLAND










Submitted to the Graduate School of the
University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING

May 2008

Electrical and Computer Engineering









































© Copyright by Steven S. Holland 2008

All Rights Reserved








MINIATURIZATION OF MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS FOR GPS
APPLICATIONS






A Thesis Presented

by

STEVEN S. HOLLAND




Approved as to style and content by:



__________________________________________
Daniel H. Schaubert, Chair


__________________________________________
David M. Pozar, Member


__________________________________________
Marinos N. Vouvakis, Member



________________________________________
C. V. Hollot, Department Head
Electrical and Computer Engineering




















To my parents.

v
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Schaubert for giving me the opportunity to
perform research under his guidance. His patience, advice and support have allowed me
to explore, learn, and become a better engineer. I would also like to thank my
committee members, Dr. Pozar and Dr. Vouvakis for their many discussions and
insightful comments that contributed greatly to the success of this thesis.
I would also like to thank Tyco Electronic Systems Division for funding this
project and for fabricating and testing the prototype antennas. I am indebted to the
engineering team members: Tom Goodwin, Tom Lavallee, Mark Marden and Tom
Rose, whose suggestions were extremely helpful in developing the designs.
My colleagues in the Antennas and Propagation Laboratory have been invaluable
in both their technical and moral support. The many discussions I have had with them
helped tremendously with the computational tools, measurements, and in furthering my
understanding of antennas and electromagnetic phenomena. Particular thanks go to
Justin Creticos, Sreenivas Kasturi, Andrew Mandeville, Eric Marklein, and Georgios
Paraschos. Finally, the support of my family and friends has been pivotal in the
completion of this thesis.
vi
ABSTRACT
MINIATURIZATION OF MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS FOR GPS
APPLICATIONS

MAY 2008

STEVEN S. HOLLAND, B.S.E.E., MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING


M.S.E.C.E., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST


Directed by: Professor Daniel H. Schaubert


The desire to incorporate multiple frequency bands of operation into personal
communication devices has led to much research on reducing the size of antennas while
maintaining adequate performance. GPS is one such application, where dual frequency
operation, bandwidth and circular polarization pose major challenges when using
traditional miniaturization techniques. Various loading methods have been studied to
reduce the resonant frequency of the antenna – high permittivity dielectric loading, slot
loading and cavity loading – while examining their effects on bandwidth and gain. The
objective of this thesis is to provide guidelines on what is achievable using these
miniaturization methods and insight into how to implement them effectively.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................ v
ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... vi
LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................... ix
LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................... x

CHAPTER

1. INTRODUCTION................................................................................................. 1
1.1 Background of Microstrip Antennas ......................................................... 1
1.2 Motivation for this Study .......................................................................... 2
1.3 GPS Antenna Challenges .......................................................................... 2
1.4 Overview of Thesis ................................................................................... 4

2. SMALL ANTENNA CONSIDERATIONS ......................................................... 6
2.1 Quality Factor Considerations .................................................................. 7
2.2 Gain Considerations ................................................................................ 15
2.3 Recent Research on Electrically Small Antennas ................................... 18

3. LOADING METHODS ...................................................................................... 22
3.1 High Permittivity Dielectric Loading ...................................................... 22

3.1.1 High Permittivity Performance Trends ...................................... 26
3.1.2 Optimized Linearly Polarized Prototype Design ....................... 29
3.1.3 Optimized L-probe, CP Stacked Patch Prototype ..................... 37

3.2 Slot Loading ............................................................................................ 47

3.2.1 Slot Loading Performance Trends ............................................. 51
3.2.2 Optimized Slotted, Stacked Patch Design ................................. 62

3.3 Cavity Loading ........................................................................................ 66

3.3.1 Cavity Loading Performance Trends ......................................... 69
3.3.2 Optimized Cavity Backed, Stacked Patch Design ..................... 80
viii

4. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 85


APPENDICES

A. DERIVATION OF MINIMUM Q LIMITS ........................................................ 87
B. ADDITIONAL ANTENNA DESIGNS .............................................................. 91
C. HFSS CONDUCTIVITY CONSIDERATIONS ................................................ 94
D. SLOT MAGNETIC FIELD VECTOR PLOTS ................................................ 104
E. MEASURED SLOTTED PROTOTYPE ANTENNAS ................................... 106
F. EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT FOR WIDE SLOTS ............................................... 113
G. CAPACITOR LOADED PATCH ANTENNA ................................................ 114
H. EFFECT OF SUBSTRATE THICKNESS ON RESONANT
FREQUENCY ................................................................................................... 117
I. VERTICAL WALL LOADED ANTENNA ..................................................... 118

BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................... 121

ix
LIST OF TABLES
Table Page

1- Comparison of the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth for three different slot shapes. ........... 59
2 – Summarized results of the measured and simulated data. All simulations
run on 64 bit WinXP, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two
active cores) with 4GB of RAM. ............................................................ 97
3 – Summary of comparison between simulated and measured data using
different HFSS conductivity settings. * indicates 2mm maximum
element size, **indicates 0.5mm maximum element size. All
simulations run on 64 bit WinXP, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM. ...................................... 100



x
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page

1 - Sphere enclosing an antenna structure. .................................................................. 8
2 - Circuit Schematic representation of the spherical TM modes, with (a) the
TM
01
mode, and (b) the set of TM
n0
modes. ............................................. 9
3 – The minimum Q for various levels of efficiency. ............................................... 11
4 - Comparison of the approximate (Chu) and exact (McLean, Collin) Q
limits. ...................................................................................................... 13
5 – The theoretical limits on the 3dB and 2:1 VSWR fractional bandwidths
versus ka. ................................................................................................. 14
6 - Radiation Resistance for infinitesimal dipole versus length................................ 17
7 – The effect on of loss resistance R
L
on radiation efficiency versus the
length of an infinitesimal dipole relative to operating wavelength. ........ 17
8 – Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the
theoretical 3dB bandwidth limits. The antennas are denoted by
the symbols in the legend. ....................................................................... 20
9 - Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the
theoretical 2:1 VSWR bandwidth limits. The antennas are
denoted by the symbols in the legend. .................................................... 21
10- Transmission line model of microstrip patch antenna, showing the
equivalent representation of the slot susceptance as an extension
to the length of the transmission line. ..................................................... 23
11 - Geometry of the 27×27mm square patch antenna model used for the
permittivity variation, (a) without a superstrate, and (b) with a
superstrate. Substrate and superstrate are 100×100×3mm. .................... 26
12 - Change in resonant frequency with relative permittivity. Antennas are
27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and, as indicated, have
31×31×3mm superstrates. Predicted Frequency from equation
3.5 is shown for comparison. .................................................................. 27
xi
13 - Change in 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with relative permittivity. Antennas
are 27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and, as indicated, have
31×31×3mm superstrates. ....................................................................... 27
14 -Stacked patch design using dielectrics with ε
r
= 50. Dimensions: top
patch = 11.5×11.5mm, bottom patch = 15×15mm, dielectrics
=19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three layers. ....................... 28
15 - Return loss for antenna on ε
r
= 50. Dimensions: top patch =
11.5×11.5mm, bottom patch = 15×15mm, dielectrics =19×19mm
with 5mm total thickness of all three layers. .......................................... 29
16 - Linearly polarized GPS antenna on high permittivity materials of ε
r
= 25
and ε
r
= 38. .............................................................................................. 30
17 - Design layout of the high permittivity, linearly polarized GPS antenna
prototype. All dimensions are in millimeters. ........................................ 31
18 - Return loss performance of the linearly polarized 29×21×12mm GPS
antenna on high permittivity dielectric materials. ................................... 32
19 - Simulation results for the broadside gain across both L2 and L1 bands. .......... 33
20 - Diagram of the location and thickness of the AF-126 bonding epoxy
layers used in fabrication of the linear prototype antenna....................... 34
21 - Comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the linear
prototype antenna on high permittivity dielectric. .................................. 34
22 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L2 band for linear prototype
antenna. ................................................................................................... 36
23 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L1 band for linear prototype
antenna. ................................................................................................... 36
24 - A step in the transformation from the linear antenna prototype to the CP
version, showing the addition of an orthogonal feed and thinner,
but longer substrates. .............................................................................. 38
25 - Circularly polarized GPS prototype antenna on TMM10 dielectric
material. The top patch is 29.6mm×29.6mm in size, and the
lower patch is 40×40mm. ........................................................................ 38
xii
26 - Drawing of the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype GPS
antenna. Horizontal “L” probes are 1mm×5.5mm. All
dimensions are in millimeters. ................................................................ 39
27 - Simulated return loss for the 41.5×41.5×6.5mm circularly polarized
Antenna. .................................................................................................. 40
28 - Simulated broadside gain performance for the 41.5×41.5×6.5mm
circularly polarized, stacked patch antenna. ........................................... 41
29 - Axial ratio for the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna
for both L2 and L1 bands. ....................................................................... 42
30 - Comparison of the measured and simulated return loss performance of
the circularly-polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna. The
antennas shown are the measured prototype, the HFSS design
simulations, and an HFSS simulated antenna modeling the epoxy
boding layers, and an HFSS simulation modeling the whole top
epoxy layer as an air layer. ...................................................................... 43
31 - HFSS model of the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna
including the two 2mil thick AF-126 epoxy layers used to
fabricate the antenna, one at the lower patch and one at the layer
with the horizontal section of the L probes. ............................................ 44
32 - Spin-linear E-plane gain patterns for the L-probe fed, stacked patch GPS
prototype at both L1 and L2 bands, for both measured and
simulated antennas. The patterns were taken at the center
frequency of each gain bandwidth. ......................................................... 45
33 - Broadside RHCP gain vs. Frequency over both the L1 and L2 bands for
the L-feed, stacked patch GPS antenna prototype. .................................. 46
34 - Current distributions on the patch layer when the TM
100
mode is excited
(a) without slots and (b) with slots. ......................................................... 47
35 - Transmission line model of the slots, where the series inductance
approximates the slot field behavior. ...................................................... 49
36 - N-port lumped inductor approximation for the slotted patch. ........................... 50
37 - 27×27mm patch antenna on a 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
four slots cut into the patch surface, with length τ and width ζ =
1mm. ....................................................................................................... 51
xiii
38 – Change in (a.) the resonant frequency, (b.) bandwidth, and (c.) gain with
variation of slot length τ. Patch is 27×27mm square with a
31×31×3.175 mm substrate of TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2). The slot
widths are all ζ = 1mm. ........................................................................... 52
39 – Change in (a) the resonant frequency, (b) bandwidth, and (c) gain with
variation of slot width ζ. Patch is 27×27mm square with a
31×31×3.175 mm substrate of TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2). The slot
lengths are all τ = 9mm. .......................................................................... 54
40 - Change in resonant frequency for a 27×27mm patch vs. substrate (ε
r

=9.2) thickness t, (a.) with slots, and (b.) without slots in the
patch surface. .......................................................................................... 55
41 - Diagram of patch surface with slot positions varied along the resonant
length of the antenna. .............................................................................. 56
42 – Resonant frequency vs. slot position showing the change in resonant
frequency for three different slot lengths of 3mm, 6mm, and
9mm. The patch is 27×27mm on a 31×31×3mm substrate (ε
r
=
9.2). ......................................................................................................... 57
43 - Various slot shapes studied to determine the performance compared to a
rectangular slot. ....................................................................................... 58
44 - Dimensioned drawings of the three slot shapes compared to observe
effect of slot shape on bandwidth. .......................................................... 59
45 - Return loss of the simulated antennas with different slot shapes for
comparison of bandwidth performance. .................................................. 59
46 - Patch antenna using two slots to achieve the desired resonant frequency,
while leaving the centerline of the patch free for the feed probe. ........... 60
47 - Isometric view of the optimized slotted, stacked patch antenna........................ 62
48 – Dimensioned drawing for the optimized slotted, stacked patch antenna.
All dimensions are in millimeters. .......................................................... 63
49 – Simulated return loss for the optimized slotted stacked patch design on
TMM10 substrate material. ..................................................................... 64
50 - Smith chart for the slotted stacked patch design, showing the matching
of the impedance loci. ............................................................................. 64
xiv
51 – Simulated maximum gain at broadside versus frequency at L1 and L2
for the slotted, stacked patch antenna. .................................................... 65
52 – Simulated Axial Ratio at L2 and L1 for the Slotted Stacked Patch
Antenna. .................................................................................................. 66
53 - Modified transmission line model for the microstrip patch antenna when
a cavity is placed behind it. C
C
represents the effective
capacitance of the cavity backing............................................................ 68
54 - 31.5×31.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness
t and length and width α. Antenna is mounted on an infinite
ground plane. ........................................................................................... 70
55 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch on substrates of
thickness t and length α, width α............................................................. 70
56 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch on substrates of
thickness t and length and width 31.5mm < α < 40mm. ......................... 71
57 - Cavity backed 31.5×31.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10
substrate of thickness t and length and width α. The gray
represents the metallization on all four of the vertical walls of the
substrate to form the cavity. The cavity is recessed in an infinite
ground plane. ........................................................................................... 72
58 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch antennas with
carrying substrate size α. Antennas have TMM10 substrates of
thickness t = 7mm, and the results are shown for antennas with
and without a cavity backing................................................................... 73
59 - 27×27mm patch antenna with four 7mm long, 1mm wide slots. The
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) substrate has a thickness t and length α and
width α, and is clad with metal on all four of the vertical walls of
the substrate to form the cavity, represented in gray. The cavity is
recessed in an infinite ground plane. All dimensions are in
millimeters. ............................................................................................. 74
60 – Change in resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity
backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are
shown in the legend. ............................................................................... 75

xv
61 – Change in fractional 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with variation in cavity
depth t of a cavity backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna.
Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend. The stair step nature is
due to bandwidth values in increments of 1MHz. .................................. 76
62 – Change in broadside gain with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity
backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are
shown in the legend. ............................................................................... 77
63 - Change in broadside gain normalized to resonant frequency with
variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed, slotted microstrip
patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend. ......................... 78
64 - Optimized design of the cavity backed stacked patch GPS antenna on
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) dielectric substrate. ................................................... 80
65 - Dimensioned drawing for the optimized cavity backed dual band, CP,
stacked-patch GPS antenna. Horizontal “L” probes are
2.93×1mm. All dimensions are in millimeters. ..................................... 81
66 - Return Loss for the optimized cavity backed CP, dual frequency
antenna. ................................................................................................... 82
67 – Simulated realized gain at L1 and L2 for optimized cavity backed CP,
dual frequency antenna. .......................................................................... 82
68 - Axial ratio over the L1 and L2 band for the optimized cavity backed
antenna. ................................................................................................... 83
69 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for the 36×36×10mm antenna.
All dimensions are in millimeters. .......................................................... 91
70 - Wireframe drawing of the 31×31×10mm stacked patch antenna,
showing the location of slots in both the top and bottom patch
layers. ...................................................................................................... 92
71 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for antenna comparison with the
theoretical Q limits. All dimensions are in millimeters. ........................ 93
72 - Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. Patch
is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate. .............. 95
73 – Comparison of the return loss results for all 8 methods. .................................. 97
xvi
74 – 27×27mm patch on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with four 9mm
long, 1mm wide slots. ............................................................................. 98
75 – Comparison of simulation and measured data for the antenna with 9mm
long, 1mm wide slots in the patch surface. ............................................. 99
76 - Comparison of HFSS simulation gains for the antenna with 9mm long,
1mm wide slots in the patch surface. .................................................... 100
77 – 27×27mm patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm wide slots on
TMM10 substrate of size 31×31×3.175mm, with an air box of
size 2a×2a×a.......................................................................................... 102
78 – Simulated return loss for air box volumes of size a=30mm to a=140mm.
103
79 - Plot of the magnitude of the H field at x=0 plane of the patch in Figure
34b, showing the concentration of field in the slots. ............................ 104
80 - Vector field plot of the magnetic field in the x=0 plane of the patch in
Figure 34b, showing the field penetrating the patch through the
slot. ........................................................................................................ 105
81 - Vector plot showing the currents (YELLOW) on the patch surface
around the slots, and the magnetic field (RED) inside the slot.
This shows the concentration of currents at the end of the slot
producing the strongest magnetic field. ................................................ 105
82 - Measured return loss for the 6 prototype slotted antennas. The
dimension on the first line of each label denotes the slot length,
and the second line denotes the slot width. All antennas were
mounted on a 12×12" ground plane. ..................................................... 106
83 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with no slots. ......................................................................................... 107
84 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with 3mm long, 1mm wide slots. .......................................................... 107
85 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with 6mm long, 1mm wide slots. .......................................................... 108
86 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with 9mm long, 1mm wide slots. .......................................................... 108
xvii
87 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with 9mm long, 1.5mm wide slots. ....................................................... 109
88 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate,
with 9mm long, 3mm wide slots. .......................................................... 109
89 - Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. Patch
is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate. ............ 110
90 - Built transmit antenna for use in the far-field range. ....................................... 110
91 - E-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm
wide slots. ............................................................................................. 111
92 - H-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm
wide slots. ............................................................................................. 111
93 – Patch with four 9mm long, 1mm wide slots mounted on AUT positioner
in the far field range. The ground plane is 12×12”. ............................. 112
94 - Transmit antenna mounted on tapered end of the far field range. ................... 112
95 - Transmission line model for slot cut in a patch surface when the width
of the slot is much greater than the substrate thickness. The patch
shown is on a 3mm thick substrate with 5mm wide slots. .................... 113
96 - Transmission line model modified with the addition of a 2 lumped
capacitors on the radiating slots of the microstrip patch antenna. ........ 114
97 – Resonant frequency behavior for varying the value of the lumped
loading capacitor, calculated using the modified transmission line
model shown in Figure 96. .................................................................... 116
98 - Square 27×27mm patch antenna on an infinite substrate, thickness t, of
TMM10 dielectric material. .................................................................. 117
99 - Change in resonant frequency with substrate thickness for 27×27mm
patch on an infinite substrate of TMM10 dielectric material. ............... 117
100 - Capacitively loaded antenna utilizing bent capacitive sections of the
patch to generate a lower resonant frequency. ...................................... 118

xviii
101 - Diagram of the tuning of both bands in both orthogonal directions
when both patches were excited. Shown are the field components
at L1, L2 bands in the x, y directions and how when fed with 90°
phase difference (j) generate proper CP at both bands. ........................ 119
102 - Return loss of the side wall loaded stacked patch antenna with L-probe
feeds. ..................................................................................................... 120



1

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Microstrip Antennas
The microstrip patch antenna first took form in the early 1970’s [1], and interest
was renewed in the first microstrip antenna proposed by Deschamps in 1953 [2]. Some
of the benefits of microstrip patch antennas include [4] small profile, low weight and
inexpensive fabrication. Additionally, by changing the shape of the structure, versatility
in resonant frequency, polarization, pattern, and impedance can be achieved. Many
feeding mechanisms are possible for feeding the microstrip patch structure, such as probe
feeds, aperture feeds, microstrip line feeds and proximity feeds, where each method has
advantages depending on the application. Despite these advantages, microstrip antennas
present major challenges to the designer due to an inherently narrow bandwidth, poor
polarization purity and tolerance problems [3]. Much research has been done to
overcome these limitations, notably in increasing the bandwidth.
The compact size of the microstrip patch antenna is advantageous for the
reception of GPS (Global Positioning System) signals by personal communication
devices since it is planar, and does not extend vertically from its mounting surface. The
radiation pattern of the microstrip antenna has broad coverage in the E-plane with a
maximum at broadside [4], which allows good coverage of signals from broadside down
to near the horizon. When two orthogonal modes are excited on the antenna to produce
circular polarization (required for GPS), the broad E-plane patterns are also orthogonally
orientated in space, providing broad coverage in both major planes. This creates an

2

approximately hemispherical pattern, which is ideal for use in GPS, where multiple
satellites are required to accurately determine location [5].
1.2 Motivation for this Study
The motivation for this study evolved from the desire to design a GPS antenna
with VSWR 2:1 bandwidth greater than 5MHz at L1 (1.575GHz) and L2 (1.227GHz)
when matched to a source impedance Z
o
of 50Ω. The gain bandwidth is defined with
respect to gain flatness, here required as having a maximum ripple of ±1dB across a
bandwidth of at least 20MHz for both L1 and L2, with a goal of 30MHz. Since GPS
systems use circular polarization to maximize the received signal, reception of circular
polarization is desired with an axial ratio of less than 3dB over the specified gain
bandwidth at each band. The size was to be made as small as possible with a goal of
31.8×31.8×5mm (1.25×1.25×0.2”) as a total volume. Some recent work has been done
investigating miniaturized microstrip GPS antennas, such as Zhou et al [6] with a
31mm×31mm×12.8mm stacked patch design, Zhou et al [7] with a 38mm×38mm×20mm
design, and Guo [8] with a 36×80×6mm antenna. None of these designs met all of the
desired specifications.
1.3 GPS Antenna Challenges
While miniaturization of microstrip antennas, in general, is a process of critically
choosing performance trade-offs, GPS presents some specific challenges. One challenge
is the production of circular polarization with low axial ratio, which limits potential
design choices, since many miniaturization methods only support a single linear

3

polarization. A single probe feeding arrangement on a diagonal axis to generate
orthogonal modes is not suitable, due to its inherently low axial ratio bandwidth – which
becomes even narrower as the bandwidth of each mode is decreased through
miniaturization. The polarization specification, therefore, probably requires a two-axis
symmetric geometry, with two feeds orientated orthogonally in space and fed in
quadrature in order to generate clean circular polarization over a wide bandwidth.
Another family of techniques that do not satisfy the polarization requirements are
modified patch shapes that excite multiple modes. The higher order modes these patch
shapes excite can have drastically varying gain patterns, which in general are different
than that of the fundamental mode of the patch. The two orthogonal probes may also lose
isolation when higher order modes are excited. When multiple resonances are formed
through different path lengths, such as U shaped slots, or E-shaped patches, the patterns
of these resonances are often out of alignment, and the radiation pattern tends to rotate
and shift with changing frequency, limiting them to applications that only require a linear
polarization.
Another limitation posed by GPS antennas is the bandwidth required. While the
actual GPS data occupies a very narrow bandwidth, the signal is encoded using spread
spectrum, resulting in a transmit signal with a bandwidth of approximately 20MHz. At
L1 and L2, this bandwidth translates to (assuming 2:1 VSWR) a fractional bandwidth of
1.26% and 1.63%, respectively. This is obtainable by a standard patch, but such
bandwidths become extremely difficult to obtain when the antenna size is limited. As
discussed in Chapter 2, there is a direct relationship between the bandwidth and the
volume occupied by an antenna. Consequently, many of the methods used to increase the

4

bandwidth of a patch antenna rely on more efficient use of the antenna volume, or an
increase in this volume through stacked patches, coplanar parasitic resonator patches and
thick substrates.
Finally, for a GPS system it is desired to have gain of at least isotropic (0dB).
GPS relies on spread spectrum, and in addition to the wide bandwidth needed, the signal
is at a low power level of -130dBm [9], which is below the noise power of most systems.
As a result, loading the antenna with lossy materials, either as dielectric materials with
high loss tangents (tanδ) or lumped resistors, are not viable bandwidth enhancement
methods for this application.
1.4 Overview of Thesis
In this thesis, studies were conducted to examine three miniaturization methods
that have been used to generate potential design solutions for an L1, L2 band GPS
system. The loading methods explored are high permittivity dielectric materials, slots in
the patch layer, and metallic backing cavities.
Chapter 2 provides a theoretical overview of the derived limits on the Q factor of
antennas, starting with the Chu analysis and comparing his solution to exact solutions
carried out by Collin and McLean. Some of the gain implications for small antennas are
discussed, and finally a comparison is presented between the theoretical limits and the
bandwidths achieved with the successful designs from this study.
Chapter 3 presents studies undertaken to characterize some of the effects of the
three loading methods, and provides optimized designs using each loading method to
show what is achievable by using one or more of these loading methods to miniaturize the

5

patch antenna. Included are both simulation results and measured results from prototypes
that were built and tested over the course of this study



6

CHAPTER 2

SMALL ANTENNA CONSIDERATIONS

It is well known that the size of the antenna will impact its performance,
specifically in terms of bandwidth and gain. In general, antennas can be split into two
main types – resonant structures (e.g. microstrip patch antennas, dipoles, loops) and
travelling wave structures (e.g. horns, helixes, spirals). Travelling wave antennas range
in size from a wavelength up to many 10’s of wavelengths in size, and in general have
wider bandwidths. This increased bandwidth results from the antennas creating a smooth
transition to couple energy from a guided wave to free space radiation as it propagates
through the structure. Their larger size also allows for more directive antennas.
Conversely, resonant antennas couple energy to free space via a structure proportionate to
the operating wavelength, and only efficiently over limited frequency ranges. These
antennas typically have dimensions on the order of λ/2 and multiples thereof. Since their
size is less than λ, they also tend to have lower directivity, due to the smaller aperture
size. At very small sizes, a class of antennas are known as “electrically small”,
commonly defined as one that occupies a volume of less than a “radian sphere” (a sphere
of radius a = λ
o
/2π) [4], equivalent to the definition that ka < 1, where stored energy
dominates. Since this study involved antennas operating at a minimum of 1.227GHz, a
radian sphere has radius equal to r = λ
o
/2π = 3.9cm – much larger than any of the
antennas considered in this study. A discussion of some pertinent performance
considerations provides useful benchmarks on what is fundamentally possible for the
designer.

7

2.1 Quality Factor Considerations
Bandwidth is often one of the most important design specifications to consider
when an antenna has a size restriction. A helpful figure of merit is the concept of the
“quality factor”, also referred to as simply “Q”, of a circuit – in this case an antenna.
Fundamentally, in antenna design Q is defined as the ratio of the total time averaged
energy stored in a given volume to the power radiated (i.e. power “loss”) [11], and is
defined as

2

2

e
e m
f
m
m e
f
W
W W
P
Q
W
W W
P
ω
ω
¦
>
¦
¦
=
´
¦
>
¦
¹
(2.1)
where
e
W and
m
W are the time averaged stored electric and magnetic energies,
respectively, and f P is the power dissipated in radiation. For an antenna, Q is important
because it helps define inherent limits on the physical size of the antenna with respect to
antenna bandwidth and gain. A High Q implies that there is a large amount of energy
stored in the reactive near field [12], which induces large currents on the antenna
structure – leading to high ohmic losses and narrow bandwidth.
The limits of small antenna performance were first analyzed by Wheeler in 1947
using lumped inductor and capacitor modeling [13]. Then, in 1948, Chu [14] developed a
ladder network model relating the Q of an antenna to its physical size, which has been
widely cited as the theoretical limitation to the bandwidth obtainable by antennas of a
given size. The model enclosed an imaginary sphere of radius “a” around the entire

8

antenna structure, shown in Figure 1, and expanded the fields generated outside of this
sphere in spherical harmonics, essentially the modes of free space.

Figure 1 - Sphere enclosing an antenna structure.

A linear antenna with an omnidirectional pattern was assumed inside the sphere,
therefore requiring only the set of TM
n0
modes. Further, the infinite set of discrete
spherical TM modes were modeled as a ladder network of L and C components
terminated in a resistor R (representing power flow in radiation), shown in Figure 2. This
model was extracted from the continued fraction generated by the Legendre polynomials
used to expand the fields. This separation into lumped components is possible since the
modes outside the sphere are orthogonal, and there is no power coupling between modes
– each mode can be considered individually and its contribution superimposed with the
other modes.

9

(a)

(b)

Figure 2 - Circuit Schematic representation of the spherical TM modes, with (a) the
TM
01
mode, and (b) the set of TM
n0
modes.

These circuits show the TM modes to be high-pass in nature, and, since each L and C are
proportional to
a
c
(c = speed of light), increasing the size of the enclosing sphere is
analogous to raising the frequency, resulting in more average power coupled to free
space. Since, as Chu states, Q is extremely tedious to calculate for the higher order
modes, he instead used a simple second order RLC circuit to model all of the TM
n0

antenna modes around a small frequency range. It was shown in [14] that as ka decreases

10

below a mode number index, the Q becomes extremely large. This led to the realization
that the lowest order modes, TE
10
and TM
10
have the lowest possible Q, since any of the
higher order modes increase the stored energy substantially when ka < 1. The results of
his analysis show that the minimum Q can be approximated as shown in equation 2.2
[15].

2
3 2
3
1 2( )

( ) (1 ( ) )
1
for 1
( )
ka
ka ka
Q
ka
ka
¦ +
¦
+ ¦

´
¦
<<
¦
¹
(2.2)
This shows that the Q factor of the antenna is approximately proportional to the inverse
of the volume it occupies. This Q is also only accurate when a single resonance is
considered. However, derivations have been performed using more direct methods of
calculating the Q of an antenna, instead of using the circuit approximation employed by
Chu. In 1964, Collin [12] calculated the exact Q of the first three TM modes by
subtracting the energy associated with the power flow (radiated power) from the total
energy, thereby finding the electric and magnetic stored energies. More recently, in 1996,
McLean [15] found the exact Q of the TM
10
using a similar subtraction of the propagating
energy from the total energy, except he based his Q calculation solely on the stored
electric energy found. Their calculations arrived at an equivalent expression for the Q of
the TM
10
mode, equation 3 (see Appendix A for derivation).

3 3
1 1
Q
k a ka
= + (2.3)
Interestingly, this same expression can be obtained by using the circuit approximation for
the TM
10
shown in Figure 2a, from Chu. This analysis assumes a lossless, ideal antenna,

11

but can be modified to reflect the reduction in Q from losses by multiplying the Q by the
antenna efficiency [16]

3 3
1 1
r
Q
k a ka
η
| |
= +
|
\ ¹
(2.4)
where η
r
is the antenna radiation efficiency. It is important to account for the loss, as an
antenna can readily be loaded via lumped resistors or lossy materials to achieve
bandwidths that exceed the limits given for a lossless antenna, and may otherwise
mistakenly appear to invalidate the calculated Q limits. Figure 3 shows the effect of
efficiency on the Q limits.
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
ka
Q
Q versus ka for various efficiencies


eff = 100%
eff = 80%
eff = 60%
eff = 40%
eff = 20%
eff = 5%

Figure 3 – The minimum Q for various levels of efficiency.



12

Up to this point, it has been assumed that a linear antenna occupied the volume
enclosed by the sphere, but as noted by Chu [14], Wheeler [13], Collin [12] and McLean
[15], the antenna Q for dual polarizations exciting TE and TM modes is approximately
half that of a single polarization (at very small ka <<1, Q
TE+TM
≈1/2(ka)
3
). McLean [15]
has an especially lucid treatment of this phenomenon, showing that the contribution to
stored electric energy increases a slight amount when both the TE
10
and TM
10
modes are
excited, whereas the radiated power doubles. This derivation (see Appendix A) results in
equation 2.5.

3 3
1 1 2
2
Q
k a ka
| |
= +
|
\ ¹
(2.5)
This applies more appropriately for antennas with a single feed, and antennas with high
cross-pol, as an equation in [17] provides the more general Q relationship as

3 3
1 1 2
1
r
Q
k a ka
η
γ
| |
| |
= +
| |
+
\ ¹
\ ¹
(2.6)
where γ is the ratio of power in the two polarizations. For this study, where circular
polarization is achieved using two orthogonal feeds with quadrature phasing, the Q of
each port is only affected by a single linear polarization, thus power is radiated in only
one polarization and stored in only one polarization per port, and the VSWR bandwidth
seen at the input of each port does not increase. A comparison of the approximate Chu
solution and the exact solutions are shown in Figure 4.

13

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
ka
Q
Theoretical Q Limits vs. ka


McLean/Collin
Chu
McLean CP

Figure 4 - Comparison of the approximate (Chu) and exact (McLean, Collin) Q limits.


The approximate Chu limit and the exact solution given by McLean and Collin have very
good agreement when ka << 1, but begin to diverge as ka nears 1. Interestingly, the TM
01

mode should have the lowest Q out of all of the modes, as Chu found, but the
approximation that takes into account higher order modes gives a lower Q than the exact
– stressing the limitations of the approximation used by Chu in his derivation.
One method of estimating an antenna’s quality factor is to use the input
impedance at the terminals of a tuned antenna as it varies with frequency. In [18],
Yaghjian and Best developed an approximate relationship between the impedance
( ) ( ) ( ) Z R jX ω ω ω = + of an antenna and the Q of an antenna defined as

14


2
2
( )
( ) '( ) '( )
2 ( )
o o
o o o
o o
X
Q R X
R
ω ω
ω ω ω
ω ω
| |
≈ + +
|
\ ¹
(2.7)
where '( )
o
R ω and '( )
o
X ω are the frequency derivatives of the resistive and reactive
components. For single band antennas (and for Q >> 1), the Q is often used to
approximate the fractional 3dB bandwidth [4] as shown in equation 2.8.

1
fractional bandwidth
upper lower
o o
f f
f
f f Q


= = = (2.8)
The 3dB bandwidth is equivalent to a VSWR bandwidth of 5.828:1, but for evaluating
the Q with bandwidths defined by different VSWR levels, equation 2.9 can be used [16]

2 1
( ) 1
( ) 2
o
V o
s
Q where
FBW s
β
ω β
ω

≈ = ≤ (2.9)
where FBW
V
is the desired bandwidth at s:1 VSWR.
The bandwidth of the antenna is therefore fundamentally bound by theoretically derived
limits, with the linear polarization cases shown in Figure 5.
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
ka
%

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h
2:1 VSWR Fractional Bandwidth Versus ka


0 0.5 1 1.5 2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
ka
%

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h
3dB Fractional Bandwidth Versus ka


McLean/Collin
Chu
McLean/Collin
Chu

Figure 5 – The theoretical limits on the 3dB and 2:1 VSWR fractional bandwidths versus
ka.

15

2.2 Gain Considerations
Fundamental to antenna theory is the relationship between the radiating aperture
size and gain – specifically, that a large aperture will generate higher directivity (and
therefore, assuming equal loss, higher gain) than a smaller aperture. The effective
aperture of an antenna relates how large of an area over which an antenna efficiently
accepts an incoming signal, and is related to the size of an antenna. It is related to
directivity (and therefore gain), and is defined as [10]

2
4
eff
D A
π
λ
= (2.10)
While for small antennas the effective aperture size is, in general, larger than the physical
aperture size, as operating frequency decreases for a fixed antenna size, the effective
aperture size will also decrease. For miniaturized antennas, the directivity will be lower
than that of a regular antenna, and will have a directivity pattern that broadens, and looks
more like an omnidirectional antenna as size is further reduced. However, this is not the
only factor working against the gain of small antennas. The currents of the antenna are
confined to a smaller area on the antenna surface, contributing to conductive losses, and
stronger fields near the antenna contribute to the stored energy. This increases the Q of
the antenna [19], reducing the bandwidth.
An additional reduction in gain is caused by the decreasing radiation resistance as
the size of the antenna is reduced, making ohmic losses even more important as they
become a sizable fraction of the overall input resistance of an antenna. The radiation
efficiency can be expressed as [10]

r
r
r L
R
R R
η =
+
(2.11)

16

where R
r
represents the radiation resistance and R
L
represents the losses in the antenna.
The losses are typically a result of the conductors and dielectric materials, which are
minimized using dielectric materials with as low loss as possible and high-quality
conductors. An example of a small antenna with low radiation efficiency is that of an
infinitesimal dipole, which has a radiation resistance given by [4]

2
2
80
r
l
R π
λ
| |
=
|
\ ¹
(2.12)
Thus, for a range of dipole lengths between λ/1000 and λ/20 (0.001 < l/λ < 0.05), the
radiation resistance is a maximum of 2Ω, and a minimum of 0.0008Ω, shown in Figure 6.
This small radiation resistance is also important when the loss of the antenna structure is
taken into account. Staying with the example of an infinitesimal dipole, the same
antenna length variation is considered, but the efficiency is calculated using four different
equivalent loss impedances in the antenna model, as shown in Figure 7.


17

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
l/
λ
R
a
d
i
a
t
i
o
n

R
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

[

]

Figure 6 - Radiation Resistance for infinitesimal dipole versus length.

0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0.035 0.04 0.045 0.05
0
20
40
60
80
100
l/
λ
R
a
d
i
a
t
i
o
n

E
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
c
y

η
r



R
L
= 0.01

R
L
= 0.1Ω
R
L
= 1

R
L
= 10


Figure 7 – The effect on of loss resistance R
L
on radiation efficiency versus the length of
an infinitesimal dipole relative to operating wavelength.



18

This efficiency problem will impact the gain, and it will also contribute to the
noise temperature of the antenna. The gain will already be limited by the size of the
antenna and the reduced radiation resistance, so for successful miniaturization of an
antenna, losses in the antenna should be minimized. Gain can be traded for bandwidth
fairly easily by loading an antenna with lossy material, or a lumped resistor, which lowers
the Q and increases the bandwidth, but reduces the gain. As a result, methods of
miniaturization often seek solutions that optimize bandwidth by making the most efficient
use of the volume enclosed by the antenna, ideally maximizing both gain and bandwidth.

2.3 Recent Research on Electrically Small Antennas
There has been much interest in reducing the size of antennas. Hum et al [20]
studied the effects of resistively loading a microstrip patch antenna, with the objective to
find loading locations that provided the best tradeoff between reduction in gain and
increase in bandwidth. Karmaker [21] developed a design for a cavity backed circular
microstrip patch antenna that incorporated an air gap between the substrate and ground
plane, an LC matching network, a loading capacitor and a ferrite loading bead to reduce
the size of the antenna and retain fairly good bandwidth performance. Wang and Tsai
[22] investigated the use of meander-line loading of the patch antenna which effectively
increases the length of the current paths, but does so over a small area. The use of
meander lines parallels the phenomenon behind slot loading, which is discussed in
section 3.2. Zhou et al has produced a number of small GPS antenna designs, with a
33mm×14mm (diameter × height) circular stacked patch configuration in [23], and a

19

31×31×12.4 stacked patch design [6], both of which cover L1, L2 and L5 by reducing
constraints on the VSWR bandwidth. It is noted that while much of the research
presented in this section has led to successful designs, none accomplished a match of 2:1
over the bands of interest, which was one of the design motivations for this study.
As a comparison, some of the more successful design approaches in this study are
plotted, showing their proximity to the bandwidth limits in Figure 8 and Figure 9.
Included are two antennas of Zhou, shown for comparison. None of the designs approach
the line, but this is mainly due to the patch geometry only filling a fraction of the sphere
enclosing the antenna- all of these antennas are planar.
Figure 8 shows that Zhou’s antenna, [23], has the largest 3dB bandwidth of all of
the antennas considered, 95MHz. Figure 9 shows that for the same antenna, neither band
has a 2:1 VSWR match, and emphasizes the difference between the antennas presented in
this thesis and those in the literature. There are many designs in the literature that achieve
the wide gain bandwidths required for GPS, notably the two designs of Zhou, et al, shown
for comparison, but they achieve their large bandwidths via a poor match at the bands of
interest. The Bode-Fano criteria indicates that the 3dB bandwidth can be broadened at
the expense of a good impedance match. In antenna design it is normally desired to have
a match of at least 2:1 VSWR, especially in a GPS system where noise considerations
require a proper match. All of the optimized designs presented in this thesis obtain 2:1
VSWR matches at both L1 and L2 bands.



20

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
% 3dB bandwidth
k
a

McLean/Collin
Chu
Optimized Slot Loaded L2 (section 3.2.2)
Optimized Slot Loaded L1 (section 3.2.2)
Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L2 (section 3.1.3)
Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L1 (section 3.1.3)
36X36X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 1), L2
36X36X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 1), L1
31X31X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 2), L2
31X31X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 2), L1
Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L2 (section 3.3.2)
Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L1 (section 3.3.2)
L2 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.1.2)
L1 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.1.2)
Zhou 31X31X12.8mm L2
Zhou 31X31X12.8mm L1
Zhou 33X14mm L2
Zhou 33X14mm L1

Figure 8 – Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical
3dB bandwidth limits. The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend.


21

0 0.5 1 1.5
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
2:1 VSWR % Bandwidth
k
a

McLean/Collin
Chu
Optimized Slot Loaded L2 (section 3.2.2)
Optimized Slot Loaded L1 (section 3.2.2)
Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L2 (section 3.1.3)
Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L1 (section 3.1.3)
36X36X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 1), L2
36X36X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 1), L1
31X31X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 2), L2
31X31X10mm L probe Design (App. B, antenna 2), L1
Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L2 (section 3.3.2)
Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L1 (section 3.3.2)
L2 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.1.2)
L1 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.1.2)
Zhou 31X31X12.8mm L2
Zhou 31X31X12.8mm L1
Zhou 33X14mm L2
Zhou 33X14mm L1

Figure 9 - Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical 2:1
VSWR bandwidth limits. The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend.

22

CHAPTER 3
LOADING METHODS
3.1 High Permittivity Dielectric Loading
One of the most direct means of reducing the size of a microstrip antenna is to
increase the relative permittivity (ε
r
) of the dielectric used for the substrate material. The
lowering of resonant frequency results from the relationship between the speed of light
and the dielectric permittivity, shown in equation 3.1.

1
o
r r
c
c
εµ ε µ
= = (3.1)
Thus, as the relative permittivity is increased, the speed of light decreases. For a resonant
structure, this slower speed means an object loaded with dielectric materials of ε
r
> 1 will
have a lower resonant frequency than an unloaded identical size structure. Therefore,
these loaded structures are said to be “electrically larger” than their unloaded counterparts
of the same physical size.
The performance of a microstrip patch antenna can be approximated using a
transmission line model, where the patch radiator length is modeled as a length L of
transmission line, and the radiating edges are modeled as slots with an admittance Y = G
r

+ jB, Figure 10 [24]. The conductance, G
r ,
accounts for the radiation from the slot,
whereas the susceptance, jB, accounts for the capacitance formed between the edge of the
patch and the ground plane.

23


Figure 10- Transmission line model of microstrip patch antenna, showing the equivalent
representation of the slot susceptance as an extension to the length of the transmission
line.

The resonant frequency of the antenna can be calculated from this model using equations
3.2-3.5 [4], [25]. Equation 3.2 represents an effective relative permittivity є
reff
, which is a

24

modified relative permittivity value that accounts for the fields fringing in the air above
the substrate material.

1 1 1
2 2
1 12
r r
reff
h
W
ε ε
ε
+ −
= +
+
(3.2)
This modified relative permittivity value is then used to find the length extension ∆L that
accounts for the fringing fields at the each of the radiating edges.

( )
( )
0.3 0.264
0.412
0.258 0.8
reff
reff
W
h
L h
W
h
ε
ε
| |
+ +
|
\ ¹
∆ =
| |
− +
|
\ ¹
(3.3)
The effective length L
eff
can be calculated using the results of equation 3.3.
2
eff
L L L = + ∆ (3.4)
This allows the resonant frequency to be calculated using the new effective length, as
shown in equation 3.5.

( )
2
o
r
eff reff
c
f
L ε
= (3.5)
Equation 3.5 denotes the resonant frequency of the dominant TM
001
, typically the excited
mode for patch antennas. The resonant frequency and the permittivity are inversely
related, such that increasing the permittivity decreases the resonant frequency of the patch
antenna. This allows an antenna to be miniaturized significantly, without adding
complexity to the metal patch, since a simple rectangular patch can be etched onto high
permittivity substrate to realize a smaller size for a given operating frequency, requiring
no modification to its shape. This can be beneficial for manufacturing and for mechanical
robustness.

25

As the size of the antenna decreases, by increasing substrate permittivity or by the
other loading methods discussed below, bandwidth and gain will be adversely affected.
Chapter 2 provided a theoretical basis for this intrinsic relationship and this chapter
contains examples of loading methods that show the balance between size and
performance. As the size of the antenna decreases, the effective aperture size is reduced,
lowering directivity. There have been some efforts to use high permittivity superstrate
loading (in the range of ε
r
= 80) of microstrip antennas to recover some of the gain lost by
the reduction in size [26]. While the results presented do in fact show an increase in gain,
they involve miniaturizing the patch radiator itself but not the actual substrate around the
patch. The result is that the higher permittivity superstrate increases the aperture size by
utilizing the large substrate around the patch antenna. For true miniaturization, the
substrate size must also be reduced.
Another set of drawbacks for high permittivity materials involve their mechanical
properties and material tolerances. Often high permittivity dielectric materials are
ceramic, which are brittle, fragile materials. This weakens the robustness of the antenna,
which traditionally is one of the advantages in using a microstrip antenna. The ceramic
materials can be difficult to work with compared to more common substrate materials
such as Duroid, or FR4, adding complexity to the manufacturing process. Also, loss in
the dielectric material tends to be higher for the ceramic dielectrics. For example, Rogers
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) has a loss tangent tanδ=0.0022 (at 10GHz), whereas Rogers 5880
(PTFE) has a loss tangent of tanδ=0.0009 (at 10GHz). The tolerances on the relative
permittivity become more significant as the permittivity is increased. For Rogers 5880,
the relative permittivity is specified as ε
r
= 2.2 +/- 0.02, which is a tolerance of 0.9%.

26

Conversely, TMM10 has a relative permittivity specified as ε
r
= 9.2 +/- 0.230, which is a
tolerance of 2.5%. This is a large variation, and can generate significant differences
between predicted and measured performance. TMM10 is only a modest increase in
permittivity, whereas dielectric materials of ε
r
= 30, 40, 50, and higher will have larger
tolerances of the actual permittivity.
3.1.1 High Permittivity Performance Trends
To show the relationships between permittivity, bandwidth, and resonant
frequency, a study considered relative permittivity between ε
r
= 1 and ε
r
= 25. The
antennas are identical in size, with a 100×100×3mm substrate and a 27×27mm square
patch, with and without a 100×100×3mm superstrate as indicated, Figure 11. The results
were generated through HFSS simulations, in Figure 12 and Figure 13.

Figure 11 - Geometry of the 27×27mm square patch antenna model used for the
permittivity variation, (a) without a superstrate, and (b) with a superstrate. Substrate and
superstrate are 100×100×3mm.

27

5 10 15 20 25
1
2
3
4
5
Relative Permittivity ε
r
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]


With Superstrate
Without Superstrate
Equation 3.5

Figure 12 - Change in resonant frequency with relative permittivity. Antennas are
27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and, as indicated, have 31×31×3mm superstrates.
Predicted Frequency from equation 3.5 is shown for comparison.
5 10 15 20 25
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
Relative Permittivity ε
r
2
:
1

V
S
W
R

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h

[
M
H
z
]


With Superstrate
Without Superstrate
~
ε
r
-3/2

Figure 13 - Change in 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with relative permittivity. Antennas are
27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and, as indicated, have 31×31×3mm superstrates.


As the permittivity is increased in Figure 12, the resonant frequency decreases at a rate
proportional to1/
r
ε . The resonant frequency was calculated using equation 3.5 and is
plotted for comparison, showing good agreement with the simulations. The frequencies
calculated with equation 3.5 are consistently lower than those of the HFFS simulations,

28

since an infinite extent substrate is assumed in the equation. Truncated substrates are used
in the HFSS simulations, which results in a lower effective є
r
. Further, the simulations
performed with superstrates show less reduction in effective є
r
compared to the
simulations without superstrates, since the patch element has the same permittivity
dielectric both above and below. Figure 13 shows that the bandwidth decreases at a rate
proportional to є
r
-3/2
, which can be explained by equation 2.2, which states that the Q (and
therefore bandwidth) is proportional to the inverse of the volume of the antenna, or B~
(ka)
3
. With increasing permittivity for an antenna of fixed size, the bandwidth decreases
at a faster rate than the resonant frequency.
High ε
r
materials have been used as a substrate and a superstrate to take advantage
of this miniaturization, where both configurations make the patch electrically smaller. A
few designs successfully employed this method, one of which is shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14 -Stacked patch design using dielectrics with ε
r
= 50. Dimensions: top patch =
11.5×11.5mm, bottom patch = 15×15mm, dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total
thickness of all three layers.


The antenna was miniaturized to a very small size (19×19×5mm total volume) with the
use of such a high relative dielectric constant, but exhibited extremely narrow bandwidth,
as seen in Figure 15.

29

1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6
-12
-10
-8
-6
-4
-2
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]

Figure 15 - Return loss for antenna on ε
r
= 50. Dimensions: top patch = 11.5×11.5mm,
bottom patch = 15×15mm, dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three
layers.

Many designs were attempted using very high permittivity dielectrics (є
r
=50 in this
example) and were found to be too narrowband for this application. However, many
examples using lower relative permittivities of ε
r
= 9.2-30 have shown some promise, and
have been explored for use in two prototypes.
3.1.2 Optimized Linearly Polarized Prototype Design
Initially, high permittivity dielectric materials with εr = 40-50 were investigated as
potential means of miniaturization. After many design attempts realized 2-3MHz 2:1
VSWR bandwidths in the best cases, more modest relative permittivities were considered.
From this study a linearly polarized prototype was designed and built, where resonances
at the L1 and L2 bands were obtained by tuning one of the bands on each of the
orthogonal TM
010
and TM
100
modes of a rectangular patch, shown in Figure 16.

30


Figure 16 - Linearly polarized GPS antenna on high permittivity materials of ε
r
= 25 and
ε
r
= 38.


The substrate is ε
r
= 25 dielectric, and the superstrate is ε
r
= 38 dielectric. The
substrate dielectric was chosen to provide miniaturization while not decreasing the
bandwidth as severely as the higher permittivity materials. The ε
r
=38 dielectric layer
was then added as a loading superstrate to further decrease the resonant frequency, and
also to provide a better match between the patch and the free space impedance. The
substrate was truncated to be the same width and length as the patch itself in order to
minimize the potential for surface wave excitation due to the high permittivity dielectric
and thick substrate. With the patch tuned in this configuration, the substrate thickness
was then increased incrementally to 8mm until a bandwidth of at least 5MHz 2:1 VSWR
was obtained at both the L1 and L2 bands. Finally, a capacitive feed element, a disc
coplanar with the patch, was added to tune out the inductance caused by the long feed
probe in the thick substrate, and was optimized in size to provide a good impedance
match to 50Ω over the widest bandwidth. The dimensioned antenna is shown in Figure
17.

31


Figure 17 - Design layout of the high permittivity, linearly polarized GPS antenna
prototype. All dimensions are in millimeters.


The antenna was simulated using Ansoft HFSS using PEC metallic surfaces (see
Appendix C), and on an infinite ground plane. The antenna is shown to have a 2:1
VSWR bandwidth of 8MHz at L2, and 15MHz at L1. One advantage of a single feed
design is the freedom of tuning without the potential for coupling to another feed port,
especially when using capacitive discs, where close proximity of the clearance holes can
lead to coupling between adjacent probes.

32

1.2 1.25 1.3 1.35 1.4 1.45 1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]
Return Loss of High Permittivity Linear Prototype
8MHz
Bandwidth
15MHz
Bandwidth

Figure 18 - Return loss performance of the linearly polarized 29×21×12mm GPS antenna
on high permittivity dielectric materials.


The broadside realized gain is shown in Figure 19 for both the x-polarization and y-
polarization (see Figure 16 for coordinate axis orientation), which takes into account
mismatch losses. Figure 19 shows that at L2 the gain flatness bandwidth of +/-1dB is
19MHz, and at L1 the gain flatness bandwidth is 33MHz, both above 3.2dB over each
band. The maximum gain is 5dB at each band, and the cross-pol is shown to be below
-16dB over both bands. Since each band utilizes a different orthogonal mode on the
patch, the polarizations of the gain are also on two orthogonal axes. An additional GPS
link budget consideration for this antenna is the 3dB reduction in signal when the linearly
polarized antenna is used to receive a CP signal, which is not taken into account on this
gain calculation.

33

1.54 1.56 1.58 1.6 1.62
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
Gain at L1 Band


X pol
Y pol
1.2 1.25 1.3
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
Gain at L2 Band


X pol
Y pol
19MHz
Gain Flatness
33MHz
Gain Flatness

Figure 19 - Simulation results for the broadside gain across both L2 and L1 bands.


In addition to the simulations used in designing the structure, prototype antennas were
fabricated and tested at Tyco Electronic Systems Division. Multiple prototypes were
fabricated, some using the AF-126 bonding epoxy (є
r
= 4.5) to adhere the dielectric layers
together, and some without the bonding epoxy layers, held together instead with tape.
Figure 20 shows the location of the bonding layers in the prototype antennas.

34


Figure 20 - Diagram of the location and thickness of the AF-126 bonding epoxy layers
used in fabrication of the linear prototype antenna.

A comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the prototype with epoxy
bonding layers and without the epoxy layers is presented in Figure 21.
1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
0
1
2
3
4
Resonant Frequency [GHz]
V
S
W
R
With Epoxy Layers


Measured
Simulated
1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
0
1
2
3
4
Resonant Frequency [GHz]
V
S
W
R
Without Epoxy Layers


Measured
Simulated

Figure 21 - Comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the linear
prototype antenna on high permittivity dielectric.


The resonant frequencies for the prototype built without the epoxy layer match up closely
with the HFSS simulation, but the impedance matching of the prototype antenna differs
drastically from the simulation. At L2 the measured result shows the VSWR dips just
below 2:1, but is not nearly the same bandwidth as the simulation predicted. At L1 the

35

match is very poor, with the measured VSWR result only reaching 3:1 over a small
bandwidth, clearly not covering the same bandwidth as the simulation. For the prototype
with the bonding layers, the resonant frequency is tuned slightly higher than that of the
simulation at both L1 and L2 bands, and the match is also much different than that of the
simulations. These prototypes showed that the bonding layers shift the resonant
frequency upward, and the simulation does not fully account for their effects. The
impedance match of both prototypes is not what the simulations predicted, and this may
be a result of two factors: the dielectric materials were only modeled with the relative
permittivity value (as was done with the epoxy), ignoring the dielectric losses, and there
may be further uncertainty in the actual relative permittivity of the material used; and the
prototypes may have some mechanical tolerances associated with them, such as uneven
bonding of the dielectric layers, or air pockets in the epoxy layers that are not accounted
for in the simulation. All of these are unknowns that would require further adjustment in
subsequent prototype versions when working with this high permittivity material, such as
tuning the resonant frequency of the simulated antennas to be slightly lower than desired,
to compensate for the increase in frequency from the epoxy layers.
The gain patterns were measured, and are plotted at the resonant frequencies
indicated in Figure 21, and compared to the HFSS simulated patterns, the results of which
are shown in Figure 22 and Figure 23. Note that the HFSS simulations were performed
on an infinite ground plane, so there is no comparison for the back-lobe radiation. The
prototypes without epoxy bonding layers were also only measured over
-90° < θ < 90°.

36

-40
-40
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L2 E Plane Gain Pattern With Epoxy
-40
-40
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L2 E-Plane Gain Pattern Without Epoxy


Measured
Simulation

Figure 22 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L2 band for linear prototype
antenna.
-40
-40
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L1 E-Plane Gain Pattern With Epoxy
-40
-40
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L1 E-Plane Gain Pattern Without Epoxy


Measured
Simulation

Figure 23 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L1 band for linear prototype
antenna.

The patterns shown are typical of the E-plane pattern of microstrip antennas, with a broad
beamwidth and a hemispherical pattern. At L2 there is approximately 3dB maximum

37

gain at broadside, and at L1 approximately 5dB maximum gain at broadsize, with
significant back-lobe radiation for the measured results. The measured and simulated
gains have good agreement at broadside. Even though the match is not the same over
each band for measured and simulated results, a 3:1 VSWR match is an insertion loss of
only 1.3dB, which explains why the maximum gain is still fairly close to the simulation at
both L1 and L2 bands. Normally, circular polarization is desired for a GPS antenna, but
on some portable handsets, such as cell phones or tablet PCs, linear polarization can be
tolerated when propagation effects such as multipath are the dominant form of signal
reception due to a lack of line-of-sight, such as in a city with large buildings on all sides.

3.1.3 Optimized L-probe, CP Stacked Patch Prototype
The next design took advantage of the more stable properties of the Rogers
TMM10 material, which was also used for many of the other antennas in this study. This
design began in a form similar to that of the linear prototype, where a second patch was
added to the linear prototype of section 3.1.2 to tune the L1 frequency and L2 frequency,
as shown in Figure 24. The stacked patch antenna structure was made into a square such
that a probe along each of the principle axis could be used to tune both L1 and L2 on each
probe, providing the opportunity for CP operation when the proper phasing is applied to
the feeds. Then the substrate thickness was reduced to 6.5mm to approach the 5mm
thickness goal, and the length and width of the antenna was increased to tune L1 and L2,
since a lower permittivity material is used for the substrate.

38


Figure 24 - A step in the transformation from the linear antenna prototype to the CP
version, showing the addition of an orthogonal feed and thinner, but longer substrates.

The set of size iterations further optimized the tuning and resonant frequencies, and
resulted in an antenna occupying a volume of 41.5×41.5×6.50mm, and is shown in Figure
25.

Figure 25 - Circularly polarized GPS prototype antenna on TMM10 dielectric material.
The top patch is 29.6mm×29.6mm in size, and the lower patch is 40×40mm.

The antenna uses an “L” shaped feeding probe, fed through a hole in the lower patch,
with the horizontal section situated between the two patches. This configuration allows
for an extra degree of freedom in the tuning of the antenna, providing the opportunity to
match both bands over a large of bandwidth. Figure 26 shows a detailed dimensioned
drawing of the stacked patch antenna.

39


Figure 26 - Drawing of the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype GPS antenna.
Horizontal “L” probes are 1mm×5.5mm. All dimensions are in millimeters.



40

Ansoft HFSS was used to analyze the performance of the antenna, with PEC metallic
surfaces. A 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 8MHz was achieved at L2, and a bandwidth of
16MHz was achieved at L1, as shown in Figure 27.
1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
-50
-45
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]
Return Loss of the Circularly polarized prototype antenna
S11
S21
8MHz
Bandwidth
16MHz
Bandwidth

Figure 27 - Simulated return loss for the 41.5×41.5×6.5mm circularly polarized Antenna.


In addition to adequate bandwidth over both bands, the isolation between the probes is
better than 18dB over both bands. This indicates low power loss through coupling
between the orthogonal feeds, and this also correlates to good cross-pol performance, as
the two modes are well isolated and orthogonal. For orthogonal feed structures, coupling
of fields between the probes can indicate high cross-pol, since, in order to couple between
the probes, currents (and fields) must have components in both principle axis directions
on the patch. The gain is shown in Figure 28 over each band, where two probes were fed
in quadrature, resulting in right hand circular polarization (RHCP).

41

1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26 1.28
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
Gain over L2 Band
RHCP
LHCP
1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
Gain over L1 Band
RHCP
LHCP

Figure 28 - Simulated broadside gain performance for the 41.5×41.5×6.5mm circularly
polarized, stacked patch antenna.


The results indicate a gain flatness bandwidth of +/- 1dB of 19MHz over L2, and 33MHz
over L1. These gain bandwidths are large enough to satisfy the requirements of the GPS
system. Also, over each gain bandwidth the LHCP gain component is below
-20dB, which indicates very low cross polarization and, therefore, very low axial ratio.
The axial ratio is shown in Figure 29.

42

1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26 1.28
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]
Axial Ratio over L2 Band
1.54 1.56 1.58 1.6 1.62
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]
Axial Ratio over L1 Band

Figure 29 - Axial ratio for the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna for
both L2 and L1 bands.


Over both bands, the antenna has better than 3dB axial ratio, which is desirable
polarization purity for GPS operation. This antenna meets all of the electrical
specifications of the design criteria that were the basis for this investigation, but is larger
than the desired size of 31×31×5mm. Given the performance of 3dB of gain over the
gain flatness bandwidth, a 2:1 VSWR of better than 8MHz over each band and axial ratio
below 3dB, literature searches at this time have failed to find an antenna of comparable
size that exceeds this performance.
In addition to the simulations performed in the design of this antenna, a prototype
was built and tested by Tyco Electronic Systems Division, and the results are shown
compared to the HFSS simulations. The antenna return loss measurements in Figure 30
show the resonant frequency at the L1 band to be shifted approximately 100MHz above
the design frequency range of 1.575GHz, while the resonant frequency at the L2 band was
close to the simulated design data and is properly centered around 1.227GHz. The

43

addition of epoxy layers does not impact the tuning of the L2 band, namely because the
dielectric substrate beneath the L2 patch is homogeneous, and there is only an epoxy layer
on top of the patch. L1 was strongly affected, since it has two epoxy layers holding
together the substrate below it creating an inhomogeneous substrate. The large shift in
resonant frequency for the simulated and measured prototypes with and without epoxy
layers are compared in Figure 30. A 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 18MHz was measured at
L2, and 64MHz bandwidth at L1, exceeding the impedance bandwidth requirement of
5MHz at each band.
1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]


Measured
Original Design
Epoxy Layer
Air Layer
1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7 1.75
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]



Figure 30 - Comparison of the measured and simulated return loss performance of the
circularly-polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna. The antennas shown are the
measured prototype, the HFSS design simulations, and an HFSS simulated antenna
modeling the epoxy boding layers, and an HFSS simulation modeling the whole top
epoxy layer as an air layer.


In order to account for the shift in frequency, the two AF-126 (ε
r
= 4.5) epoxy layers that
were used to fabricate the antenna were modeled in HFSS, shown in Figure 31, and the
results are shown in Figure 30 along with the measured data.


44


Figure 31 - HFSS model of the circularly polarized, stacked patch prototype antenna
including the two 2mil thick AF-126 epoxy layers used to fabricate the antenna, one at the
lower patch and one at the layer with the horizontal section of the L probes.


Even with the epoxy layers in the model, the antenna simulations did not tune to
as high a resonant frequency as the measurements. The next step was to run simulations
assuming an air bubble was present at the top patch epoxy layer, shown in Figure 30,
where the top epoxy layer was assumed to be an air volume (ε
r
= 1). This approaches the
resonant frequency measured, and it is likely there is an air bubble in this epoxy layer, or
perhaps a larger thickness epoxy layer than the 2mil estimated, that is tuning the
frequency of the L1 band up by 100MHz.
The gain response was measured with the antennas mounted on a 4ft ground
plane. Spin-linear pattern plots were taken in order to measure the axial ratio of the
circular polarization over all elevation angles along with the gain. Figure 32 shows that
the axial ratio measured is on the order of 6dB at broadside, increasing to approximately
10dB at θ=60°, and 20dB at the horizon. This is much higher than the simulated axial
ratio, and it was noted by Tyco Electronic Systems Division that the measurements taken
had a poorly tuned 90° hybrid that may explain the poor axial ratio. Further
measurements were not available to confirm the source of the poor axial ratio
performance. The antenna is shown to have a broad pattern, typical of a patch antenna,
and the ripples on the pattern are a result of the finite sized ground plane used to measure

45

the gain. The back lobe radiation is low, below -10dB, and multiple lobes are present for
theta angles greater than 90° due to scattering off the edges of the ground plane.
Otherwise, the measured gain envelope is fairly close to the simulated gain pattern,
showing good agreement.
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L2 Band
-30
-30
-20
-20
-10
-10
0
0
10 dB
10 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
L1 Band


Measured
Simulated

Figure 32 - Spin-linear E-plane gain patterns for the L-probe fed, stacked patch GPS
prototype at both L1 and L2 bands, for both measured and simulated antennas. The
patterns were taken at the center frequency of each gain bandwidth.

These patterns show that with the axial ratio improved, the antenna would have a wide
field of view, since it has such a broad beamwidth. The maximum gain was measured at
broadside for the L1 and L2 bands to show the gain roll-off with frequency. Figure 33
shows that the L2 band gain peaked at 5dBi, and the gain at L1 peaked at 3.5dBi.

46

1.18 1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
Frequency [GHz]
R
H
C
P

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
L2 Band
1.66 1.68 1.7 1.72 1.74
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
Frequency [GHz]
R
H
C
P

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
L1 Band

Figure 33 - Broadside RHCP gain vs. Frequency over both the L1 and L2 bands for the
L-feed, stacked patch GPS antenna prototype.


At L2 the +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth is 22MHz, and at L2 the gain flatness
bandwidth is 47MHz, once again exceeding the minimum 20MHz gain flatness
bandwidth. Both the VSWR and gain bandwidths were measured to be larger than the
simulations predicted, and the axial ratio and L1 resonant frequency were also different
than the simulations. This indicates that developing designs on TMM10 with the epoxy
layers may require the simulation model to incorporate better models of the epoxy layers
in the design stage to account for their effect as the design progresses.
Overall this antenna was one of the best candidates designed throughout this
study, surpassing the electrical specifications set forth that motivated this study, while
approaching the physical size specifications. Also, literature searches have failed to find
similar sized antennas meeting the same VSWR, gain flatness, axial ratio and dual band
operation in an antenna of this size, and variations on this design appear in section 3.2.2,

47

as well as section 2.4, where the area occupied by the antenna was reduced to produce
even smaller versions of this design at somewhat decreased performance.
3.2 Slot Loading
The TM
100
mode that develops on the patch has a resonant frequency dependant
on the length of the patch. While a high permittivity substrate will make the metal patch
look electrically larger by changing the wave propagation speed, another method used in
tuning a microstrip antenna is loading the patch with slots.
There are two helpful models that can be used to explain change in resonant
frequency. For a visual, intuitive explanation, the slots can be viewed as obstructions to
the path of the current, forcing a longer physical distance for the current to travel. Figure
34a shows the current distribution on a patch surface with no slots, exciting the TM
100

mode where the antenna is operating at a frequency of 1.730GHz.


Figure 34 - Current distributions on the patch layer when the TM
100
mode is excited (a)
without slots and (b) with slots.



48

The patch without slots allows a straight path across the patch, whereas the slots force
currents to take a longer path, as in Figure 34b. This longer path corresponds to a longer
resonant length, thereby tuning the patch to 1.464GHz, a reduction in the resonant
frequency of 280MHz. Here the slots are placed at the midpoint of the patch, but they
can be located anywhere along the patch if they change the current paths. One important
consideration in placement of the slots is the polarization desired, as asymmetric slot
placement can potentially cause cross-polarization levels to rise. For asymmetric slots,
resonant current paths can develop off the main axes of the patch, such as along a
diagonal axis, producing radiation components along both of the main axes instead of
only one axis. Increased cross-polarization will result in poor axial ratio for circular
polarization, and coupling between the two orthogonal feeds will increase.
Another representation of the slots is that of a lumped circuit inductor, placed in
series with the transmission line model for the patch antenna, as done in [27]-[29], shown
in Figure 35.

49


Figure 35 - Transmission line model of the slots, where the series inductance
approximates the slot field behavior.

The reasoning behind the inductive model is that the slots cause a concentration of the
magnetic field interior to the slots, due to the currents forced to flow along the edge of
each slot (see Appendix D). From this lumped model, an inductor stores magnetic energy
and resists phase changes in the current flow, introducing a phase delay between the
voltage and current, similar to the physical model where the currents are delayed by
taking a longer path around the slot. Unfortunately, as [28] shows, a single lumped
inductor is only a very coarse approximation, since the inductance changes over the
length of the slot. To make this approximation better, many inductances have to be
placed in the circuit, and solved using a multiport network model as done in [29] and

50

shown in Figure 36. This yielded good agreement between experiment and simulation in
[29], but does not simplify to an analytic solution, and must be solved numerically.
Despite the shortcomings of the lumped inductance model shown in Figure 35, it does
provide insight into the tuning achieved with the slots from a circuit perspective. Both of
these lumped inductance models assume a very thin slot, and do not account for the
capacitance from the displacement current in the slot.

Figure 36 - N-port lumped inductor approximation for the slotted patch.




51

3.2.1 Slot Loading Performance Trends
A study was undertaken to observe the effects on bandwidth, resonant frequency
and gain of a patch antenna when loaded with slots. A 27×27mm patch with a
31×31×3.175mm TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) substrate, Figure 37, was simulated in HFSS with
four slots of varying length τ and a fixed width ζ = 1mm. Prototype antennas were also
fabricated (Appendix E) to validate the simulation data. The results are shown in Figure
38.

Figure 37 - 27×27mm patch antenna on a 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with four
slots cut into the patch surface, with length τ and width ζ = 1mm.

52



0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
(a) Slot Length
τ
[mm]
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
5
10
15
(b) Slot Length
τ
[mm]
2
:
1

V
S
W
R

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h

[
M
H
z
]


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
3
4
5
6
7
(c) Slot Length
τ
[mm]
B
r
o
a
d
s
i
d
e

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
PEC HFSS Simulations
Measured Antennas
PEC HFSS Simulations
Measured Antennas

Figure 38 – Change in (a.) the resonant frequency, (b.) bandwidth, and (c.) gain with
variation of slot length τ. Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3.175 mm substrate of
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2). The slot widths are all ζ = 1mm.


53

For slot lengths greater than 4.5mm the resonant frequency drops off
approximately linearly, Figure 38a, with the longest slot length of τ = 11mm decreasing
the resonant frequency by 500MHz compared to the patch without a slot. The reduction in
resonant frequency with increasing slot length agrees with both the lumped inductor
model and the resonant path length model. The approximate bandwidth also drops off
linearly, Figure 38b, (the stair-stepping is a result of using whole number MHz
frequencies for the bandwidth). The bandwidth decreases similar to the resonant
frequency because the antenna volume is fixed, and the antenna looks electrically smaller
as the resonant frequency decreases, increasing the Q. The measured data show good
agreement with the simulation results. Broadside gain performance, Figure 38c, behaves
very similar to the resonant frequency as the slot length is increased. The aperture is fixed
in size, so as resonant frequency decreases, the aperture looks electrically smaller.
Next, for the antenna in Figure 37, the slot widths ζ are varied, with a fixed slot
length of τ = 9mm. The resonant frequency decreases with increasing slot width ζ, shown
in Figure 39a, with the maximum slot width of ζ = 6mm decreasing the resonant
frequency by 200MHz compared to the ζ = 1mm antenna. As in the slot length study, the
bandwidth, Figure 39b, and broadside gain, Figure 39c, decrease similar to the resonant
frequency for increasing slot widths ζ. The measured data also shows good agreement.
While the reduction in frequency with increasing slot width agrees with the model
that the slots force the resonant path of the current to lengthen, it is unclear from the
lumped inductor model what impact of slot width will have, since the model assumes
very narrow slots. In [27], a rule of thumb is provided such that the impedance of the
series gap capacitance is negligible, in comparison, with the impedance of the slot

54

inductance when the width of the slot is less than the substrate thickness, which was true
in the study on slot lengths (1mm wide slot vs. 3mm thick substrate).
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
1.3
1.35
1.4
1.45
1.5
1.55
R
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s
o
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a
n
t

F
r
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q
u
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n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]
(a) Slot Width
ζ
[mm]


PEC HFSS Simulations
Measured Antennas
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
2
:
1

V
S
W
R

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h

[
M
H
z
]
(b) Slot Width
ζ
[mm]


PEC HFSS Simulations
Measured Antennas
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
3
4
5
6
B
r
o
a
d
s
i
d
e

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
(c) Slot Width
ζ
[mm]

Figure 39 – Change in (a) the resonant frequency, (b) bandwidth, and (c) gain with
variation of slot width ζ. Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3.175 mm substrate of
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2). The slot lengths are all τ = 9mm.


55

Appendix F shows a modified transmission line circuit for the slot loaded patch
when the slot is wide compared to the substrate thickness, using approximations given in
[30]. As the slot width is increased, shunt capacitance on either side of the slot increases
between the patch and ground, and a series capacitance connecting the two sides of the
slot decreases. The ratio between the slot width and the substrate thickness determines
when these capacitances are significant, namely when the slot width is on the order of the
substrate thickness or larger.
While a previous study varied the width of the slot on a fixed thickness substrate,
varying the substrate thickness with a fixed width slot is also of interest, since it also
affects the capacitances. A 27×27mm patch with and without four 9mm long, 1mm wide
slots was analyzed on a 100×100mm square TMM10 (ε
r
=9.2) substrate, ranging in
thickness from t = 0.5-5mm, with a 100×100×3mm TMM10 (ε
r
=9.2) superstrate. The
large substrate size was chosen to approximate an infinite substrate, to avoid the effects
of substrate truncation.

1 2 3 4 5
1.35
1.36
1.37
1.38
1.39
1.4
1.41
(a.) Substrate thickness t [mm]
R
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s
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n
a
n
t

F
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q
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c
y

[
G
H
z
]
Four 9mm Long, 1mm Wide Slots
1 2 3 4 5
1.45
1.5
1.55
1.6
1.65
(b.) Substrate Thickness t [mm]
R
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s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
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q
u
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c
y

[
G
H
z
]
No Slots

Figure 40 - Change in resonant frequency for a 27×27mm patch vs. substrate (ε
r
=9.2)
thickness t, (a.) with slots, and (b.) without slots in the patch surface.


56


For the thinnest substrate in Figure 40a, the shunt capacitance is relatively large since the
separation between the ground and patch is small. This leads to a low resonant
frequency. As the substrate thickness increases, the shunt capacitance decreases and the
resonant frequency increases until 2
t
w
≈ . After this point the slot is narrow with respect
to the substrate thickness, and the shunt and series capacitances no longer dominant. The
frequency then decreases with increasing substrate thickness, as in the traditional
microstrip antenna, Figure 40b.
Another study involves moving the slots along the length of the patch to observe
the effect of slot placement. The antenna consists of a 27mm square patch, on a
31×31×3mm square substrate of TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2), with no superstrate. Two slots,
arranged symmetrically on the patch, are moved from -13mm to +13mm along the
resonant length of the patch.

Figure 41 - Diagram of patch surface with slot positions varied along the resonant length
of the antenna.


57

-10 -5 0 5 10
1.45
1.5
1.55
1.6
1.65
1.7
1.75
Slot Distance from center of patch [mm]
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
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q
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c
y

[
G
H
z
]
Sweep of Slot Placement Along Resonant Length of Patch


3mm
6mm
9mm

Figure 42 – Resonant frequency vs. slot position showing the change in resonant
frequency for three different slot lengths of 3mm, 6mm, and 9mm. The patch is
27×27mm on a 31×31×3mm substrate (ε
r
= 9.2).


This study confirms that placing the slot at the center of the patch, where the
largest currents are, has the most impact on performance. From a circuit theory
perspective, the inductance will have the most affect when there is high current involved.
As the slots are moved away from the center of the patch, in either direction, the resonant
frequency rises symmetrically (independent of which direction the slots are moved). In
fact, the resonant frequency tuning curve maps out the cosine current distribution that
develops on the patch with respect to length, except as an inverted cosine, since the
lowest frequency tuning is at the current maximum, and the highest frequency tunings are
where the lowest levels of current are. There may be situations where placing the slots
off of the midpoint of the patch has an advantage, such as less conflict between placement
of the feeding probe and the slot. Additionally, multiple slots can be utilized, although

58

with the knowledge that the slots will have less effect as they move away from the central
axis.
Slot shapes are another aspect of slot loading that was studied. Previous studies
all involved a rectangular slot shape, but there is a wide range of conceivable shapes for
use in the same manner. Slots were modified to have round, smooth terminations,
triangular slots, circular slots, slots with cavities at the end, and multiple slots in the patch
surface as shown in Figure 43.

Figure 43 - Various slot shapes studied to determine the performance compared to a
rectangular slot.


Three cases are compared – circular slots, as shown in the bottom left of Figure 43; slot
with circular cavities, shown in top left of Figure 43; and triangular slots, shown in the
top right of Figure 43. The dimensioned antennas are shown in Figure 44.

59


Figure 44 - Dimensioned drawings of the three slot shapes compared to observe effect of
slot shape on bandwidth.

Slot Shape f
o
[GHz]
2:1 VSWR
B [MHz]
Circular Slots 1.601 8
Slots with Circle Termination 1.598 8
Triangular Slots 1.606 8
Table 1- Comparison of the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth for three different slot shapes.

1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]
Comparison of Slot Shapes


Circular Slots
Slot + Circle
Triangle Slot

Figure 45 - Return loss of the simulated antennas with different slot shapes for
comparison of bandwidth performance.

All three of the antennas were tuned to approximately 1.6GHz, and Table 1 shows
that the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth is the same for each antenna. No shape was found to
provide an improved impedance bandwidth compared to simple rectangular slots.

60

However, some slot shapes provide advantages in frequency tuning. For example,
multiple slots can be cut into a patch surface, such as in Figure 43, which allows the patch
antenna to be tuned to a lower resonant frequency than what is possible with a single slot.
Also, Figure 44 shows that for the same resonant frequency, the edge of the triangular slot
is closer to the center than the edge of the slot terminated in the circular cavity.
Therefore, the slot with the circular cavity termination is less likely to interfere with the
feed probe placement than the triangle-shaped slot. Some shapes may allow easier
placement of the feed probe than others. Also, another use of multiple slots is to place
two slots off-center from the central axis, shown in Figure 46, which allows the centerline
to be completely unobstructed for maximum flexibility in feed probe placement,
removing an impedance tuning obstacle while retaining the frequency tuning
performance.

Figure 46 - Patch antenna using two slots to achieve the desired resonant frequency,
while leaving the centerline of the patch free for the feed probe.




61

The slot study results can be summarized as follows:
• The slots decrease the resonant frequency of the patch antenna by diverting the
current to a longer path, resulting in an effect analogous to that of an inductor
placed in series between two halves of the patch.
• The slots have the most impact on performance when placed in areas of high
current on the patch surface, which for the dominant TM
100
mode is along the
center of the patch length.
• For narrow rectangular slots, the resonant frequency decreases approximately
linearly in direct relation to the length of the slot.
• Increasing the width of the rectangular slots further decreases resonant frequency,
although in a nonlinear manner.
• For substrate thicknesses less than the slot width, the frequency is decreased
further by capacitance developed between the ground and the patch.
• The shapes of the slots cut into the patch layer do not have any bandwidth
performance benefits with respect to one another. Some shapes might allow for
easier feed probe placement.
• Multiple slots can be cut into a patch to obtain further frequency reduction,
although at no benefit in bandwidth or gain. Multiple slots can also be used to
free the patch area along the center axis, allowing more convenient feed probe
placement.
• Slot loading can be used to allow the use of low permittivity substrates while
obtaining the same frequency tuning of much higher permittivity materials. This
allows the high loss and high permittivity tolerances to be avoided.

62

3.2.2 Optimized Slotted, Stacked Patch Design
The slot study data provides insight and trends on how the various slot parameters
affect the antenna performance. To illustrate the use of slot loading in reducing the size
of an antenna, a design that uses slots is presented that was optimized according to the
design specifications that motivated this study. This design consists of two stacked
patches, the top patch is 30×30mm square with four 12mm long slots 1mm wide along
each of the main axes of the patch, and the bottom patch is 27.5×27.5mm square, Figure
47 and Figure 48. The bottom patch is placed on a 36×36×3.5mm TMM10 substrate, and
between the bottom and top patch is a 36×36×3mm TMM10 substrate. The structure is
fed via an L-shaped probe placed through a clearance hole in the bottom patch with the
4mm long horizontal section placed between the two patches with 0.75mm separation
between the top patch and the probe.

Figure 47 - Isometric view of the optimized slotted, stacked patch antenna.

63


Figure 48 – Dimensioned drawing for the optimized slotted, stacked patch antenna. All
dimensions are in millimeters.

The structure was simulated in Ansoft HFSS using PEC patch material and TMM10
dielectric material. The antenna is impedance matched at each band, with a 2:1 VSWR
bandwidth of 6MHz at the L2 band, and 10MHz at the L1 band, Figure 49, satisfying the
matching requirements of the design that motivated this study. The isolation is better
than 20dB across both bands, indicating good cross-pol and low loss due to coupling.
Figure 50 shows the impedance loci and the impedance match obtained on the Smith
chart.

64

1.2 1.25 1.3 1.35 1.4 1.45 1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Scattering Parameters for the Slotted L-probe Antenna
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]


S11
S21
6MHz Bandwidth
At L2
10MHz Bandwidth
At L1
>20dB Isolation

Figure 49 – Simulated return loss for the optimized slotted stacked patch design on
TMM10 substrate material.
5.00 2.00 1.00 0.50 0.20
5.00
-5.00
2.00
-2.00
1.00
-1.00
0.50
-0.50
0.20
-0.20
0.00 -0.00
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
130
140
150
160
170
180
-170
-160
-150
-140
-130
-120
-110
-100
-90
-80
-70
-60
-50
-40
-30
-20
-10
Ansoft Corporation HFSSDesign2 Smith Plot 1
Curve Info
St(WavePort1,WavePort1)
Setup1 : Sweep1

Figure 50 - Smith chart for the slotted stacked patch design, showing the matching of the
impedance loci.


The gain performance was analyzed with the antenna placed on an infinite ground plane.
The simulation results are expressed in “realized gain”, which is the HFSS gain parameter
that takes into account the impedance mismatch, which differs from the traditional IEEE
definition of antenna gain. The excitations at each port were in quadrature phasing,

65

allowing circular polarization to be generated. The antenna was found to have a +/-1dB
gain flatness bandwidth of 28MHz at L1 and 15MHz at L2, with a gain above 3dB over
each band, although both bands have usable gain outside of this bandwidth if gain
flatness is not a priority, Figure 51.
1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
10
L2 Band
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]


1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
10
L1 Band
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]


RHCP
LHCP
RHCP
LHCP

Figure 51 – Simulated maximum gain at broadside versus frequency at L1 and L2 for the
slotted, stacked patch antenna.


The low LHCP levels indicate good cross-pol over each band, and the axial ratio was
calculated at broadside over the bands where gain flatness was obtained, Figure 52. At
L1, the axial ratio was below 0.4dB throughout the band, which is well below the typical
3dB axial ratio specification. For L2, the axial ratio was between 1 and 2dB except
towards the very lower end of the band, out of the gain flatness bandwidth, where the
axial ratio increases above the 3dB level. The performance met the desired 3dB axial
ratio specification over both bands L1 and L2.

66

1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
L2 Band
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]
1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
L1 Band
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]

Figure 52 – Simulated Axial Ratio at L2 and L1 for the Slotted Stacked Patch Antenna.


This antenna performs satisfactorily, meeting the VSWR bandwidth requirements
and approaches the gain bandwidth requirements, while occupying a small volume of
36×36×6.5mm (1.42×1.42×0.26”). The length of this antenna is on the order of λ/6.7,
and has a thickness of only λ/37. The miniaturization achieved was due to the use of
moderately high permittivity substrate (TMM10, ε
r
= 9.20) and the slots that were used to
reduce the size of the L2 patch without having to resort to either a larger size antenna or a
higher permittivity substrate. Further, this design was the thinnest antenna designed
during this study that met the impedance bandwidth specifications, resulting in a design
that is closest to meeting the electrical specifications and the ultimate goal of
31×31×5mm total volume for the antenna.

3.3 Cavity Loading
Cavity loading offers some distinct advantages when designing a microstrip
antenna. A cavity backing provides a metallic boundary around the antenna that can be

67

used to isolate the antenna from its surroundings. This allows close integration of an
antenna onto circuit boards, or surfaces where the antenna must be placed near surfaces
that might absorb or scatter energy. Also, a microstrip antenna is planar and can conform
to the surface it is mounted on, providing compact and unobtrusive antenna placement on
the exterior of automobiles, airplanes and other surfaces. When a cavity is placed around
a microstrip antenna, this allows the antenna to be recessed into the mounting surface (the
ground plane), flush with the surface.
The cavity also provides some electrical benefits. The walls of the cavity, if close
to the patch antenna, load the edges of the patch similar to that of a lumped parallel plate
capacitor, which lowers the overall resonant frequency of the patch. Often miniaturized
patch antenna designs use thick, high permittivity substrates to reduce the resonant
frequency while maximizing bandwidth for a given area. The side-effect of this method
is the excitation of surface waves, which results in a loss of power out along the grounded
substrate – lowering the efficiency of the antenna and/or distorting the radiation pattern.
By placing a cavity behind the patch, surface waves are suppressed by the metallic walls,
which essentially “short out” the TE/TM surface wave modes [31].
The cavity backing can also provide extra feeding options compared to a regular
microstrip antenna. Since the cavity is essentially the ground plane for the antenna folded
to form a cavity, a feed probe can be placed in a side wall to feed the antenna just as
easily as on the bottom plane of the cavity. This can allow shorter paths to the antenna
than from the bottom of the cavity, reducing the inductance introduced by feed probes in
thick substrates.

68

One way of assessing the loading of the cavity is to look at the transmission line
model for a microstrip patch antenna, shown in Section 3.1.1 The cavity walls are part of
the ground system of the antenna, so the metallic walls load the antenna similar to a
capacitor in shunt from the edge of the patch to the ground, in parallel with the slot
admittance, shown in Figure 53.

Figure 53 - Modified transmission line model for the microstrip patch antenna when a
cavity is placed behind it. C
C
represents the effective capacitance of the cavity backing.

The capacitance in parallel with the slot admittance lowers the resonant frequency of the
patch antenna, similar to the lumped capacitor loading shown in Appendix G.

69

3.3.1 Cavity Loading Performance Trends
For a miniaturized patch antenna, increasing the substrate thickness will increase
the bandwidth, helping to compensate for the narrow bandwidths of the small antenna.
On substrates that extend well beyond the edges of the patch element, increasing the
thickness t of the substrate linearly decreases the resonant frequency, as predicted by
equations 3.2-3.5 (and shown in Appendix H). However, small patch antennas often
have substrates not much larger than the patch itself, so an additional side effect of the
increased substrate thickness is an increase in resonant frequency with increasing
substrate thickness due to the fringing fields extending out the sides of the substrate.
With the fringe fields extending into air both above the substrate and on the sides of the
truncated substrate, the effective permittivity of the substrate dielectric decreases, which
equation 3.5 shows results in an increase in resonant frequency.
A 31.5×31.5mm square patch on a TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) substrate of thickness t and
of width and length α, Figure 54, is used to illustrate this effect. The substrate size α is
varied between 31.5mm, where the substrate is truncated to the same size as the patch,
and 100mm, which is large enough to approach the performance of the antenna on an
infinite substrate for various thicknesses t. The simulated results are shown in Figure 55.

70


Figure 54 - 31.5×31.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness t and
length and width α. Antenna is mounted on an infinite ground plane.

30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1.25
1.3
1.35
1.4
1.45
1.5
1.55
1.6
1.65
1.7
1.75
Sub Size
α
[mm]
R
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s
o
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a
n
t

F
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q
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c
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[
G
H
z
]


t = 1mm
t = 3mm
t = 5mm
t = 7mm
t = 9mm
t = 11mm

Figure 55 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch on substrates of
thickness t and length α, width α.


71

For α = 31.5, the antennas with thick substrates tune to a resonant higher frequency than
the thin substrates, since all of the fringing fields extend outside of the substrate into the
air, which lowers the effective permittivity of the substrate. This effect is more
pronounced for thick substrates since more fields extend laterally from the thick
substrates than for the thin substrates. For antennas with α = 100m, the substrate is large
compared to the 31.5mm patch, and the antennas with thick substrates tune to a lower
resonant frequency than the thin substrates, as theory predicts.
Figure 55 also shows that the resonant frequency decreases with increasing
substrate size α until the substrate is large enough to contain the fringe fields for a
particular thickness, after which the resonant frequency becomes approximately invariant
with substrate size and the tuning curve approaches a horizontal line. The substrate size
α = α
o
at which this occurs varies depending on substrate thickness, where the thinnest
substrate has the smallest α
o
, and the thickest substrate has the largest α
o.
This causes the
tuning curves to crossover in the range of 34mm<α< 38mm, Figure 56.
32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
1.4
1.45
1.5
1.55
1.6
1.65
1.7
1.75
Sub Size
α
[mm]
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
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q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]


t = 1mm
t = 3mm
t = 5mm
t = 7mm
t = 9mm
t = 11mm

Figure 56 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch on substrates of
thickness t and length and width 31.5mm < α < 40mm.


72

For a particular resonant frequency, increasing the substrate thickness for a patch antenna
with a small substrate size α will require increasing the area occupied by the antenna,
which is counter-productive to the miniaturization effort.
Conversely, loading the patch with a backing cavity can alleviate this increase in
resonant frequency. The antenna shown in Figure 54 was modified by cladding the
substrate in metal on the vertical sides of the dielectric, as shown in Figure 57.


Figure 57 - Cavity backed 31.5×31.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of
thickness t and length and width α. The gray represents the metallization on all four of
the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity. The cavity is recessed in an infinite
ground plane.


The thickness for the cavity backed antenna is chosen as t = 7mm, and the resonant
frequency of the antenna is shown simulated for substrate sizes α over the range 32mm <
α < 100mm, and is compared to the performance of the same size antenna of Figure 54,
which does not have a cavity.

73

40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
Sub Size
α
[mm]
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]


Without Cavity Backing
With Cavity Backing

Figure 58 - Change in resonant frequency for 31.5×31.5mm patch antennas with carrying
substrate size α. Antennas have TMM10 substrates of thickness t = 7mm, and the results
are shown for antennas with and without a cavity backing.

For the substrate size α = 32mm, the cavity loading reduces the resonant
frequency by 500MHz from 1.7GHz to 1.2GHz, which is also 200MHz below the
resonant frequency of the same antenna on an approximately infinite substrate. As the
size α increases, the cavity walls move further away from the patch and the capacitive
loading is decreased, causing the resonant frequency to increase. This change in
capacitance is analogous to a parallel plate capacitor, where increasing the separation
between the plates decreases the capacitance. The resonant frequency of the cavity
backed antenna continues to change with increasing α until the walls of the cavity are far
enough away from the edges of the patch that they no longer have a loading effect. For
the cavity backed antenna with substrate thickness t = 7mm, this occurs at approximately
α = 55mm, beyond which the cavity backed antenna tunes to the same resonant frequency
as the antenna without a cavity backing. Therefore, the cavity backing can be used to

74

lower the resonant frequency of the antenna when the cavity is close in size to the patch,
even when the thickness of the substrate is increased.

The second study involves observing the effect on resonant frequency, gain, and
bandwidth for a reduced size, cavity-backed patch antenna. Modifying the antenna in
Figure 57, the patch size is reduced to 27×27mm, and the frequency reduction is
accomplished by placing four 7mm long, 1mm wide slots in the patch surface. The new
antenna is shown in Figure 59. The cavity is formed by placing a metallic wall on each of
the vertical walls of the TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) substrate, of length and width α, and thickness
t. Since this study deals only with a cavity backed antenna, the substrate thickness t will
be referred to as cavity depth t. Four values of α were chosen - two values that place the
cavity walls close to the patch (α = 27.5mm, 28.5mm) and two values that place the
cavity walls a few millimeters beyond the patch edges (α = 30mm, 31mm).

Figure 59 - 27×27mm patch antenna with four 7mm long, 1mm wide slots. The TMM10

r
= 9.2) substrate has a thickness t and length α and width α, and is clad with metal on
all four of the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity, represented in gray. The
cavity is recessed in an infinite ground plane. All dimensions are in millimeters.

75


The resonant frequency is affected by changes in cavity depth t, as well as cavity
size, α. With increasing cavity depth, the resonant frequency is decreased, Figure 60, as
the taller cavity walls introduce a larger capacitance to the patch edges. This further
validates the parallel plate analogy, since increasing the area of a parallel plate capacitor
increase the capacitance, similar to increasing the area of the cavity walls increases the
capacitance. Increasing the cavity size α results in an increase in resonant frequency,
since the walls are moving further away from the patch edges, and the capacitance they
introduce decreases. These two trends provide intuitive guidelines on how the cavity can
be used to tune the resonant frequency of a patch antenna for a particular depth t or size α.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1.1
1.15
1.2
1.25
1.3
1.35
1.4
1.45
1.5
1.55
Cavity Depth t [mm]
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
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c
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[
G
H
z
]
Resonant Frequency Vs. Cavity Depth


α=27.5mm
α=28.5mm
α=30mm
α=31mm

Figure 60 – Change in resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity
backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.



76

The cavity dimensions also affect the bandwidth of the patch antenna. Figure 61
shows that increasing the cavity depth t leads to a larger fractional bandwidth, since the
volume of the antenna is increasing, which is directly related to the Q of the antenna. As
the cavity size α is increased, the fractional bandwidth also increases due to an increase in
antenna volume. Therefore, antenna bandwidth can be increased by increasing either
depth t or size α, but increasing α raises the resonant frequency, whereas increasing t
decreases the resonant frequency.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45
0.5
0.55
0.6
0.65
0.7
Cavity Depth t [mm]
%

2
:
1

V
S
W
R

B
a
n
d
w
i
d
t
h
Fractional Bandwidth Vs. Cavity Depth


α
=27.5mm

α
=28.5mm
α
=30mm
α
=31mm

Figure 61 – Change in fractional 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with variation in cavity depth t of
a cavity backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.
The stair step nature is due to bandwidth values in increments of 1MHz.


77

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
Cavity Depth t [mm]
B
r
o
a
d
s
i
d
e

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
Broadside Gain Vs. Cavity Depth


α=27.5mm
α=28.5mm
α=30mm
α=31mm

Figure 62 – Change in broadside gain with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed,
slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.

Finally, the gain is shown to also vary with the size of the cavity. For small α, the
gain is reduced due to the small aperture size of the antenna, and as α (and aperture size)
is increased, the gain also increases, Figure 62. For small cavity depth t, the volume of the
antenna is small, leading to low gain, and increasing the cavity depth t increases the
volume of the antenna, resulting in increased gain. Figure 62 does not account for the
change in resonant frequency which is different for a particular cavity depth t and size α.
Since the resonant frequency is also changing with cavity depth t and cavity size α, the
gain was normalized to the operating frequency to show more clearly the effects of
aperture size and volume on gain, in Figure 63.

78

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
Cavity Depth t [mm]
B
r
o
a
d
s
i
d
e

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]

/

R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]
Normalized Broadside Gain Vs. Cavity Depth


α
=27.5mm

α
=28.5mm
α
=30mm
α
=31mm

Figure 63 - Change in broadside gain normalized to resonant frequency with variation in
cavity depth t of a cavity backed, slotted microstrip patch antenna. Cavity sizes α are
shown in the legend.

For a particular resonant frequency, increasing the cavity depth t will result in higher gain.
Increasing the cavity size α will result in higher gain, but note that the difference in gain
between α=27.5mm and α = 28.5mm is much greater than the difference in gain between
α=30mm and α = 31mm, which indicates that cavity size α will impact the gain more
significantly when the cavity is close to the patch antenna.

Some design guidelines for the cavity backed antenna can be summarized as:
• Cavity backing allows thick substrates to be utilized without the loss in efficiency
due to surface wave excitation, and without the increase in frequency resulting
from a truncated substrate.

79

• The cavity backing allows the antenna to be isolated electrically from its
surroundings, making it possible to mount the antenna in closer proximity to other
components or surfaces.
• The cavity allows the antenna to be recess mounted, flush with a surface. This
provides a low profile, unobtrusive microstrip patch antenna design.
• The cavity walls act like parallel plate capacitors connected in shunt with the
radiating edges of the patch – increasing the depth of the cavity increases the
effective capacitive loading (by increasing area of the walls), and increasing the
separation between the patch edges and the cavity walls decreases the capacitive
loading.
• Probe feeding can be accomplished via a side wall, instead of the bottom of the
cavity, potentially reducing the inductance incurred by the use of a long feed
probe by shortening the distance the probe travels to reach the antenna.
• The size of the cavity α and the depth of the cavity t can be used to tune the
resonant frequency of the antenna, and can be optimized to provide the best
compromise between bandwidth and gain.

This section has explored the effect of loading a patch antenna with a cavity to
create the capacitive loading of the patch antenna. Another form of capacitive loading is
illustrated by the stacked patch antenna shown in Appendix I. Vertical walls extend from
the edges of the patch toward the ground plane, creating a capacitor loading very similar
to the cavity. The resonant frequencies of this antenna are adjusted with the height of the
walls on the edge of the patch, and the separation between the patch and the ground

80

plane. Additional tuning options are available by changing the width of the wall, or
changing the shapes of the walls.

3.3.2 Optimized Cavity Backed, Stacked Patch Design
A stacked patch design is presented that operates with dual polarization (CP
capability) and dual frequency performance to cover both L1 and L2 bands, and utilizes
L-shaped probes to proximity couple to the antenna. The antenna was designed with a
depth of 7mm (close to original design goals of 0.2” thickness), and the cavity length was
chosen to be 34mm to achieve the desired bandwidth of 5MHz at 2:1 VSWR at the L2
band. The cavity length was initially chosen as 31mm (due to original design specs of
1.25” length) but was increased in length until the desired minimum bandwidth of 5MHz
at 2:1 VSWR was achieved at L2. The design is a variation on the stacked patch design
with the feed extending through a circular opening in the lower patch, and the horizontal
section of the L probe situated between the patches.

Figure 64 - Optimized design of the cavity backed stacked patch GPS antenna on
TMM10 (ε
r
= 9.2) dielectric substrate.


81


Figure 65 - Dimensioned drawing for the optimized cavity backed dual band, CP,
stacked-patch GPS antenna. Horizontal “L” probes are 2.93×1mm. All dimensions are in
millimeters.


The top patch is 28.5×28.5mm with four 11mm long, 1mm wide slots to provide
additional loading to tune it down to the L2 band. Once again, placing the L2 band patch
on top increased the bandwidth at L2 by increasing the size of the substrate below the
patch. The bottom patch is 25mm×25mm with two 5mm diameter holes to allow the
vertical sections of the L probes to pass through. The total antenna volume is
34×34×7mm, contained fully inside the metallic cavity. The antenna was modeled using
PEC surfaces, and the antenna was modeled with the infinite ground plane flush with the
top of the cavity, giving this antenna a recessed mounting platform.
The results of the simulations, Figure 66, show that the antenna exhibits a 5MHz
2:1 VSWR bandwidth at L2, and an 8MHz 2:1 VSWR bandwidth at L1. This is adequate
bandwidth to meet the performance specifications of dual band GPS systems on both L1
and L2, and was obtained by use of the L-shaped feed probe, which allowed both bands to
be matched through the extra degrees of freedom the L probe permits. The isolation

82

between the probes is also better than 20dB at both bands of interest, indicating good
cross-pol and very low power lost through coupling between the ports. The simulated
gain at L2 and L1 is shown in Figure 67.

1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26 1.28 1.3
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]
L2 Band


1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]
L1 Band


S11
S21
S11
S21
5 MHz
Bandwidth
8MHz
Bandwidth

Figure 66 - Return Loss for the optimized cavity backed CP, dual frequency antenna.

1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

C
P

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
L2 Band


RHCP
LHCP
1.52 1.54 1.56 1.58 1.6 1.62
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
10
Frequency [GHz]
R
e
a
l
i
z
e
d

C
P

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
]
L1 Band


RHCP
LHCP

Figure 67 – Simulated realized gain at L1 and L2 for optimized cavity backed CP, dual
frequency antenna.


83

The gain at L2 has a +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth of 11MHz, which is
approximately half of the desired bandwidth. This gain flatness bandwidth could be
increased with a larger cavity size (depth or length), or can be used when gain flatness is
not critical. At L1, however, the +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth is 23MHz, and for gain
above isotropic the gain bandwidth is 34MHz – both of which are wide enough for proper
GPS signal reception. Figure 67 shows that over the L2 band the LHCP component of
radiation below -15dB, indicating good cross-pol, and at L1 shows the LHCP component
also below -15dB. The axial ratio is shown over both bands in Figure 68.
1.2 1.22 1.24 1.26
0
1
2
3
4
5
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]
L2 Band
1.52 1.54 1.56 1.58 1.6 1.62
0
1
2
3
4
5
Frequency [GHz]
A
x
i
a
l

R
a
t
i
o

[
d
B
]
L1 Band

Figure 68 - Axial ratio over the L1 and L2 band for the optimized cavity backed antenna.

Both L1 and L2 have better than 3dB axial ratio over their operating bands, which
is a desirable limit for maximum signal reception and rejection of reflections of LHCP
signals. These low axial ratios are the result of the low cross-pol shown in the gain
patterns.
This optimized antenna meets the VSWR and gain bandwidth goals at the L1
band, and meets the VSWR bandwidth at L2, but only approaches the gain bandwidth

84

goal at the L2 band. For most GPS applications, reception of the L1 band information is
of primary importance, whereas the L2 band is secondary. As indicated, the gain
bandwidths have been defined by a +/- 1dB flatness specification, but each band has
wider, usable gain bandwidths above isotropic if the variation in amplitude with
frequency can be tolerated. This makes this antenna viable for applications where low
profile is the priority specification, and the sacrifice in gain performance is acceptable.
This optimized antenna utilizes a cavity backing, which reduces the operating frequency
of the antenna while making it very low profile, allowing it to be mounted flush in a
metal surface, in a recess, making this a candidate for applications where it is desired to
have the antenna built into a structure.










85

CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION
This thesis set out to explore appropriate miniaturization methods for reducing the
size of antennas for GPS systems. The motivation for this study stems from the desire to
develop a miniature GPS microstrip patch antenna that would provide 20MHz bandwidth
at both L1 (1.575GHz) and L2 (1.227GHz) bands, while occupying a volume of
1.25×1.25×0.2” (31.8×31.8×5mm). Circular polarization was desired with an axial ratio
of less than 3dB over each band, with a minimum gain of 0dBi. Due to the requirements
of bandwidth, circular polarization with low axial ratio, and gain, many miniaturization
methods fail to meet the required performance. Three main methods were found to be
viable solutions: the use of high permittivity dielectric materials, inductive loading of the
patch element via slots cut into the surface, and capacitive loading via a cavity backing.
Each method allows for two-axis rotational symmetry, required to produce circular
polarization with good axial ratio, and provides reduction in size.
Some of the trade-offs involved when using each of the loading methods were
explored, providing guidelines on how these loading methods can be used in patch
antenna designs. Each loading method was then applied in an optimized design that
approaches the desired specifications. Two of the optimized designs were built and
tested: a linear antenna covering both bands and occupying a volume of 29×20.9×12mm
(1.14×0.82×0.47”), and a CP stacked patch design that met all electrical specifications
and occupied a volume of 41.5×41.5×6.5mm (1.63×1.63×0.26”). Additionally, other
designs were presented that achieved similar performance. A slotted, stacked patch was
designed to meet the VSWR specifications, and approached the gain flatness

86

specifications in a volume of 36×36×6.5mm (1.42×1.42×0.26”). This was the smallest
antenna found in this study that approached the electrical specifications. Finally, a cavity
backed stacked-patch configuration was used to design an antenna that once again met the
VSWR specifications but fell short of the gain flatness bandwidth goals. This antenna
was 34×34×7mm (1.33×1.33×0.28”) in size, and allowed for recessed mounting if
desired.
Literature searches failed to find antennas that were as compact in size while
achieving the 2:1 VSWR bandwidths of these antenna designs. Many designs found in
the literature sacrificed the impedance match to achieve their operating bandwidth.
Additionally, the use of the “L” probe feed structure, which was used in most of the
designs presented, provided the ability to tune to both L1 and L2 in the stacked patch
configurations. The extra degrees of freedom, such as probe width, length, and proximity
to each patch allowed for a good impedance match of 2:1 to be achieved on both patches
at once. Additional size reduction was accomplished for each antenna by feeding the L
probes through clearance holes in the lower patch for the stacked patch configuration,
instead of proximity feeding the patches from the side, as in traditional proximity
coupling.







87

APPENDIX A

DERIVATION OF MINIMUM Q LIMITS
Based on [15]
Single Polarized, Omnidirectional Antenna – TM
10
mode only
First, to compute the fields of the TM
01
spherical mode, an r-directed magnetic
vector potential is given as a linear electric current element
cos 1
jkr
r
j
A e
kr
θ

| |
= − −
|
\ ¹

The fields from which are

2
2 3
2 3
1
sin
1 1
sin
2 1
cos
jkr
jkr
jkr
r
j
H e
kr r
jk j
E e
j r r kr
j
E e
r kr
φ
θ
θ
θ
ωε
θ
ωε



| |
= −
|
\ ¹
| |
= − − +
|
\ ¹
| |
= +
|
\ ¹

From the field components, the total stored electric energy density can be computed as

( )
2 2
*
2 2
3 6 4 2 3 6 4
1 1
2 2
1 1 1 1 1
sin 4cos
2
e r
w E E E E
k
k r kr r k r kr
θ
ε ε
η θ θ
ω
= = +
| | | |
= − + + +
| |
\ ¹ \ ¹

i

As the limit r →∞ is taken, the E
r
term goes to zero, and the radiated fields become

sin
sin
jkr
rad
jkr
rad
e
H
r
e
E
r
φ
θ
θ
η θ


= −
= −





88

The radiated electric energy density can be computed as

2
2
* 2
2
1 1 1
sin
2 2 2
rad rad
e
w E E E
r
θ
η
ε ε ε θ = = =

i
McLean then used the difference between the total electric energy density and the radiated
electric energy density to find the non-propagating electric energy density as

2 2
3 6 4 3 6 4
1 1 1 1 1
sin 4cos
2
rad
e e e
w w w
k r kr k r kr
η θ θ
ω
| | | |

= − = − + +
| |
\ ¹ \ ¹

Then, to find the total non-propagating energy, the energy density is integrated over a
volume between a sphere of radius a and an infinitely large sphere to get

2
2
0 0
2
2 2 2
3 6 4 3 6 4
0 0 0
3 3
sin
1 1 1 1 1
sin 4cos sin
2
4 1 1
3
e e
a
W w r drd d
r drd d
k r kr k r kr
k a ka
π π
π π
θ θ φ
η θ θ θ θ φ
ω
πη
ω


′ ′
=
| | | |
= − + +
| |
\ ¹ \ ¹
| |
= +
|
\ ¹
∫ ∫ ∫
∫ ∫ ∫

Next, the total radiated power can be found by integrating the real part of the Poynting
vector over a spherical surface of an arbitrary radius

( )
2
* 2
0 0
2 2
2
2
0 0
2
3
0 0
ˆ Re sin
sin
ˆ ˆ Re sin
8
sin
3
rad r
r r
P E H u r d d
u u r d d
r
d d
π π
π π
π π
θ θ φ
η θ
θ θ φ
π
η θ θ φ η
= ×
| |
=
|
\ ¹
= =
∫ ∫
∫ ∫
∫ ∫

i
i
The Quality factor can then be calculated as

89


3 3
2 1 1
e
rad
W
Q
P k a ka
ω ′
= = +
Circularly Polarized Omnidirectional Antenna – TE
01
and TM
01
modes excited
Much of the derivation is the same, so details are omitted for operations that are
the same. For the TE case, an electric vector potential and its fields are given as the dual
of the TM case as:
2
2 3
2 3
cos 1
1
sin
1 1
sin
2 1
cos
jkr
r
jkr
jkr
jkr
r
j
F e
kr
j
E e
kr r
jk j
H e
j r r kr
j
H e
r kr
φ
θ
θ
θ
θ
ωµ
θ
ωµ




| |
= − −
|
\ ¹
| |
= −
|
\ ¹
| |
= − − +
|
\ ¹
| |
= +
|
\ ¹

In order to get CP, an amplitude adjustment of jη is applied to F
r
, and the TE fields and
TM fields are combined. The field components then become, where , k
µ
ω µε η
ε
= =
2
2 3
2 3
2
2 3
2 3
1
sin
1 1
sin
2 1
cos
1
sin
1 1
sin
2 1
cos
jkr
jkr
jkr
r
jkr
jkr
jkr
r
j
H e
kr r
jk j
E e
j r r kr
j
E e
r kr
j
E j e
kr r
jk j
H e
k r r kr
j j
H e
k r kr
φ
θ
φ
θ
θ
θ
ωε
θ
ωε
η θ
θ
θ






| |
= −
|
\ ¹
| |
= − − +
|
\ ¹
| |
= +
|
\ ¹
| |
= −
|
\ ¹
| |
= − − +
|
\ ¹
| |
= +
|
\ ¹



90

The total electric energy density of this field distribution can be found as

( )
2
2 2
*
1 1
2 2
e r
w E E E E E
θ φ
ε ε = = + +

i
The same method is applied as in the linear polarization case, and it is found that

3 3
4 1 2
3
e
W
k a ka
πη
ω

′ = +



It is found that the radiating power is twice that of the linear case, since here power is
exciting both modes equally, and is then

16
3
rad
P
π
η =
The quality factor Q is then computed as

3 3
2 1 1 2
2
e
rad
W
Q
P k a ka
ω ′
| |
= = +
|
\ ¹

The Q is approximately half that of the linear case.
















91

APPENDIX B

ADDITIONAL ANTENNA DESIGNS
Antenna B1: Modified from the antenna found in 3.1.3, the stacked patch L-probe GPS
antenna, this design was reduced in size to 36×36×10mm, and achieved similar
bandwidths of 8MHz at L2 and 16MHz at L1 with a smaller area, but a larger thickness.

1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]
Return loss for 36X36X10mm Antenna


S11
S21

Figure 69 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for the 36×36×10mm antenna. All
dimensions are in millimeters.


92


Antenna B2: Modified from the antenna found in 3.1.3, the stacked patch L-probe GPS
antenna, this design was reduced in size to 31×31×10mm, with slots in both the top and
the bottom patches. The antenna achieves smaller bandwidths of 7MHz at L2 and at L1
a match that gives approximately 50MHz 3dB bandwidth, with no match at 2:1 VSWR,
and a larger thickness. This antenna would require further tuning to get L2 tuned down to
the proper range, and L1 needs better impedance matching.


Figure 70 - Wireframe drawing of the 31×31×10mm stacked patch antenna, showing the
location of slots in both the top and bottom patch layers.

93


1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]
Return loss for 31X31X10mm Antenna


S11
S21

Figure 71 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for antenna comparison with the
theoretical Q limits. All dimensions are in millimeters.

94

APPENDIX C

HFSS CONDUCTIVITY CONSIDERATIONS
Finite Conductivity Study
Over the course of this research project, attempts were made to take advantage of the
finite conductivity simulation options in Ansoft HFSS (High Frequency Structure
Simulator) to better estimate performance of realistic antennas. The HFSS software
offers multiple options to handle the surface boundary conditions for a conductive patch:
• Finite Conductivity Impedance - models the surface as an impedance boundary
condition where the tangential E field is related by

ˆ ˆ ˆ ( )
:
1
2

o
o
n E Z n n H
where
j
Z
skin depth
δσ
δ
ωσµ
× = × ×
+
=
= =


A patch simulation, using this method, is defined as an infinitely thin sheet with
this boundary condition assigned. Also allows an equivalent thickness to be
assigned to the surface that attempts to model the effects of a finite thickness
conductor.
• PEC Boundary Condition – models surface as having zero loss, and no
tangential electric field. Patch antennas are usually modeled with a sheet layer
assigned with a Perfect Electric Conductor boundary condition.

95

• Copper Volume – defines a copper volume as copper material with conductivity
of σ = 5.8×10
7
S/m. Provides the option to solve on the surface only or to include
the interior of the volume in the solution.
In addition, there are meshing options:
• Max Element Size – restricts the element size on a given surface to a maximum
size, allowing the meshing to be set as desired.
• Skin Depth Mesh – Allows a mesh to be developed to one skin depth thickness,
while choosing the number of meshing layers used to mesh the skin depth.
To compare these different options, two of the prototype antennas were simulated using
various settings for conductivity in HFSS. These results are compared to simulations
using CST, and measured results.
The first comparison involves the antenna built on Rogers 5880 (ε
r
= 2.2) for use
as the transmit antenna in Appendix E, shown in Figure 89.

Figure 72 - Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. Patch is
66×85mm on a 120×120×3.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate.

The simulations were carried out using:
1. a copper volume
2. a copper volume with a 1mm maximum element size

96

3. a copper volume with a skin depth mesh using 3 layers of mesh
4. a finite conductivity surface of copper with zero equivalent thickness
5. a finite conductivity surface of copper with 1mil equivalent thickness
6. a PEC sheet
7. CST copper surface
Figure 73 shows the return loss results for all seven methods, including the measured
results. For an antenna of this size, all of the HFSS simulations matched up well, with
very little variation among them, despite the different methods employed. The CST
simulation also showed good agreement, with a slightly lower resonant frequency and
approximately the same bandwidth. The measured results show a resonant frequency
very close to the simulation, although at a reduced bandwidth. It is possible that the
impedance match is affected by the 12×12” ground plane this antenna is mounted on,
compared to the infinite ground plane used in the simulations.

97

1.3 1.35 1.4 1.45 1.5 1.55 1.6 1.65 1.7
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]
Measured
HFSS Copper
HFSS Copper Fine Mesh
HFSS Copper Skin depth
HFSS Finite Cond Thin
HFSS Finite Cond 1mil
HFSS PEC
CST Copper

Figure 73 – Comparison of the return loss results for all 8 methods.

The results of the simulations and measurements are summarized in Table 2. The HFSS
simulations have little variation in bandwidth and resonant frequency, but vary
considerably both in memory usage and simulation time.
Solution Method B [MHz] fo [GHz] Memory # Tetrahedra
Solution Time
hr:min:sec
Measured 25 1.464 n/a
H
F
S
S

Copper 36 1.453 712MB 21,826 0:13:26
Copper 1mm
mesh 35 1.454 2.14GB 115,076 1:26:21
Copper Skin Depth 35 1.454 1.52GB 43375 0:37:10
FC infinite thin 38 1.452 315MB 17,631 0:08:51
FC 1mil thickness 38 1.452 314MB 17,631 0:09:36
PEC 36 1.454 365MB 22,321 0:09:08
CST 40 1.448

Table 2 – Summarized results of the measured and simulated data. All simulations run
on 64 bit WinXP, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM.


98

It is seen that there is little benefit gained by using the finite conductivity surfaces,
compared to the PEC modeling, since the computational cost rose considerably while
generating almost identical results.
Another example is the simulation of the patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm
wide slots, on TMM10 dielectric material, Figure 74.

Figure 74 – 27×27mm patch on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with four 9mm
long, 1mm wide slots.

The simulations were carried out using:
1. a copper volume
2. a copper volume with a 2mm maximum element size
3. a copper volume with a 0.5mm maximum element size
4. a copper volume with a skin depth mesh using 5 layers of mesh
5. a finite conductivity surface of copper with zero equivalent thickness

99

6. a finite conductivity surface of copper with 1mil equivalent thickness
7. a PEC sheet
8. CST copper surface
The various conductivity methods are compared to CST and measured data, in Figure 75,
and summarized in Table 3. The gain of the antennas simulated using HFSS are shown in
Figure 76 and summarized in Table 3.
1.45 1.455 1.46 1.465 1.47 1.475 1.48 1.485 1.49 1.495 1.5
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]


Measured
HFSS Copper 2mm max element size
HFSS Copper 0.5mm max element size
HFSS Copper 5 Layer Skin Depth
HFSS FC 1mil thickness
HFSS FC infinitely thin
HFSS PEC
CST Copper

Figure 75 – Comparison of simulation and measured data for the antenna with 9mm
long, 1mm wide slots in the patch surface.

100

1.47 1.475 1.48 1.485 1.49 1.495 1.5 1.505 1.51
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
Frequency [GHz]
B
r
o
a
d
s
i
d
e

G
a
i
n

[
d
B
i
]


HFSS Copper 2mm max element size
HFSS Copper 0.5mm max element size
HFSS Copper 5 Layer Skin Depth
HFSS FC 1mil thickness
HFSS FC infinitely thin
HFSS PEC

Figure 76 - Comparison of HFSS simulation gains for the antenna with 9mm long, 1mm
wide slots in the patch surface.

Solution Method
B
[MHz]
fo [GHz]
Max Gain
[dB]
Memory # Tetrahedra
Solution
Time
hr:min:sec
Measured 7 1.454 n/a
H
F
S
S

Copper* 7 1.494 4.1 1.98GB 31,940 0:47:08
Copper** 7 1.494 4.1 3.58GB 40,852 1:52:36
Copper - 5 layer
skin depth*
7 1.495 4.1 3.15GB 34,736 1:45:23
FC infinite thin* 9 1.487 3 2.5GB 36,031 1:02:19
FC 1mil
thickness*
9 1.488 3 3.55GB 54,704 2:55:01
PEC 6 1.488 4.2 1.52GB 23,210 0:26:52
CST 11 1.494

Table 3 – Summary of comparison between simulated and measured data using different
HFSS conductivity settings. * indicates 2mm maximum element size, **indicates 0.5mm
maximum element size. All simulations run on 64 bit WinXP, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM.


101


All of the simulated resonant frequencies are within 8MHz, which is good agreement
amongst the different methods. All of the simulation methods show a resonant frequency
on the order of 40MHz higher than that measured, which is within 3%. This offset in
resonant frequency is also shown for many slot lengths, in section 3.2.1. One explanation
might be tolerances in the milling process that was used to fabricate the antennas.
The simulated bandwidths are all within a few MHz of the measured antenna.
The CST bandwidth is greater than the HFSS simulations, mainly due to the time domain
solver used and the difficulties that arise when simulating high Q resonant structures.
The infinitely thin finite conductivity layer showed the highest bandwidth out of the
HFSS simulations, while the PEC simulation had the lowest. Regardless, these
bandwidth values are all very close, and once again the computational costs for the
various conductivity methods do not produce a benefit for these antenna structures.
The maximum gain values vary between 4dBi for the PEC and copper cases and
3dBi for the finite conductivity cases, shown in Figure 76. The difference in efficiency is
also reflected in the bandwidths, where the finite conductivity cases show an increased
bandwidth compared to the PEC and copper cases. The finite conductivity boundary
condition results in too much loss on the patch, more than what is expected with a copper
surface.
Considering the results of the large microstrip patch antenna on low permittivity
material, and the small slotted patch antenna on TMM10, for this study it was determined
that modeling using PEC surfaces suffices in predicting the performance of the antennas

102

while using less computer resources. Throughout this thesis, all simulation results use
PEC patch surfaces.

Size of Radiating Air Volume
Finally, concern was raised over size of the radiation air box volume used in the
HFSS simulations and the impact on antenna performance. The antenna in Figure 74
was simulated for an air box of volume 2a×2a×a, as shown in Figure 77. Ansoft HFSS
recommends a radiating box that extends at least / 4
o
λ from the structure when using the
radiation boundary condition.

Figure 77 – 27×27mm patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm wide slots on TMM10
substrate of size 31×31×3.175mm, with an air box of size 2a×2a×a.

The results of the simulations are shown in Figure 78. For a small air box where a =
30mm, which places the radiating boundary at approximately / 8
o
λ from the antenna
structure, the impedance match of the antenna is shown to suffer, although the -10dB

103

bandwidth is nearly the same as the other cases. As the air box size a is increased, the
impedance match is approximately the same for each simulation.
1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.5 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

[
d
B
]
Return Loss of Antenna for Various Radiation Box Sizes
a = 30mm
a = 40mm
a = 50mm
a = 60mm
a = 70mm
a = 80mm
a = 90mm
a = 100mm
a = 110mm
a = 120mm
a = 130mm
a = 140mm

Figure 78 – Simulated return loss for air box volumes of size a=30mm to a=140mm.

For all simulations in this study, an air box of at least 160×160×80mm was used to ensure
a large enough distance between the antenna and the radiation boundary.







104

APPENDIX D

SLOT MAGNETIC FIELD VECTOR PLOTS
The Ansoft HFSS simulations allow for visualization of the fields on the antenna, which
were used to observe the effect of the slots on the fields. Specifically, the magnetic field
(H) was of interest in the slot, as well as the currents on the patch surface supporting this
magnetic field. These fields are shown in Figure 79, Figure 80 and Figure 81.

Figure 79 - Plot of the magnitude of the H field at x=0 plane of the patch in Figure 34b,
showing the concentration of field in the slots.

105


Figure 80 - Vector field plot of the magnetic field in the x=0 plane of the patch in Figure
34b, showing the field penetrating the patch through the slot.

Figure 81 - Vector plot showing the currents (YELLOW) on the patch surface around the
slots, and the magnetic field (RED) inside the slot. This shows the concentration of
currents at the end of the slot producing the strongest magnetic field.

106

APPENDIX E

MEASURED SLOTTED PROTOTYPE ANTENNAS
Six antennas were fabricated at UMASS Amherst in order to validate the studies
performed on the slot loading of the patch antennas. The antennas were milled on
31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrates, with 2oz copper plating on both sides of the
substrate material. The antennas were probe feed using SMA connectors, and all of the
antennas were mounted on 12×12” metallic ground planes for impedance measurements,
and a pattern measurement was taken for the patch antenna with 9mm long, 1 mm wide
slots.
1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8
-35
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
S
1
1

d
B
9mm long
1mm wide
9mm long
1.5mm wide
9mm long
3mm wide
6mm long
1mm wide
3mm long
1mm wide
no slots

Figure 82 - Measured return loss for the 6 prototype slotted antennas. The dimension on
the first line of each label denotes the slot length, and the second line denotes the slot
width. All antennas were mounted on a 12×12" ground plane.

107



Figure 83 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
no slots.




Figure 84 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
3mm long, 1mm wide slots.


108


Figure 85 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
6mm long, 1mm wide slots.


Figure 86 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
9mm long, 1mm wide slots.



109


Figure 87 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
9mm long, 1.5mm wide slots.



Figure 88 - Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrate, with
9mm long, 3mm wide slots.


110

Also, radiation patterns were measured for the antenna shown in Figure 86. The
far-field range at UMASS Amherst is not equipped with standard gain horns at 1.5GHz,
so a 66×85mm (L×W) patch was fabricated on 125mil thick Rogers 5880 substrate
material to be used as the transmit antenna, and is shown in Figure 89 and Figure 90.


Figure 89 - Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. Patch is
66×85mm on a 120×120×3.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate.


Figure 90 - Built transmit antenna for use in the far-field range.

The antenna used for transmit was designed to have the same resonant frequency
as the slotted patch with four 9mm long, 1mm wide slots, and was mounted on a 12×12”
ground plane. The patterns for the antenna for the antenna with 9mm, 1mm wide slots
are shown in Figure 91 and Figure 92, the principle plane pattern cuts.

111

-25
-25
-20
-20
-15
-15
-10
-10
-5
-5
0 dB
0 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
E Plane Pattern


HFSS
Measured

Figure 91 - E-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm wide
slots.

-25
-25
-20
-20
-15
-15
-10
-10
-5
-5
0 dB
0 dB
90
o
60
o
30
o
0
o
-30
o
-60
o
-90
o
-120
o
-150
o
180
o
150
o
120
o
H Plane Pattern


HFSS
Measured

Figure 92 - H-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long, 1mm wide
slots.


112


Figure 93 – Patch with four 9mm long, 1mm wide slots mounted on AUT positioner in
the far field range. The ground plane is 12×12”.


Figure 94 - Transmit antenna mounted on tapered end of the far field range.





113

APPENDIX F

EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT FOR WIDE SLOTS
As the slot width increases, the circuit model is changed to take into account the
capacitance loading both between the patch and the ground and across the slot itself,
Figure 95.

Figure 95 - Transmission line model for slot cut in a patch surface when the width of the
slot is much greater than the substrate thickness. The patch shown is on a 3mm thick
substrate with 5mm wide slots.


114

APPENDIX G

CAPACITOR LOADED PATCH ANTENNA
The transmission line model is useful for predicting the resonant frequency
performance of a microstrip antenna, and a modified form from section 3.1 is presented.

Figure 96 - Transmission line model modified with the addition of a 2 lumped capacitors
on the radiating slots of the microstrip patch antenna.


115

The modified model in Figure 96 allows for calculation of the resonant frequency of the
antenna when the radiating edges are loaded with lumped capacitors, connected between
the patch and ground. The analysis makes use of equations 3.2 and 3.3, as well as the
equations included specifically for capacitive loading on the radiating edges of the patch
[2].
The equivalent length added by the shunt capacitance can be found using equation G.1
[32].
( )
1
tan , 1
l
l o
C l o l o
e e
cC Z c
L C Z C Z ω ω
ω ε ε

∆ = ≈ ≪ (G.1)
Where Z
o
is defined as [9]

377
1.393 0.667ln 1.444
o
reff
Z
W W
t t
ε
=
¦ ¹ | |
+ + +
´ ` |
\ ¹ ¹ )
(G.2)
and the new effective length is found using equation G.3.
2 2
l
eff jB C
L L L L = + ∆ + ∆ (G.3)
Note that ∆L
jB
is the same ∆L calculated in equation 3.4. Finally, the resonant frequency
is found using equation 3.5, included again as G.4.

( )
2
o
r
eff reff
c
f
L ε
= (G.4)
For a square patch with L=W=27mm on an infinite substrate of TMM10 (є
r
= 9.2) of
thickness t = 3mm, the resonant frequency can be approximated using the analytic
equations, with shunt capacitances ranging from 0-10pF.


116

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]
Shunt Capacitance [pF]

Figure 97 – Resonant frequency behavior for varying the value of the lumped loading
capacitor, calculated using the modified transmission line model shown in Figure 96.











117

APPENDIX H

EFFECT OF SUBSTRATE THICKNESS ON RESONANT FREQUENCY
Using equations 3.2-3.5, the resonant frequency of a 27×27mm square patch
(Figure 98) on an infinite substrate of TMM10 (є
r
= 9.2) is calculated for various
thicknesses t, shown in Figure 99.

Figure 98 - Square 27×27mm patch antenna on an infinite substrate, thickness t, of
TMM10 dielectric material.

2 4 6 8 10 12 14
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
R
e
s
o
n
a
n
t

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
G
H
z
]
Substrate Thickness [mm]

Figure 99 - Change in resonant frequency with substrate thickness for 27×27mm patch
on an infinite substrate of TMM10 dielectric material.






118

APPENDIX I

VERTICAL WALL LOADED ANTENNA
An additional example of capacitive loading is a patch antenna loaded with bent
sections in the patch surface. This antenna was explored and shows another application
of the capacitive loading without using lumped element capacitors. The antenna is
formed by bending down the edges of a patch to lower the resonant frequency for one of
the fundamental (TM
010
, TM
100
), modes on each of the patches.

Figure 100 - Capacitively loaded antenna utilizing bent capacitive sections of the patch to
generate a lower resonant frequency.

L1 and L2 were then split between the two stacked patches, as shown in Figure 101. The
combination of resonant mode directions allowed for circular polarization to be obtained
when the ports were fed in quadrature.

119


Figure 101 - Diagram of the tuning of both bands in both orthogonal directions when
both patches were excited. Shown are the field components at L1, L2 bands in the x, y
directions and how when fed with 90° phase difference (j) generate proper CP at both
bands.

Ultimately, many tuning difficulties arose due to the asymmetries in the structure,
which was very sensitive to changes in any of the feed positions or dimensions. The best
case return loss tuned for the antenna at L2 is shown in Figure 102. This was obtained
only after finely tuning the probe dimensions and placement, which showed large changes
in tuning with very small changes in the physical parameters. The main difficulty was
tuning each polarization of each band to have the same RL response (to have equal
amplitude), where the coupling mechanism is drastically different between the two
modes. A proper match in return loss for port 1 and port 2 was not obtained for both L1
and L2 at the same time.

120

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
Frequency [GHz]
[
d
B
]


S11
S22

Figure 102 - Return loss of the side wall loaded stacked patch antenna with L-probe
feeds.










121

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122

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123

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© Copyright by Steven S. Holland 2008 All Rights Reserved

MINIATURIZATION OF MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS FOR GPS APPLICATIONS

A Thesis Presented by STEVEN S. HOLLAND

Approved as to style and content by:

__________________________________________ Daniel H. Schaubert, Chair

__________________________________________ David M. Pozar, Member

__________________________________________ Marinos N. Vouvakis, Member

________________________________________ C. V. Hollot, Department Head Electrical and Computer Engineering

To my parents. .

Vouvakis for their many discussions and insightful comments that contributed greatly to the success of this thesis. The many discussions I have had with them helped tremendously with the computational tools. measurements. Tom Lavallee. Sreenivas Kasturi. v . Dr. learn. advice and support have allowed me to explore. I am indebted to the engineering team members: Tom Goodwin. Mark Marden and Tom Rose. and in furthering my understanding of antennas and electromagnetic phenomena. Pozar and Dr. Andrew Mandeville. Dr.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my advisor. Particular thanks go to Justin Creticos. Schaubert for giving me the opportunity to perform research under his guidance. the support of my family and friends has been pivotal in the completion of this thesis. My colleagues in the Antennas and Propagation Laboratory have been invaluable in both their technical and moral support. Eric Marklein. whose suggestions were extremely helpful in developing the designs. I would also like to thank Tyco Electronic Systems Division for funding this project and for fabricating and testing the prototype antennas. His patience. Finally. and Georgios Paraschos. and become a better engineer. I would also like to thank my committee members.

bandwidth and circular polarization pose major challenges when using traditional miniaturization techniques.. MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING M. HOLLAND. where dual frequency operation. Schaubert The desire to incorporate multiple frequency bands of operation into personal communication devices has led to much research on reducing the size of antennas while maintaining adequate performance. B..ABSTRACT MINIATURIZATION OF MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNAS FOR GPS APPLICATIONS MAY 2008 STEVEN S. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST Directed by: Professor Daniel H.E.C. Various loading methods have been studied to reduce the resonant frequency of the antenna – high permittivity dielectric loading.E. slot loading and cavity loading – while examining their effects on bandwidth and gain.E.S.S. vi .E. The objective of this thesis is to provide guidelines on what is achievable using these miniaturization methods and insight into how to implement them effectively. GPS is one such application.

... 7 Gain Considerations .............................2..................3........ 69 Optimized Cavity Backed.....3 1......................2 High Permittivity Performance Trends..................1...................................... vi LIST OF TABLES .......................................... 18 3............ 2 Overview of Thesis .1 1...........................................................3.........................................1 High Permittivity Dielectric Loading.......................1 2...........................................................................3 Quality Factor Considerations ..........................................................3 Cavity Loading ............................................................... Stacked Patch Design .......1 3..... 51 Optimized Slotted............2 Slot Loading Performance Trends ................................................ CP Stacked Patch Prototype .......................... v ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................... 4 SMALL ANTENNA CONSIDERATIONS ...... 66 3....... 22 3.......... INTRODUCTION............................... 6 2...............................................2................... Stacked Patch Design .....................................2 2............2 Cavity Loading Performance Trends ...... 1 Motivation for this Study ... LOADING METHODS ..4 2............ 22 3......................3 3.......................................................1.......................................... 62 3............1.. 37 Slot Loading ........................ 47 3............................1 3................................. Background of Microstrip Antennas ...1 3.................................................................................2 1. x CHAPTER 1..............................2 3............. 1 1.......... ix LIST OF FIGURES......................................... 2 GPS Antenna Challenges ............ 80 vii ..................................................................................................... 29 Optimized L-probe..................................................................... 26 Optimized Linearly Polarized Prototype Design ....................................... 15 Recent Research on Electrically Small Antennas ...................................................................................TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..........

....... E..... D.........................4.......................... I............................... 87 ADDITIONAL ANTENNA DESIGNS ........................................................................................ 118 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................ F.................................................................... B................................... 106 EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT FOR WIDE SLOTS ........ H.... C.................................................. 94 SLOT MAGNETIC FIELD VECTOR PLOTS .... DERIVATION OF MINIMUM Q LIMITS . 121 viii ................................. 91 HFSS CONDUCTIVITY CONSIDERATIONS .............. CONCLUSION ............................. 114 EFFECT OF SUBSTRATE THICKNESS ON RESONANT FREQUENCY................................................................. 85 APPENDICES A........................................................................................ 117 VERTICAL WALL LOADED ANTENNA ... G............................................... 104 MEASURED SLOTTED PROTOTYPE ANTENNAS ... 113 CAPACITOR LOADED PATCH ANTENNA .

...... 100 ix .... .LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1.......4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM..........5mm maximum element size...... 2.. * indicates 2mm maximum element size.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM......... All simulations run on 64 bit WinXP.. 2......... **indicates 0..... All simulations run on 64 bit WinXP........ 59 2 – Summarized results of the measured and simulated data.................... . .... 97 3 – Summary of comparison between simulated and measured data using different HFSS conductivity settings..................Comparison of the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth for three different slot shapes..........

....................... Substrate and superstrate are 100×100×3mm...........................Change in resonant frequency with relative permittivity................ ....... 17 7 – The effect on of loss resistance RL on radiation efficiency versus the length of an infinitesimal dipole relative to operating wavelength........................ .. 8 2 .......................Sphere enclosing an antenna structure.............. 20 9 ............. .. Predicted Frequency from equation 3.................................. 14 6 .............................................. .. ............. have 31×31×3mm superstrates...... as indicated....................... and (b) the set of TMn0 modes....................... (a) without a superstrate......... .......................... .............Comparison of the approximate (Chu) and exact (McLean....................... Collin) Q limits............................. showing the equivalent representation of the slot susceptance as an extension to the length of the transmission line...................... The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend........... and (b) with a superstrate............................... 26 12 .......Geometry of the 27×27mm square patch antenna model used for the permittivity variation.....................LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1 ......................... 17 8 – Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical 3dB bandwidth limits.........................Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical 2:1 VSWR bandwidth limits......... 23 11 ... 13 5 – The theoretical limits on the 3dB and 2:1 VSWR fractional bandwidths versus ka...................................... ......... 27 x ... The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend... 11 4 .......Radiation Resistance for infinitesimal dipole versus length............... 9 3 – The minimum Q for various levels of efficiency................ ...Circuit Schematic representation of the spherical TM modes.. ......5 is shown for comparison...............Transmission line model of microstrip patch antenna........ with (a) the TM01 mode.. Antennas are 27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and...... 21 10........

................. 36 23 .... have 31×31×3mm superstrates............ as indicated........ dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three layers..... dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three layers...................................... bottom patch = 15×15mm....... The top patch is 29...... 27 14 -Stacked patch design using dielectrics with εr = 50... 32 19 .Comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the linear prototype antenna on high permittivity dielectric.....Return loss performance of the linearly polarized 29×21×12mm GPS antenna on high permittivity dielectric materials............. .......... 34 22 .. Antennas are 27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and................Design layout of the high permittivity......... 29 16 ........... All dimensions are in millimeters......... bottom patch = 15×15mm......................5×11................5mm.. 33 20 .............. ................................ ....... 28 15 .... but longer substrates................ Dimensions: top patch = 11...........Change in 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with relative permittivity............ ..........13 ..... .. 31 18 ..........Return loss for antenna on εr = 50.................... showing the addition of an orthogonal feed and thinner................................ .... 34 21 .....5×11....................... ..Circularly polarized GPS prototype antenna on TMM10 dielectric material...... and the lower patch is 40×40mm....... .................................................... .. ............... Dimensions: top patch = 11.......... ...... 30 17 ........Simulation results for the broadside gain across both L2 and L1 bands............A step in the transformation from the linear antenna prototype to the CP version.Measured and simulated gain patterns at L1 band for linear prototype antenna.............. linearly polarized GPS antenna prototype................6mm in size.......... 38 25 .............5mm................................................................................... 36 24 ...... 38 xi ........................................................Measured and simulated gain patterns at L2 band for linear prototype antenna.........6mm×29...... ....Linearly polarized GPS antenna on high permittivity materials of εr = 25 and εr = 38..Diagram of the location and thickness of the AF-126 bonding epoxy layers used in fabrication of the linear prototype antenna...

..........Simulated broadside gain performance for the 41......................... 45 33 ......................HFSS model of the circularly polarized.5mm........ 42 30 ... Horizontal “L” probes are 1mm×5...... stacked patch GPS antenna prototype. 49 36 ...Comparison of the measured and simulated return loss performance of the circularly-polarized............... ..5×6........................ 40 28 ..................... ......5×6.... stacked patch antenna.... 50 37 ......................... stacked patch prototype antenna for both L2 and L1 bands...........................................175mm TMM10 substrate... the HFSS design simulations.........5×41................. stacked patch GPS prototype at both L1 and L2 bands......5mm circularly polarized Antenna. The antennas shown are the measured prototype.......... where the series inductance approximates the slot field behavior.Current distributions on the patch layer when the TM100 mode is excited (a) without slots and (b) with slots.... .Broadside RHCP gain vs. .......... 46 34 .............. stacked patch prototype GPS antenna..............26 ............................. and an HFSS simulated antenna modeling the epoxy boding layers....... . 44 32 ....... for both measured and simulated antennas....Drawing of the circularly polarized................ 47 35 ........ All dimensions are in millimeters................. The patterns were taken at the center frequency of each gain bandwidth...27×27mm patch antenna on a 31×31×3.............. with length τ and width ζ = 1mm.................... one at the lower patch and one at the layer with the horizontal section of the L probes............ .............................Spin-linear E-plane gain patterns for the L-probe fed........ with four slots cut into the patch surface..................Axial ratio for the circularly polarized.. ............... 41 29 .......5×41.. 51 xii .....Transmission line model of the slots. and an HFSS simulation modeling the whole top epoxy layer as an air layer......5mm circularly polarized.. .. . ......... Frequency over both the L1 and L2 bands for the L-feed............... stacked patch prototype antenna including the two 2mil thick AF-126 epoxy layers used to fabricate the antenna...................................................... stacked patch prototype antenna...................................................Simulated return loss for the 41..N-port lumped inductor approximation for the slotted patch............................ 39 27 .......... .................................... 43 31 ....................

...Change in resonant frequency for a 27×27mm patch vs... and (c... 62 48 – Dimensioned drawing for the optimized slotted........................................ (b..... ......... The slot widths are all ζ = 1mm......Smith chart for the slotted stacked patch design..........) without slots in the patch surface...........) gain with variation of slot length τ........................................................................) bandwidth.......... 64 50 .. 57 43 .......... showing the matching of the impedance loci....Various slot shapes studied to determine the performance compared to a rectangular slot.......... 52 39 – Change in (a) the resonant frequency.2). 64 xiii ................. 63 49 – Simulated return loss for the optimized slotted stacked patch design on TMM10 substrate material.......) the resonant frequency. ........................................... stacked patch antenna.......... The slot lengths are all τ = 9mm.... ............................. and (c) gain with variation of slot width ζ.........Isometric view of the optimized slotted..............38 – Change in (a.......... 54 40 .............. ................ The patch is 27×27mm on a 31×31×3mm substrate (εr = 9..............Patch antenna using two slots to achieve the desired resonant frequency.................................... 56 42 – Resonant frequency vs................ (b) bandwidth.................. .......................................................... .) with slots.... 59 45 .............. while leaving the centerline of the patch free for the feed probe....... ...... 55 41 ..175 mm substrate of TMM10 (εr = 9...... 60 47 .. .. 58 44 ............................... slot position showing the change in resonant frequency for three different slot lengths of 3mm...................Dimensioned drawings of the three slot shapes compared to observe effect of slot shape on bandwidth......... 59 46 ..................................... 6mm.... substrate (εr =9. ........................................................... and 9mm................................. .. (a....... Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3........ All dimensions are in millimeters............ and (b..2)......................175 mm substrate of TMM10 (εr = 9......... .............. Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3.2)..........2) thickness t.........Diagram of patch surface with slot positions varied along the resonant length of the antenna............................................... stacked patch antenna........Return loss of the simulated antennas with different slot shapes for comparison of bandwidth performance....

...5mm patch on substrates of thickness t and length α.. 72 58 .......... All dimensions are in millimeters............................................................................31...5×31...................Modified transmission line model for the microstrip patch antenna when a cavity is placed behind it.................5mm patch antennas with carrying substrate size α............. Antenna is mounted on an infinite ground plane... .............5mm < α < 40mm........Cavity backed 31..................... The cavity is recessed in an infinite ground plane............ 1mm wide slots...............27×27mm patch antenna with four 7mm long.....................5×31.... 66 53 . 74 60 – Change in resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed..... width α..........2) substrate has a thickness t and length α and width α.............5×31.................. .Change in resonant frequency for 31.... and is clad with metal on all four of the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity..............5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness t and length and width α..................51 – Simulated maximum gain at broadside versus frequency at L1 and L2 for the slotted.... ...................................................................... 65 52 – Simulated Axial Ratio at L2 and L1 for the Slotted Stacked Patch Antenna... 70 56 ................ Antennas have TMM10 substrates of thickness t = 7mm............ 68 54 ..................Change in resonant frequency for 31.......................................... Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.......... CC represents the effective capacitance of the cavity backing........................ The cavity is recessed in an infinite ground plane...... stacked patch antenna...........................5×31...................................... represented in gray..........5mm patch on substrates of thickness t and length and width 31..Change in resonant frequency for 31... 70 55 ........ slotted microstrip patch antenna................................... and the results are shown for antennas with and without a cavity backing....... The gray represents the metallization on all four of the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity..... The TMM10 (εr = 9............................. .........................5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness t and length and width α.... 71 57 ... .......... 73 59 ...... 75 xiv ..5×31.................

. 78 64 . All dimensions are in millimeters..... Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend................... slotted microstrip patch antenna... dual frequency antenna. 92 71 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for antenna comparison with the theoretical Q limits. ...........................................................Return Loss for the optimized cavity backed CP. 80 65 ....Optimized design of the cavity backed stacked patch GPS antenna on TMM10 (εr = 9.................................................... Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend......... 83 69 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for the 36×36×10mm antenna........... 93 72 ........................................ showing the location of slots in both the top and bottom patch layers....................2) dielectric substrate..... ..... .........................Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range.......... All dimensions are in millimeters.. ..Wireframe drawing of the 31×31×10mm stacked patch antenna........ Patch is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3.................. The stair step nature is due to bandwidth values in increments of 1MHz.. ................... 82 67 – Simulated realized gain at L1 and L2 for optimized cavity backed CP.....................Dimensioned drawing for the optimized cavity backed dual band........ .Axial ratio over the L1 and L2 band for the optimized cavity backed antenna.......................... slotted microstrip patch antenna............... .... ... slotted microstrip patch antenna...................175mm Rogers 5880 substrate............ All dimensions are in millimeters........................61 – Change in fractional 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed................................... .......................93×1mm....... 81 66 .... ...... CP............... 77 63 ................................ ......... 91 70 .......Change in broadside gain normalized to resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed... 97 xv ................................................ 82 68 ................. dual frequency antenna............ .................... stacked-patch GPS antenna..... 95 73 – Comparison of the return loss results for all 8 methods............ .. Horizontal “L” probes are 2....... Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend....... 76 62 – Change in broadside gain with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed............................................

..... ............. ......... 105 82 ..................Measured return loss for the 6 prototype slotted antennas........... 1mm wide slots in the patch surface.................... 103 79 ......................... 1mm wide slots..Vector field plot of the magnetic field in the x=0 plane of the patch in Figure 34b..... with no slots.......Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3... and the magnetic field (RED) inside the slot.............................175mm TMM10 substrate.175mm TMM10 substrate.......... with 9mm long.................. 108 86 ................. .Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.... The dimension on the first line of each label denotes the slot length.. 107 84 ................... This shows the concentration of currents at the end of the slot producing the strongest magnetic field..... showing the concentration of field in the slots......................... 98 75 – Comparison of simulation and measured data for the antenna with 9mm long...Plot of the magnitude of the H field at x=0 plane of the patch in Figure 34b.................. ..............................Vector plot showing the currents (YELLOW) on the patch surface around the slots............. ............... 1mm wide slots.............. with an air box of size 2a×2a×a...Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3. 100 77 – 27×27mm patch antenna with four 9mm long.......... 102 78 – Simulated return loss for air box volumes of size a=30mm to a=140mm......................................................... with 3mm long.......... ........................................ 99 76 ............... ........ 1mm wide slots...........................................................Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3..................... with 6mm long......................... ..............................74 – 27×27mm patch on 31×31×3.. 1mm wide slots on TMM10 substrate of size 31×31×3... ... 105 81 .... 104 80 .. ............. showing the field penetrating the patch through the slot......Comparison of HFSS simulation gains for the antenna with 9mm long..............175mm TMM10 substrate......... 108 xvi ................. 1mm wide slots. with four 9mm long...........175mm...... 107 85 ............ All antennas were mounted on a 12×12" ground plane..175mm TMM10 substrate......175mm TMM10 substrate....................... and the second line denotes the slot width......................... 106 83 ................... 1mm wide slots in the patch surface.. .......

................... 110 90 ..... 111 93 – Patch with four 9mm long....Transmission line model for slot cut in a patch surface when the width of the slot is much greater than the substrate thickness...... 113 96 ... ...............Transmit antenna mounted on tapered end of the far field range..... 111 92 ................ 116 98 ................ with 9mm long.......................... 1mm wide slots.... The ground plane is 12×12”..Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3. Patch is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3...... 1mm wide slots........... calculated using the modified transmission line model shown in Figure 96... The patch shown is on a 3mm thick substrate with 5mm wide slots.. 3mm wide slots.....Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3...............Transmission line model modified with the addition of a 2 lumped capacitors on the radiating slots of the microstrip patch antenna... with 9mm long..... 109 89 ..87 .... 114 97 – Resonant frequency behavior for varying the value of the lumped loading capacitor...... 117 100 ............. .......175mm Rogers 5880 substrate..175mm TMM10 substrate.... ............. 112 94 ................... 1mm wide slots mounted on AUT positioner in the far field range...... .......... .......Change in resonant frequency with substrate thickness for 27×27mm patch on an infinite substrate of TMM10 dielectric material......175mm TMM10 substrate................ 117 99 .... 1............. ..................................................... ............H-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long.............................................................. .....Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range........................5mm wide slots...... ...............Capacitively loaded antenna utilizing bent capacitive sections of the patch to generate a lower resonant frequency... of TMM10 dielectric material............. 109 88 ................. ...........E-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long.... thickness t....................Built transmit antenna for use in the far-field range......................... 112 95 ......... 118 xvii ......................... 110 91 ........ ..... ...........................Square 27×27mm patch antenna on an infinite substrate.........

........ Shown are the field components at L1... L2 bands in the x............................................................................ ..Return loss of the side wall loaded stacked patch antenna with L-probe feeds......101 ......... y directions and how when fed with 90° phase difference (j) generate proper CP at both bands..... 120 xviii ... ..Diagram of the tuning of both bands in both orthogonal directions when both patches were excited......... 119 102 ..........

Some of the benefits of microstrip patch antennas include [4] small profile. microstrip line feeds and proximity feeds. the broad E-plane patterns are also orthogonally orientated in space. Additionally. This creates an 1 . and interest was renewed in the first microstrip antenna proposed by Deschamps in 1953 [2]. Many feeding mechanisms are possible for feeding the microstrip patch structure. such as probe feeds. by changing the shape of the structure. When two orthogonal modes are excited on the antenna to produce circular polarization (required for GPS). microstrip antennas present major challenges to the designer due to an inherently narrow bandwidth. low weight and inexpensive fabrication. pattern. versatility in resonant frequency. and does not extend vertically from its mounting surface. providing broad coverage in both major planes. Much research has been done to overcome these limitations. where each method has advantages depending on the application. The compact size of the microstrip patch antenna is advantageous for the reception of GPS (Global Positioning System) signals by personal communication devices since it is planar. notably in increasing the bandwidth. The radiation pattern of the microstrip antenna has broad coverage in the E-plane with a maximum at broadside [4]. Despite these advantages. aperture feeds. and impedance can be achieved.CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1. which allows good coverage of signals from broadside down to near the horizon.1 Background of Microstrip Antennas The microstrip patch antenna first took form in the early 1970’s [1]. poor polarization purity and tolerance problems [3]. polarization.

Zhou et al [7] with a 38mm×38mm×20mm design. since many miniaturization methods only support a single linear 2 .8×5mm (1. None of these designs met all of the desired specifications. reception of circular polarization is desired with an axial ratio of less than 3dB over the specified gain bandwidth at each band. One challenge is the production of circular polarization with low axial ratio. The size was to be made as small as possible with a goal of 31. 1. Some recent work has been done investigating miniaturized microstrip GPS antennas. which limits potential design choices. and Guo [8] with a 36×80×6mm antenna.25×0. in general.approximately hemispherical pattern.2 Motivation for this Study The motivation for this study evolved from the desire to design a GPS antenna with VSWR 2:1 bandwidth greater than 5MHz at L1 (1. which is ideal for use in GPS. The gain bandwidth is defined with respect to gain flatness.3 GPS Antenna Challenges While miniaturization of microstrip antennas. such as Zhou et al [6] with a 31mm×31mm×12. Since GPS systems use circular polarization to maximize the received signal. here required as having a maximum ripple of ±1dB across a bandwidth of at least 20MHz for both L1 and L2.2”) as a total volume.8×31. is a process of critically choosing performance trade-offs. where multiple satellites are required to accurately determine location [5]. GPS presents some specific challenges.8mm stacked patch design.227GHz) when matched to a source impedance Zo of 50 .25×1. 1.575GHz) and L2 (1. with a goal of 30MHz.

The polarization specification. probably requires a two-axis symmetric geometry. Another limitation posed by GPS antennas is the bandwidth required. This is obtainable by a standard patch. due to its inherently low axial ratio bandwidth – which becomes even narrower as the bandwidth of each mode is decreased through miniaturization. respectively. many of the methods used to increase the 3 . the signal is encoded using spread spectrum. When multiple resonances are formed through different path lengths. limiting them to applications that only require a linear polarization. The higher order modes these patch shapes excite can have drastically varying gain patterns. While the actual GPS data occupies a very narrow bandwidth.26% and 1. such as U shaped slots. The two orthogonal probes may also lose isolation when higher order modes are excited. the patterns of these resonances are often out of alignment. there is a direct relationship between the bandwidth and the volume occupied by an antenna. As discussed in Chapter 2. which in general are different than that of the fundamental mode of the patch. and the radiation pattern tends to rotate and shift with changing frequency. this bandwidth translates to (assuming 2:1 VSWR) a fractional bandwidth of 1. with two feeds orientated orthogonally in space and fed in quadrature in order to generate clean circular polarization over a wide bandwidth. Consequently. A single probe feeding arrangement on a diagonal axis to generate orthogonal modes is not suitable. Another family of techniques that do not satisfy the polarization requirements are modified patch shapes that excite multiple modes.polarization.63%. but such bandwidths become extremely difficult to obtain when the antenna size is limited. therefore. resulting in a transmit signal with a bandwidth of approximately 20MHz. At L1 and L2. or E-shaped patches.

and finally a comparison is presented between the theoretical limits and the bandwidths achieved with the successful designs from this study. L2 band GPS system. and metallic backing cavities. Some of the gain implications for small antennas are discussed. starting with the Chu analysis and comparing his solution to exact solutions carried out by Collin and McLean. The loading methods explored are high permittivity dielectric materials. slots in the patch layer. which is below the noise power of most systems.4 Overview of Thesis In this thesis. 1. loading the antenna with lossy materials. Chapter 2 provides a theoretical overview of the derived limits on the Q factor of antennas. GPS relies on spread spectrum. coplanar parasitic resonator patches and thick substrates. As a result. studies were conducted to examine three miniaturization methods that have been used to generate potential design solutions for an L1. Finally. are not viable bandwidth enhancement methods for this application. for a GPS system it is desired to have gain of at least isotropic (0dB). the signal is at a low power level of -130dBm [9].bandwidth of a patch antenna rely on more efficient use of the antenna volume. or an increase in this volume through stacked patches. and provides optimized designs using each loading method to show what is achievable by using one or more of these loading methods to miniaturize the 4 . Chapter 3 presents studies undertaken to characterize some of the effects of the three loading methods. and in addition to the wide bandwidth needed. either as dielectric materials with high loss tangents (tanδ) or lumped resistors.

patch antenna. Included are both simulation results and measured results from prototypes that were built and tested over the course of this study 5 .

A discussion of some pertinent performance considerations provides useful benchmarks on what is fundamentally possible for the designer. At very small sizes. loops) and travelling wave structures (e.227GHz. Since this study involved antennas operating at a minimum of 1. and only efficiently over limited frequency ranges. equivalent to the definition that ka < 1. 6 .CHAPTER 2 SMALL ANTENNA CONSIDERATIONS It is well known that the size of the antenna will impact its performance. This increased bandwidth results from the antennas creating a smooth transition to couple energy from a guided wave to free space radiation as it propagates through the structure. specifically in terms of bandwidth and gain. Since their size is less than λ. Their larger size also allows for more directive antennas. helixes. Conversely.9cm – much larger than any of the antennas considered in this study.g. horns. Travelling wave antennas range in size from a wavelength up to many 10’s of wavelengths in size. antennas can be split into two main types – resonant structures (e. dipoles. commonly defined as one that occupies a volume of less than a “radian sphere” (a sphere of radius a = λo/2π) [4]. and in general have wider bandwidths. due to the smaller aperture size. microstrip patch antennas. In general. spirals). resonant antennas couple energy to free space via a structure proportionate to the operating wavelength. they also tend to have lower directivity. These antennas typically have dimensions on the order of λ/2 and multiples thereof. a class of antennas are known as “electrically small”. a radian sphere has radius equal to r = λo/2π = 3.g. where stored energy dominates.

For an antenna. Fundamentally. also referred to as simply “Q”.1 Quality Factor Considerations Bandwidth is often one of the most important design specifications to consider when an antenna has a size restriction. which has been widely cited as the theoretical limitation to the bandwidth obtainable by antennas of a given size. The limits of small antenna performance were first analyzed by Wheeler in 1947 using lumped inductor and capacitor modeling [13]. Then. A helpful figure of merit is the concept of the “quality factor”. of a circuit – in this case an antenna. which induces large currents on the antenna structure – leading to high ohmic losses and narrow bandwidth. Q is important because it helps define inherent limits on the physical size of the antenna with respect to antenna bandwidth and gain. and P f is the power dissipated in radiation.e.2. in antenna design Q is defined as the ratio of the total time averaged energy stored in a given volume to the power radiated (i. respectively.1) Wm > We where We and Wm are the time averaged stored electric and magnetic energies. and is defined as  2ωWe   Pf Q=  2ωWm  Pf  We > Wm (2. power “loss”) [11]. Chu [14] developed a ladder network model relating the Q of an antenna to its physical size. The model enclosed an imaginary sphere of radius “a” around the entire 7 . in 1948. A High Q implies that there is a large amount of energy stored in the reactive near field [12].

Figure 1 . 8 . shown in Figure 2. and expanded the fields generated outside of this sphere in spherical harmonics. shown in Figure 1. therefore requiring only the set of TMn0 modes. essentially the modes of free space.Sphere enclosing an antenna structure. A linear antenna with an omnidirectional pattern was assumed inside the sphere. This model was extracted from the continued fraction generated by the Legendre polynomials used to expand the fields. Further. This separation into lumped components is possible since the modes outside the sphere are orthogonal. and there is no power coupling between modes – each mode can be considered individually and its contribution superimposed with the other modes.antenna structure. the infinite set of discrete spherical TM modes were modeled as a ladder network of L and C components terminated in a resistor R (representing power flow in radiation).

as Chu states. he instead used a simple second order RLC circuit to model all of the TMn0 antenna modes around a small frequency range. Q is extremely tedious to calculate for the higher order modes. resulting in more average power coupled to free space. These circuits show the TM modes to be high-pass in nature. and (b) the set of TMn0 modes. increasing the size of the enclosing sphere is c analogous to raising the frequency. with (a) the TM01 mode. since each L and C are proportional to a (c = speed of light). It was shown in [14] that as ka decreases 9 . and. Since.Circuit Schematic representation of the spherical TM modes.(a) (b) Figure 2 .

3) Interestingly. equation 3 (see Appendix A for derivation). ideal antenna. The results of his analysis show that the minimum Q can be approximated as shown in equation 2. except he based his Q calculation solely on the stored electric energy found. This led to the realization that the lowest order modes.2 [15]. derivations have been performed using more direct methods of calculating the Q of an antenna.  1 + 2(ka)2  (ka)3 (1 + (ka)2 )  Q≈  1 for ka << 1  (ka)3  (2. McLean [15] found the exact Q of the TM10 using a similar subtraction of the propagating energy from the total energy. instead of using the circuit approximation employed by Chu. in 1996. Collin [12] calculated the exact Q of the first three TM modes by subtracting the energy associated with the power flow (radiated power) from the total energy. the Q becomes extremely large. 10 .below a mode number index. from Chu. Their calculations arrived at an equivalent expression for the Q of the TM10 mode. Q= 1 1 + 3 k a ka 3 (2. thereby finding the electric and magnetic stored energies. since any of the higher order modes increase the stored energy substantially when ka < 1. this same expression can be obtained by using the circuit approximation for the TM10 shown in Figure 2a. This Q is also only accurate when a single resonance is considered. In 1964. TE10 and TM10 have the lowest possible Q. However.2) This shows that the Q factor of the antenna is approximately proportional to the inverse of the volume it occupies. More recently. This analysis assumes a lossless.

but can be modified to reflect the reduction in Q from losses by multiplying the Q by the antenna efficiency [16]
1   1 Q = ηr  3 3 +  ka  k a

(2.4)

where ηr is the antenna radiation efficiency. It is important to account for the loss, as an antenna can readily be loaded via lumped resistors or lossy materials to achieve bandwidths that exceed the limits given for a lossless antenna, and may otherwise mistakenly appear to invalidate the calculated Q limits. Figure 3 shows the effect of efficiency on the Q limits.
10
3

Q versus ka for various efficiencies eff = eff = eff = eff = eff = eff = 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 5%

10

2

10

Q

1

10

0

10

-1

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5 ka

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1

Figure 3 – The minimum Q for various levels of efficiency.

11

Up to this point, it has been assumed that a linear antenna occupied the volume enclosed by the sphere, but as noted by Chu [14], Wheeler [13], Collin [12] and McLean [15], the antenna Q for dual polarizations exciting TE and TM modes is approximately half that of a single polarization (at very small ka <<1, QTE+TM ≈1/2(ka)3). McLean [15] has an especially lucid treatment of this phenomenon, showing that the contribution to stored electric energy increases a slight amount when both the TE10 and TM10 modes are excited, whereas the radiated power doubles. This derivation (see Appendix A) results in equation 2.5.
1 1 2  Q=  3 3 +  2  k a ka 

(2.5)

This applies more appropriately for antennas with a single feed, and antennas with high cross-pol, as an equation in [17] provides the more general Q relationship as

 1  1 2 Q = ηr   3 3 +   1 + γ   k a ka 

(2.6)

where γ is the ratio of power in the two polarizations. For this study, where circular polarization is achieved using two orthogonal feeds with quadrature phasing, the Q of each port is only affected by a single linear polarization, thus power is radiated in only one polarization and stored in only one polarization per port, and the VSWR bandwidth seen at the input of each port does not increase. A comparison of the approximate Chu solution and the exact solutions are shown in Figure 4.

12

10

2

Theoretical Q Limits vs. ka McLean/Collin Chu McLean CP

10

1

Q 10
0

10

-1

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1 ka

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

2

Figure 4 - Comparison of the approximate (Chu) and exact (McLean, Collin) Q limits.

The approximate Chu limit and the exact solution given by McLean and Collin have very good agreement when ka << 1, but begin to diverge as ka nears 1. Interestingly, the TM01 mode should have the lowest Q out of all of the modes, as Chu found, but the approximation that takes into account higher order modes gives a lower Q than the exact – stressing the limitations of the approximation used by Chu in his derivation. One method of estimating an antenna’s quality factor is to use the input impedance at the terminals of a tuned antenna as it varies with frequency. In [18], Yaghjian and Best developed an approximate relationship between the impedance
Z (ω ) = R (ω ) + jX (ω ) of an antenna and the Q of an antenna defined as

13

fractional bandwidth = fupper − flower fo = ∆f 1 = fo Q (2.9) where FBWV is the desired bandwidth at s:1 VSWR. equation 2. For single band antennas (and for Q >> 1).8) The 3dB bandwidth is equivalent to a VSWR bandwidth of 5.5 2 Figure 5 – The theoretical limits on the 3dB and 2:1 VSWR fractional bandwidths versus ka.8. the Q is often used to approximate the fractional 3dB bandwidth [4] as shown in equation 2. 14 .5 1 ka 1. The bandwidth of the antenna is therefore fundamentally bound by theoretically derived limits.7) where R '(ωo ) and X '(ωo ) are the frequency derivatives of the resistive and reactive components. but for evaluating the Q with bandwidths defined by different VSWR levels.5 1 ka 1. X (ωo )  ωo Q(ωo ) ≈ R '(ωo )2 +  X '(ωo ) +  2 R(ωo ) ωo   2 (2.9 can be used [16] Q (ωo ) ≈ 2 β FBWV (ωo ) where β = s −1 ≤1 2 s (2.5 2 10 -1 McLean/Collin Chu 0 0. 10 2 3dB Fractional Bandwidth Versus ka 10 2 2:1 VSWR Fractional Bandwidth Versus ka % Bandwidth 10 0 % Bandwidth McLean/Collin Chu 10 1 10 1 10 0 10 -1 0 0.828:1. with the linear polarization cases shown in Figure 5.

this is not the only factor working against the gain of small antennas. and will have a directivity pattern that broadens.11) . making ohmic losses even more important as they become a sizable fraction of the overall input resistance of an antenna. that a large aperture will generate higher directivity (and therefore. and stronger fields near the antenna contribute to the stored energy. It is related to directivity (and therefore gain). An additional reduction in gain is caused by the decreasing radiation resistance as the size of the antenna is reduced. assuming equal loss. and is related to the size of an antenna. The radiation efficiency can be expressed as [10] ηr = 15 Rr Rr + RL (2.10) While for small antennas the effective aperture size is. reducing the bandwidth. However. the effective aperture size will also decrease.2 Gain Considerations Fundamental to antenna theory is the relationship between the radiating aperture size and gain – specifically. and looks more like an omnidirectional antenna as size is further reduced. and is defined as [10] D= 4π Aeff λ2 (2. the directivity will be lower than that of a regular antenna. as operating frequency decreases for a fixed antenna size. This increases the Q of the antenna [19]. contributing to conductive losses.2. in general. The currents of the antenna are confined to a smaller area on the antenna surface. For miniaturized antennas. The effective aperture of an antenna relates how large of an area over which an antenna efficiently accepts an incoming signal. higher gain) than a smaller aperture. larger than the physical aperture size.

which has a radiation resistance given by [4] l  Rr = 80π   λ 2 2 (2.001 < l/λ < 0.05). and a minimum of 0.0008 . for a range of dipole lengths between λ/1000 and λ/20 (0.where Rr represents the radiation resistance and RL represents the losses in the antenna. Staying with the example of an infinitesimal dipole. the radiation resistance is a maximum of 2 . An example of a small antenna with low radiation efficiency is that of an infinitesimal dipole. as shown in Figure 7. The losses are typically a result of the conductors and dielectric materials.12) Thus. but the efficiency is calculated using four different equivalent loss impedances in the antenna model. which are minimized using dielectric materials with as low loss as possible and high-quality conductors. shown in Figure 6. This small radiation resistance is also important when the loss of the antenna structure is taken into account. 16 . the same antenna length variation is considered.

Radiation Resistance for infinitesimal dipole versus length.04 0. 17 .01Ω RL = 0.01 0.2 Radiation Resistance [ Ω ] 1.025 0.03 0.5 0 0 0.1Ω RL = 1Ω RL = 10Ω Figure 7 – The effect on of loss resistance RL on radiation efficiency versus the length of an infinitesimal dipole relative to operating wavelength.005 0.04 0.045 0.05 l/ λ RL = 0. 100 Radiation Efficiency ηr 80 60 40 20 0 0.015 0.5 1 0.02 0.05 Figure 6 .02 l/λ 0.035 0.03 0.01 0.

The gain will already be limited by the size of the antenna and the reduced radiation resistance. Gain can be traded for bandwidth fairly easily by loading an antenna with lossy material. Hum et al [20] studied the effects of resistively loading a microstrip patch antenna. 2. and a 18 . methods of miniaturization often seek solutions that optimize bandwidth by making the most efficient use of the volume enclosed by the antenna. or a lumped resistor. ideally maximizing both gain and bandwidth. Karmaker [21] developed a design for a cavity backed circular microstrip patch antenna that incorporated an air gap between the substrate and ground plane.2. but does so over a small area. Zhou et al has produced a number of small GPS antenna designs. The use of meander lines parallels the phenomenon behind slot loading. which lowers the Q and increases the bandwidth. but reduces the gain. with a 33mm×14mm (diameter × height) circular stacked patch configuration in [23]. an LC matching network. Wang and Tsai [22] investigated the use of meander-line loading of the patch antenna which effectively increases the length of the current paths. and it will also contribute to the noise temperature of the antenna.3 Recent Research on Electrically Small Antennas There has been much interest in reducing the size of antennas. which is discussed in section 3. losses in the antenna should be minimized. with the objective to find loading locations that provided the best tradeoff between reduction in gain and increase in bandwidth. so for successful miniaturization of an antenna. a loading capacitor and a ferrite loading bead to reduce the size of the antenna and retain fairly good bandwidth performance. As a result.This efficiency problem will impact the gain.

As a comparison. especially in a GPS system where noise considerations require a proper match.4 stacked patch design [6]. shown for comparison. The Bode-Fano criteria indicates that the 3dB bandwidth can be broadened at the expense of a good impedance match. [23]. none accomplished a match of 2:1 over the bands of interest. but this is mainly due to the patch geometry only filling a fraction of the sphere enclosing the antenna. both of which cover L1. neither band has a 2:1 VSWR match. Figure 8 shows that Zhou’s antenna. All of the optimized designs presented in this thesis obtain 2:1 VSWR matches at both L1 and L2 bands. some of the more successful design approaches in this study are plotted. notably the two designs of Zhou.31×31×12. 95MHz. L2 and L5 by reducing constraints on the VSWR bandwidth. and emphasizes the difference between the antennas presented in this thesis and those in the literature. has the largest 3dB bandwidth of all of the antennas considered. et al. but they achieve their large bandwidths via a poor match at the bands of interest. Included are two antennas of Zhou. Figure 9 shows that for the same antenna. shown for comparison.all of these antennas are planar. None of the designs approach the line. showing their proximity to the bandwidth limits in Figure 8 and Figure 9. which was one of the design motivations for this study. In antenna design it is normally desired to have a match of at least 2:1 VSWR. It is noted that while much of the research presented in this section has led to successful designs. There are many designs in the literature that achieve the wide gain bandwidths required for GPS. 19 .

The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend. B.5 0.2) L1 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.3.2) Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L1 (section 3.4 0.2. L1 31X31X10mm L probe Design (App.2) L2 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3. antenna 2).2 0.1 0 1 2 3 % 3dB bandwidth 4 5 6 McLean/Collin Chu Optimized Slot Loaded L2 (section 3.3) Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L1 (section 3.2) Zhou 31X31X12. antenna 1). L1 Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L2 (section 3. antenna 2).1. 20 .6 ka 0.3) 36X36X10mm L probe Design (App.8mm L2 Zhou 31X31X12.9 0.1 0.8 0.2) Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L2 (section 3.2) Optimized Slot Loaded L1 (section 3.1.3. B.1. L2 36X36X10mm L probe Design (App. L2 31X31X10mm L probe Design (App. B. B.7 0.3 0.2.1.8mm L1 Zhou 33X14mm L2 Zhou 33X14mm L1 Figure 8 – Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical 3dB bandwidth limits. antenna 1).

3 0.8mm L2 Zhou 31X31X12.5 Figure 9 . The antennas are denoted by the symbols in the legend. L2 31X31X10mm L probe Design (App.2) Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L1 (section 3.Comparison of designs developed throughout this study and the theoretical 2:1 VSWR bandwidth limits.2) L2 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.2.8 0.1.2) L1 Linearly Polarized Prototype (section 3.1.6 ka 0.2) Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L2 (section 3. B. antenna 2).3) Optimized High Permittivity L-probe L1 (section 3.9 0.7 0.2) Zhou 31X31X12.1.2.3.4 0. B.3) 36X36X10mm L probe Design (App.5 0.1.2 0.8mm L1 Zhou 33X14mm L2 Zhou 33X14mm L1 1.5 1 2:1 VSWR % Bandwidth McLean/Collin Chu Optimized Slot Loaded L2 (section 3. antenna 1). L2 36X36X10mm L probe Design (App.1 0 0. 21 .3. L1 Optimized Cavity-Backed Antenna L2 (section 3.1 0. antenna 2). B.2) Optimized Slot Loaded L1 (section 3. B. antenna 1). L1 31X31X10mm L probe Design (App.

shown in equation 3.CHAPTER 3 LOADING METHODS 3.1 High Permittivity Dielectric Loading One of the most direct means of reducing the size of a microstrip antenna is to increase the relative permittivity (εr) of the dielectric used for the substrate material. accounts for the capacitance formed between the edge of the patch and the ground plane. Gr . The conductance. c= 1 εµ = co ε r µr (3. whereas the susceptance. The lowering of resonant frequency results from the relationship between the speed of light and the dielectric permittivity. as the relative permittivity is increased.1) Thus. where the patch radiator length is modeled as a length L of transmission line. and the radiating edges are modeled as slots with an admittance Y = Gr + jB. these loaded structures are said to be “electrically larger” than their unloaded counterparts of the same physical size. this slower speed means an object loaded with dielectric materials of εr > 1 will have a lower resonant frequency than an unloaded identical size structure.1. The performance of a microstrip patch antenna can be approximated using a transmission line model. the speed of light decreases. Figure 10 [24]. Therefore. jB. For a resonant structure. accounts for the radiation from the slot. 22 .

2 represents an effective relative permittivity єreff. [25].5 [4]. showing the equivalent representation of the slot susceptance as an extension to the length of the transmission line. The resonant frequency of the antenna can be calculated from this model using equations 3. Equation 3.Figure 10. which is a 23 .Transmission line model of microstrip patch antenna.2-3.

5.3) The effective length Leff can be calculated using the results of equation 3. fr = 2 ( Leff co ) ε reff (3.264  h  W  − 0.412 (ε (ε reff reff W  + 0.5 denotes the resonant frequency of the dominant TM001. without adding complexity to the metal patch. Leff = L + 2 ∆ L (3.3)  + 0.modified relative permittivity value that accounts for the fields fringing in the air above the substrate material. ε reff = ε r +1 ε r −1 2 + 2 1 h 1 + 12 W (3.3.8  h  (3. 24 . This allows an antenna to be miniaturized significantly. typically the excited mode for patch antennas.4) This allows the resonant frequency to be calculated using the new effective length. since a simple rectangular patch can be etched onto high permittivity substrate to realize a smaller size for a given operating frequency.258 )  + 0. The resonant frequency and the permittivity are inversely related. requiring no modification to its shape. such that increasing the permittivity decreases the resonant frequency of the patch antenna. This can be beneficial for manufacturing and for mechanical robustness. as shown in equation 3. ∆L = h0.2) This modified relative permittivity value is then used to find the length extension ∆L that accounts for the fringing fields at the each of the radiating edges.5) Equation 3.

the substrate size must also be reduced. Often high permittivity dielectric materials are ceramic. For example. or FR4. For Rogers 5880.2 +/. bandwidth and gain will be adversely affected.0. The ceramic materials can be difficult to work with compared to more common substrate materials such as Duroid. the effective aperture size is reduced. the relative permittivity is specified as εr = 2. which are brittle. which traditionally is one of the advantages in using a microstrip antenna.9%.02. they involve miniaturizing the patch radiator itself but not the actual substrate around the patch.0022 (at 10GHz).0009 (at 10GHz). adding complexity to the manufacturing process. The tolerances on the relative permittivity become more significant as the permittivity is increased. While the results presented do in fact show an increase in gain. Also. As the size of the antenna decreases. by increasing substrate permittivity or by the other loading methods discussed below. which is a tolerance of 0. Another set of drawbacks for high permittivity materials involve their mechanical properties and material tolerances.2) has a loss tangent tanδ=0.As the size of the antenna decreases. loss in the dielectric material tends to be higher for the ceramic dielectrics. There have been some efforts to use high permittivity superstrate loading (in the range of εr = 80) of microstrip antennas to recover some of the gain lost by the reduction in size [26]. For true miniaturization. 25 . Rogers TMM10 (εr = 9. Chapter 2 provided a theoretical basis for this intrinsic relationship and this chapter contains examples of loading methods that show the balance between size and performance. lowering directivity. This weakens the robustness of the antenna. The result is that the higher permittivity superstrate increases the aperture size by utilizing the large substrate around the patch antenna. fragile materials. whereas Rogers 5880 (PTFE) has a loss tangent of tanδ=0.

1 High Permittivity Performance Trends To show the relationships between permittivity. (a) without a superstrate. and can generate significant differences between predicted and measured performance. 40.230. a study considered relative permittivity between εr = 1 and εr = 25. which is a tolerance of 2. TMM10 has a relative permittivity specified as εr = 9. 3. The results were generated through HFSS simulations.5%. and higher will have larger tolerances of the actual permittivity. and (b) with a superstrate. Figure 11. 26 . whereas dielectric materials of εr = 30.Geometry of the 27×27mm square patch antenna model used for the permittivity variation. Figure 11 . with a 100×100×3mm substrate and a 27×27mm square patch.1. and resonant frequency. TMM10 is only a modest increase in permittivity. Substrate and superstrate are 100×100×3mm. The antennas are identical in size. with and without a 100×100×3mm superstrate as indicated. 50.2 +/. in Figure 12 and Figure 13. bandwidth. This is a large variation.0.Conversely.

5 and is plotted for comparison. Antennas are 27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and.5 are consistently lower than those of the HFFS simulations. 27 . Antennas are 27×27mm on 31×31×3mm substrates and.5 is shown for comparison. Predicted Frequency from equation 3. 300 2:1 VSWR Bandwidth [MHz] 250 200 150 100 50 0 5 10 15 Relative Permittivity εr 20 25 With Superstrate Without Superstrate ~ ε-3/2 r Figure 13 .5 4 3 2 1 5 10 15 Relative Permittivity εr 20 25 Figure 12 . the resonant frequency decreases at a rate proportional to1 / ε r .Change in 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with relative permittivity. have 31×31×3mm superstrates.5 Resonant Frequency [GHz] With Superstrate Without Superstrate Equation 3.Change in resonant frequency with relative permittivity. As the permittivity is increased in Figure 12. The resonant frequency was calculated using equation 3. as indicated. The frequencies calculated with equation 3. have 31×31×3mm superstrates. as indicated. showing good agreement with the simulations.

one of which is shown in Figure 14. Figure 13 shows that the bandwidth decreases at a rate proportional to єr-3/2. which can be explained by equation 2. dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three layers. bottom patch = 15×15mm. A few designs successfully employed this method. the bandwidth decreases at a faster rate than the resonant frequency. Figure 14 -Stacked patch design using dielectrics with εr = 50. Further. With increasing permittivity for an antenna of fixed size. High εr materials have been used as a substrate and a superstrate to take advantage of this miniaturization. as seen in Figure 15. since the patch element has the same permittivity dielectric both above and below. the simulations performed with superstrates show less reduction in effective єr compared to the simulations without superstrates. or B~ (ka)3.2. which results in a lower effective єr. which states that the Q (and therefore bandwidth) is proportional to the inverse of the volume of the antenna.5mm. 28 .5×11. Dimensions: top patch = 11. Truncated substrates are used in the HFSS simulations. The antenna was miniaturized to a very small size (19×19×5mm total volume) with the use of such a high relative dielectric constant. where both configurations make the patch electrically smaller. but exhibited extremely narrow bandwidth.since an infinite extent substrate is assumed in the equation.

where resonances at the L1 and L2 bands were obtained by tuning one of the bands on each of the orthogonal TM010 and TM100 modes of a rectangular patch.6 Figure 15 .1.2 Optimized Linearly Polarized Prototype Design Initially. high permittivity dielectric materials with εr = 40-50 were investigated as potential means of miniaturization. shown in Figure 16.5×11. and have been explored for use in two prototypes.4 Frequency [GHz] 1.0 -2 -4 S11 [dB] -6 -8 -10 -12 1. However. dielectrics =19×19mm with 5mm total thickness of all three layers. Many designs were attempted using very high permittivity dielectrics (єr =50 in this example) and were found to be too narrowband for this application.2 1. 29 . Dimensions: top patch = 11. After many design attempts realized 2-3MHz 2:1 VSWR bandwidths in the best cases. more modest relative permittivities were considered. many examples using lower relative permittivities of εr = 9. From this study a linearly polarized prototype was designed and built. 3. bottom patch = 15×15mm.5mm.2-30 have shown some promise.3 1.Return loss for antenna on εr = 50.5 1.

Linearly polarized GPS antenna on high permittivity materials of εr = 25 and εr = 38. over the widest bandwidth. the substrate thickness was then increased incrementally to 8mm until a bandwidth of at least 5MHz 2:1 VSWR was obtained at both the L1 and L2 bands. The dimensioned antenna is shown in Figure 30 . With the patch tuned in this configuration. Finally. was added to tune out the inductance caused by the long feed probe in the thick substrate. and also to provide a better match between the patch and the free space impedance.Figure 16 . and the superstrate is εr = 38 dielectric. a disc coplanar with the patch. The substrate was truncated to be the same width and length as the patch itself in order to minimize the potential for surface wave excitation due to the high permittivity dielectric and thick substrate. The substrate dielectric was chosen to provide miniaturization while not decreasing the bandwidth as severely as the higher permittivity materials. a capacitive feed element. The substrate is εr = 25 dielectric. The εr =38 dielectric layer was then added as a loading superstrate to further decrease the resonant frequency. and was optimized in size to provide a good impedance match to 50 17.

and 15MHz at L1. The antenna is shown to have a 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 8MHz at L2. All dimensions are in millimeters. where close proximity of the clearance holes can lead to coupling between adjacent probes. One advantage of a single feed design is the freedom of tuning without the potential for coupling to another feed port. The antenna was simulated using Ansoft HFSS using PEC metallic surfaces (see Appendix C).Design layout of the high permittivity. especially when using capacitive discs. linearly polarized GPS antenna prototype. and on an infinite ground plane.Figure 17 . 31 .

which takes into account mismatch losses. 32 . The maximum gain is 5dB at each band. The broadside realized gain is shown in Figure 19 for both the x-polarization and ypolarization (see Figure 16 for coordinate axis orientation). the polarizations of the gain are also on two orthogonal axes.Return loss performance of the linearly polarized 29×21×12mm GPS antenna on high permittivity dielectric materials. and at L1 the gain flatness bandwidth is 33MHz.35 1. both above 3. which is not taken into account on this gain calculation.65 1. and the cross-pol is shown to be below -16dB over both bands.2 1.55 1.6 1. An additional GPS link budget consideration for this antenna is the 3dB reduction in signal when the linearly polarized antenna is used to receive a CP signal. Since each band utilizes a different orthogonal mode on the patch.3 1.25 1. Figure 19 shows that at L2 the gain flatness bandwidth of +/-1dB is 19MHz.2dB over each band.45 1.5 Frequency [GHz] 1.4 1.7 Figure 18 .Return Loss of High Permittivity Linear Prototype 0 -5 8MHz Bandwidth -10 S11 [dB] 15MHz Bandwidth -15 -20 -25 -30 1.

some using the AF-126 bonding epoxy (єr = 4. Figure 20 shows the location of the bonding layers in the prototype antennas. 33 .6 Frequency [GHz] 1. and some without the bonding epoxy layers.Simulation results for the broadside gain across both L2 and L1 bands.54 Gain at L1 Band X pol Y pol 19MHz Gain Flatness 33MHz Gain Flatness 1.3 1.2 Realized Gain [dB] X pol Y pol 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 1. held together instead with tape.5) to adhere the dielectric layers together. prototype antennas were fabricated and tested at Tyco Electronic Systems Division.Gain at L2 Band 10 5 0 Realized Gain [dB] -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 1. Multiple prototypes were fabricated.58 1.56 1. In addition to the simulations used in designing the structure.62 Figure 19 .25 Frequency [GHz] 1.

2 Figure 21 .5 1.Diagram of the location and thickness of the AF-126 bonding epoxy layers used in fabrication of the linear prototype antenna. The resonant frequencies for the prototype built without the epoxy layer match up closely with the HFSS simulation.3 1. At L2 the measured result shows the VSWR dips just below 2:1.Figure 20 . At L1 the 34 .6 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1. Without Epoxy Layers 4 4 With Epoxy Layers 3 VSWR VSWR 3 2 2 1 Measured Simulated 0 1. but is not nearly the same bandwidth as the simulation predicted.4 1. A comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the prototype with epoxy bonding layers and without the epoxy layers is presented in Figure 21. but the impedance matching of the prototype antenna differs drastically from the simulation.2 1.3 1.7 0 1.4 1.6 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.Comparison between the measured and simulated VSWR for the linear prototype antenna on high permittivity dielectric.7 1 Measured Simulated 1.5 1.

match is very poor, with the measured VSWR result only reaching 3:1 over a small bandwidth, clearly not covering the same bandwidth as the simulation. For the prototype with the bonding layers, the resonant frequency is tuned slightly higher than that of the simulation at both L1 and L2 bands, and the match is also much different than that of the simulations. These prototypes showed that the bonding layers shift the resonant frequency upward, and the simulation does not fully account for their effects. The impedance match of both prototypes is not what the simulations predicted, and this may be a result of two factors: the dielectric materials were only modeled with the relative permittivity value (as was done with the epoxy), ignoring the dielectric losses, and there may be further uncertainty in the actual relative permittivity of the material used; and the prototypes may have some mechanical tolerances associated with them, such as uneven bonding of the dielectric layers, or air pockets in the epoxy layers that are not accounted for in the simulation. All of these are unknowns that would require further adjustment in subsequent prototype versions when working with this high permittivity material, such as tuning the resonant frequency of the simulated antennas to be slightly lower than desired, to compensate for the increase in frequency from the epoxy layers. The gain patterns were measured, and are plotted at the resonant frequencies indicated in Figure 21, and compared to the HFSS simulated patterns, the results of which are shown in Figure 22 and Figure 23. Note that the HFSS simulations were performed on an infinite ground plane, so there is no comparison for the back-lobe radiation. The prototypes without epoxy bonding layers were also only measured over -90° < θ < 90°.

35

L2 E Plane Gain Pattern With Epoxy -30 -60o
o 10 0o dB 30o 0 -10 -20 -30 -40

L2 E-Plane Gain Pattern Without Epoxy -30
o

0o dB 10
0 -10 -20 -30 -40

30o 60o

60o

-60o

-90o

-120o -150o

180

-40 -30 -20 120o -10 0 10 dB 150o o

90o

-90o

-120o -150o Measured Simulation

180

90o -40 -30 -20 120o -10 0 10 dB 150o o

Figure 22 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L2 band for linear prototype antenna.
L1 E-Plane Gain Pattern With Epoxy -30 -60o
o 10 0o dB 0 -10 -20 -30 -40

L1 E-Plane Gain Pattern Without Epoxy -30
o

30

o

0o dB 10
0 -10 -20 -30 -40

30o 60o

60o

-60o

-90o

-120o -150o

180

-40 -30 -20 120o -10 0 10 dB 150o o

90o

-90o

-120o -150o Measured Simulation

180

90o -40 -30 -20 120o -10 0 10 dB 150o o

Figure 23 - Measured and simulated gain patterns at L1 band for linear prototype antenna.
The patterns shown are typical of the E-plane pattern of microstrip antennas, with a broad beamwidth and a hemispherical pattern. At L2 there is approximately 3dB maximum 36

gain at broadside, and at L1 approximately 5dB maximum gain at broadsize, with significant back-lobe radiation for the measured results. The measured and simulated gains have good agreement at broadside. Even though the match is not the same over each band for measured and simulated results, a 3:1 VSWR match is an insertion loss of only 1.3dB, which explains why the maximum gain is still fairly close to the simulation at both L1 and L2 bands. Normally, circular polarization is desired for a GPS antenna, but on some portable handsets, such as cell phones or tablet PCs, linear polarization can be tolerated when propagation effects such as multipath are the dominant form of signal reception due to a lack of line-of-sight, such as in a city with large buildings on all sides.

3.1.3

Optimized L-probe, CP Stacked Patch Prototype
The next design took advantage of the more stable properties of the Rogers

TMM10 material, which was also used for many of the other antennas in this study. This design began in a form similar to that of the linear prototype, where a second patch was added to the linear prototype of section 3.1.2 to tune the L1 frequency and L2 frequency, as shown in Figure 24. The stacked patch antenna structure was made into a square such that a probe along each of the principle axis could be used to tune both L1 and L2 on each probe, providing the opportunity for CP operation when the proper phasing is applied to the feeds. Then the substrate thickness was reduced to 6.5mm to approach the 5mm thickness goal, and the length and width of the antenna was increased to tune L1 and L2, since a lower permittivity material is used for the substrate.

37

The top patch is 29. fed through a hole in the lower patch. Figure 25 .Figure 24 . The set of size iterations further optimized the tuning and resonant frequencies. with the horizontal section situated between the two patches. but longer substrates. and the lower patch is 40×40mm. Figure 26 shows a detailed dimensioned drawing of the stacked patch antenna.6mm in size. providing the opportunity to match both bands over a large of bandwidth.5×41. The antenna uses an “L” shaped feeding probe. showing the addition of an orthogonal feed and thinner.A step in the transformation from the linear antenna prototype to the CP version.Circularly polarized GPS prototype antenna on TMM10 dielectric material. and resulted in an antenna occupying a volume of 41.50mm.5×6. This configuration allows for an extra degree of freedom in the tuning of the antenna. 38 . and is shown in Figure 25.6mm×29.

All dimensions are in millimeters.5mm.Figure 26 . Horizontal “L” probes are 1mm×5. 39 . stacked patch prototype GPS antenna.Drawing of the circularly polarized.

since. the isolation between the probes is better than 18dB over both bands.5mm circularly polarized Antenna. and a bandwidth of 16MHz was achieved at L1. The gain is shown in Figure 28 over each band. in order to couple between the probes. resulting in right hand circular polarization (RHCP).3 1. where two probes were fed in quadrature.6 1.2 1.5×6.Simulated return loss for the 41. as shown in Figure 27. as the two modes are well isolated and orthogonal. currents (and fields) must have components in both principle axis directions on the patch. For orthogonal feed structures. and this also correlates to good cross-pol performance. This indicates low power loss through coupling between the orthogonal feeds.4 1.5 Frequency [GHz] 1. In addition to adequate bandwidth over both bands. with PEC metallic surfaces. Return Loss of the Circularly polarized prototype antenna 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 [dB] -25 -30 -35 -40 -45 -50 1. 40 . coupling of fields between the probes can indicate high cross-pol.7 8MHz Bandwidth S11 S21 16MHz Bandwidth Figure 27 . A 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 8MHz was achieved at L2.5×41.Ansoft HFSS was used to analyze the performance of the antenna.

These gain bandwidths are large enough to satisfy the requirements of the GPS system.7 Figure 28 .Simulated broadside gain performance for the 41.28 1. Also. The axial ratio is shown in Figure 29. The results indicate a gain flatness bandwidth of +/.26 Frequency [GHz] 1.Gain over L2 Band 10 5 0 -5 Realized Gain [dB] -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1.2 Realized Gain [dB] RHCP LHCP 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1. and 33MHz over L1. stacked patch antenna. very low axial ratio.5×41. 41 .5×6. therefore.5mm circularly polarized.5 Gain over L1 Band RHCP LHCP 1.1dB of 19MHz over L2.6 1.65 Frequency [GHz] 1.55 1.22 1. over each gain bandwidth the LHCP gain component is below -20dB. which indicates very low cross polarization and.24 1.

5 Axial Ratio over L1 Band 2 Axial Ratio [dB] Axial Ratio [dB] 1. The antenna return loss measurements in Figure 30 show the resonant frequency at the L1 band to be shifted approximately 100MHz above the design frequency range of 1. a prototype was built and tested by Tyco Electronic Systems Division.5 0 1.Axial ratio for the circularly polarized.227GHz. which is desirable polarization purity for GPS operation. Over both bands. while the resonant frequency at the L2 band was close to the simulated design data and is properly centered around 1. In addition to the simulations performed in the design of this antenna.5 2.5 1 1 0.5 0.56 1.Axial Ratio over L2 Band 2.2 0 1.6 Frequency [GHz] 1.28 2 1.24 1.62 Figure 29 . the antenna has better than 3dB axial ratio. This antenna meets all of the electrical specifications of the design criteria that were the basis for this investigation. and the results are shown compared to the HFSS simulations. a 2:1 VSWR of better than 8MHz over each band and axial ratio below 3dB. stacked patch prototype antenna for both L2 and L1 bands. Given the performance of 3dB of gain over the gain flatness bandwidth.5 1.58 1.26 Frequency [GHz] 1. but is larger than the desired size of 31×31×5mm.54 1. The 42 .22 1. literature searches at this time have failed to find an antenna of comparable size that exceeds this performance.575GHz.

and there is only an epoxy layer on top of the patch. The large shift in resonant frequency for the simulated and measured prototypes with and without epoxy layers are compared in Figure 30.22 1. the HFSS design simulations. In order to account for the shift in frequency.55 Frequency [GHz] 1.6 1. stacked patch prototype antenna.5) epoxy layers that were used to fabricate the antenna were modeled in HFSS.24 1.7 Frequency [GHz] 1. The antennas shown are the measured prototype.Comparison of the measured and simulated return loss performance of the circularly-polarized. and the results are shown in Figure 30 along with the measured data. and an HFSS simulation modeling the whole top epoxy layer as an air layer. and 64MHz bandwidth at L1. namely because the dielectric substrate beneath the L2 patch is homogeneous. and an HFSS simulated antenna modeling the epoxy boding layers.75 Figure 30 .2 Measured Original Design -25 Epoxy Layer Air Layer -30 1. shown in Figure 31.65 1.addition of epoxy layers does not impact the tuning of the L2 band.26 1. since it has two epoxy layers holding together the substrate below it creating an inhomogeneous substrate. the two AF-126 (εr = 4. 43 . A 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 18MHz was measured at L2. exceeding the impedance bandwidth requirement of 5MHz at each band. -5 -5 -10 -10 S11 [dB] -20 S11 [dB] -15 -15 -20 -25 -30 1. L1 was strongly affected.

where the top epoxy layer was assumed to be an air volume (εr = 1). Figure 32 shows that the axial ratio measured is on the order of 6dB at broadside. stacked patch prototype antenna including the two 2mil thick AF-126 epoxy layers used to fabricate the antenna.HFSS model of the circularly polarized. The antenna is shown to have a broad pattern. This is much higher than the simulated axial ratio. shown in Figure 30. and it was noted by Tyco Electronic Systems Division that the measurements taken had a poorly tuned 90° hybrid that may explain the poor axial ratio.Figure 31 . The gain response was measured with the antennas mounted on a 4ft ground plane. and it is likely there is an air bubble in this epoxy layer. that is tuning the frequency of the L1 band up by 100MHz. Even with the epoxy layers in the model. or perhaps a larger thickness epoxy layer than the 2mil estimated. increasing to approximately 10dB at θ=60°. Spin-linear pattern plots were taken in order to measure the axial ratio of the circular polarization over all elevation angles along with the gain. typical of a patch antenna. Further measurements were not available to confirm the source of the poor axial ratio performance. This approaches the resonant frequency measured. and 20dB at the horizon. the antenna simulations did not tune to as high a resonant frequency as the measurements. one at the lower patch and one at the layer with the horizontal section of the L probes. and the ripples on the pattern are a result of the finite sized ground plane used to measure 44 . The next step was to run simulations assuming an air bubble was present at the top patch epoxy layer.

for both measured and simulated antennas. showing good agreement. L2 Band -30 -60o o L1 Band 30 o 0o dB 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -30 60o -60o o 0o dB 10 0 -10 -20 -30 30o 60o -90o -30 -20 90o -90o -30 -20 90o -120 o -10 0 120 150o o -120 Measured Simulated o -10 0 120o 150o -150o 10 dB 180o -150o 10 dB 180o Figure 32 .the gain. and multiple lobes are present for theta angles greater than 90° due to scattering off the edges of the ground plane. Figure 33 shows that the L2 band gain peaked at 5dBi. stacked patch GPS prototype at both L1 and L2 bands. and the gain at L1 peaked at 3. the antenna would have a wide field of view. 45 .Spin-linear E-plane gain patterns for the L-probe fed. the measured gain envelope is fairly close to the simulated gain pattern.5dBi. These patterns show that with the axial ratio improved. below -10dB. Otherwise. The maximum gain was measured at broadside for the L1 and L2 bands to show the gain roll-off with frequency. since it has such a broad beamwidth. The back lobe radiation is low. The patterns were taken at the center frequency of each gain bandwidth.

Overall this antenna was one of the best candidates designed throughout this study. This indicates that developing designs on TMM10 with the epoxy layers may require the simulation model to incorporate better models of the epoxy layers in the design stage to account for their effect as the design progresses.2. once again exceeding the minimum 20MHz gain flatness bandwidth.26 RHCP Gain [dB] 5 4 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 1. stacked patch GPS antenna prototype. 46 .2 1.Broadside RHCP gain vs.72 Frequency [GHz] 1. while approaching the physical size specifications.2.L2 Band 5 4 3 2 RHCP Gain [dB] 1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 1.74 Figure 33 .7 1. and the axial ratio and L1 resonant frequency were also different than the simulations. gain flatness.66 L1 Band 1.24 Frequency [GHz] 1. Frequency over both the L1 and L2 bands for the L-feed.22 1. Both the VSWR and gain bandwidths were measured to be larger than the simulations predicted. and variations on this design appear in section 3.18 1. surpassing the electrical specifications set forth that motivated this study. literature searches have failed to find similar sized antennas meeting the same VSWR. At L2 the +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth is 22MHz.68 1. Also. and at L2 the gain flatness bandwidth is 47MHz. axial ratio and dual band operation in an antenna of this size.

There are two helpful models that can be used to explain change in resonant frequency.4. the slots can be viewed as obstructions to the path of the current.Current distributions on the patch layer when the TM100 mode is excited (a) without slots and (b) with slots. Figure 34a shows the current distribution on a patch surface with no slots. Figure 34 . 47 . where the area occupied by the antenna was reduced to produce even smaller versions of this design at somewhat decreased performance.2 Slot Loading The TM100 mode that develops on the patch has a resonant frequency dependant on the length of the patch. intuitive explanation.as well as section 2. 3. another method used in tuning a microstrip antenna is loading the patch with slots. exciting the TM100 mode where the antenna is operating at a frequency of 1. While a high permittivity substrate will make the metal patch look electrically larger by changing the wave propagation speed. forcing a longer physical distance for the current to travel. For a visual.730GHz.

whereas the slots force currents to take a longer path. This longer path corresponds to a longer resonant length.The patch without slots allows a straight path across the patch. Increased cross-polarization will result in poor axial ratio for circular polarization. For asymmetric slots. Another representation of the slots is that of a lumped circuit inductor. shown in Figure 35. and coupling between the two orthogonal feeds will increase. thereby tuning the patch to 1. as done in [27]-[29]. a reduction in the resonant frequency of 280MHz. 48 . such as along a diagonal axis. as asymmetric slot placement can potentially cause cross-polarization levels to rise. as in Figure 34b. producing radiation components along both of the main axes instead of only one axis. resonant current paths can develop off the main axes of the patch. One important consideration in placement of the slots is the polarization desired. but they can be located anywhere along the patch if they change the current paths. Here the slots are placed at the midpoint of the patch. placed in series with the transmission line model for the patch antenna.464GHz.

Unfortunately. a single lumped inductor is only a very coarse approximation. From this lumped model. To make this approximation better. similar to the physical model where the currents are delayed by taking a longer path around the slot. introducing a phase delay between the voltage and current. as [28] shows. since the inductance changes over the length of the slot.Transmission line model of the slots. The reasoning behind the inductive model is that the slots cause a concentration of the magnetic field interior to the slots. and solved using a multiport network model as done in [29] and 49 . due to the currents forced to flow along the edge of each slot (see Appendix D). an inductor stores magnetic energy and resists phase changes in the current flow. where the series inductance approximates the slot field behavior. many inductances have to be placed in the circuit.Figure 35 .

Figure 36 . This yielded good agreement between experiment and simulation in [29].shown in Figure 36. 50 . but does not simplify to an analytic solution. and do not account for the capacitance from the displacement current in the slot. it does provide insight into the tuning achieved with the slots from a circuit perspective. Both of these lumped inductance models assume a very thin slot. and must be solved numerically. Despite the shortcomings of the lumped inductance model shown in Figure 35.N-port lumped inductor approximation for the slotted patch.

1 Slot Loading Performance Trends A study was undertaken to observe the effects on bandwidth.175mm TMM10 substrate. 51 .175mm TMM10 (εr = 9.2.3. Figure 37 .27×27mm patch antenna on a 31×31×3. with four slots cut into the patch surface. The results are shown in Figure 38. resonant frequency and gain of a patch antenna when loaded with slots. Figure 37. was simulated in HFSS with four slots of varying length τ and a fixed width ζ = 1mm.2) substrate. Prototype antennas were also fabricated (Appendix E) to validate the simulation data. A 27×27mm patch with a 31×31×3. with length τ and width ζ = 1mm.

7 1.Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1. The slot widths are all ζ = 1mm. 52 .6 1.3 0 1 PEC HFSS Simulations Measured Antennas 2 3 4 (a) 5 6 7 Slot Length τ [mm] 8 9 10 11 2:1 VSWR Bandwidth [MHz] 15 10 PEC HFSS Simulations Measured Antennas 0 1 2 3 4 (b) 5 6 7 Slot Length τ [mm] 8 9 10 11 5 7 Broadside Gain [dB] 6 5 4 3 0 1 2 3 4 (c) 5 6 7 Slot Length τ [mm] 8 9 10 11 Figure 38 – Change in (a.) the resonant frequency.5 1.175 mm substrate of TMM10 (εr = 9.4 1.8 1.) gain with variation of slot length τ.2). Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3. and (c. (b.) bandwidth.

Figure 38c. Figure 39b. behaves very similar to the resonant frequency as the slot length is increased. The reduction in resonant frequency with increasing slot length agrees with both the lumped inductor model and the resonant path length model. The measured data show good agreement with the simulation results. Figure 39c. the slot widths ζ are varied. Next. for the antenna in Figure 37. the aperture looks electrically smaller. (the stair-stepping is a result of using whole number MHz frequencies for the bandwidth). While the reduction in frequency with increasing slot width agrees with the model that the slots force the resonant path of the current to lengthen. the bandwidth. in comparison. As in the slot length study. The resonant frequency decreases with increasing slot width ζ. Broadside gain performance. The bandwidth decreases similar to the resonant frequency because the antenna volume is fixed. and broadside gain. increasing the Q. The aperture is fixed in size.5mm the resonant frequency drops off approximately linearly. with the longest slot length of τ = 11mm decreasing the resonant frequency by 500MHz compared to the patch without a slot. since the model assumes very narrow slots.For slot lengths greater than 4. The approximate bandwidth also drops off linearly. Figure 38a. so as resonant frequency decreases. a rule of thumb is provided such that the impedance of the series gap capacitance is negligible. with the impedance of the slot 53 . and the antenna looks electrically smaller as the resonant frequency decreases. with the maximum slot width of ζ = 6mm decreasing the resonant frequency by 200MHz compared to the ζ = 1mm antenna. In [27]. Figure 38b. it is unclear from the lumped inductor model what impact of slot width will have. shown in Figure 39a. decrease similar to the resonant frequency for increasing slot widths ζ. with a fixed slot length of τ = 9mm. The measured data also shows good agreement.

5 2 2.5 3 3. (b) bandwidth.5 3 3.inductance when the width of the slot is less than the substrate thickness.4 1. Patch is 27×27mm square with a 31×31×3.5 1 1.5 4 (c) Slot Width ζ [mm] 4. and (c) gain with variation of slot width ζ.5 5 5.5 5 5.5 5 5.2).5 4 (a) Slot Width ζ [mm] 4.5 1 1.5 6 PEC HFSS Simulations Measured Antennas 2:1 VSWR Bandwidth [MHz] 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 0.5 6 PEC HFSS Simulations Measured Antennas 6 Broadside Gain [dB] 5 4 3 0.45 1.5 1 1.5 1. which was true in the study on slot lengths (1mm wide slot vs. 54 .5 3 3. Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.5 2 2.5 2 2.55 1. The slot lengths are all τ = 9mm.3 0. 3mm thick substrate).175 mm substrate of TMM10 (εr = 9.5 6 Figure 39 – Change in (a) the resonant frequency.5 4 (b) Slot Width ζ [mm] 4.35 1.

) with slots. 1mm Wide Slots Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1. As the slot width is increased. 1mm wide slots was analyzed on a 100×100mm square TMM10 (εr =9.65 1.5 1. The ratio between the slot width and the substrate thickness determines when these capacitances are significant. with a 100×100×3mm TMM10 (εr =9.37 1.39 1. A 27×27mm patch with and without four 9mm long. varying the substrate thickness with a fixed width slot is also of interest. 55 . shunt capacitance on either side of the slot increases between the patch and ground.) 1 2 3 4 5 Substrate Thickness t [mm] Figure 40 . and a series capacitance connecting the two sides of the slot decreases.36 1. While a previous study varied the width of the slot on a fixed thickness substrate. since it also affects the capacitances.38 1.Change in resonant frequency for a 27×27mm patch vs. namely when the slot width is on the order of the substrate thickness or larger.45 (b. The large substrate size was chosen to approximate an infinite substrate.2) thickness t. and (b.4 1. to avoid the effects of substrate truncation.5-5mm. using approximations given in [30].41 1.) 1 2 3 4 5 Substrate thickness t [mm] Resonant Frequency [GHz] No Slots 1.2) substrate. (a.55 1.) without slots in the patch surface.6 1.Appendix F shows a modified transmission line circuit for the slot loaded patch when the slot is wide compared to the substrate thickness. substrate (εr =9. Four 9mm Long.2) superstrate. ranging in thickness from t = 0.35 (a.

as in the traditional microstrip antenna. 56 . Another study involves moving the slots along the length of the patch to observe the effect of slot placement. After this point the slot is narrow with respect w to the substrate thickness. the shunt capacitance is relatively large since the separation between the ground and patch is small. Figure 40b. Figure 41 . Two slots.2). This leads to a low resonant frequency. and the shunt and series capacitances no longer dominant. on a 31×31×3mm square substrate of TMM10 (εr = 9. The frequency then decreases with increasing substrate thickness. are moved from -13mm to +13mm along the resonant length of the patch. with no superstrate. arranged symmetrically on the patch. the shunt capacitance decreases and the resonant frequency increases until t ≈ 2 .Diagram of patch surface with slot positions varied along the resonant length of the antenna.For the thinnest substrate in Figure 40a. As the substrate thickness increases. The antenna consists of a 27mm square patch.

where the largest currents are. the inductance will have the most affect when there is high current involved. multiple slots can be utilized. and the highest frequency tunings are where the lowest levels of current are. From a circuit theory perspective. 6mm. slot position showing the change in resonant frequency for three different slot lengths of 3mm. the resonant frequency rises symmetrically (independent of which direction the slots are moved). The patch is 27×27mm on a 31×31×3mm substrate (εr = 9.55 1. in either direction. except as an inverted cosine. although 57 . since the lowest frequency tuning is at the current maximum. There may be situations where placing the slots off of the midpoint of the patch has an advantage. Additionally. and 9mm. such as less conflict between placement of the feeding probe and the slot. the resonant frequency tuning curve maps out the cosine current distribution that develops on the patch with respect to length.7 1.Sweep of Slot Placement Along Resonant Length of Patch 1.45 -10 -5 0 5 Slot Distance from center of patch [mm] 10 3mm 6mm 9mm Figure 42 – Resonant frequency vs. This study confirms that placing the slot at the center of the patch. has the most impact on performance.75 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.2).5 1. In fact.6 1.65 1. As the slots are moved away from the center of the patch.

Slots were modified to have round. smooth terminations. Three cases are compared – circular slots. slot with circular cavities.with the knowledge that the slots will have less effect as they move away from the central axis. circular slots. The dimensioned antennas are shown in Figure 44. shown in top left of Figure 43. slots with cavities at the end. but there is a wide range of conceivable shapes for use in the same manner. shown in the top right of Figure 43. and multiple slots in the patch surface as shown in Figure 43. Figure 43 . Slot shapes are another aspect of slot loading that was studied. triangular slots. Previous studies all involved a rectangular slot shape.Various slot shapes studied to determine the performance compared to a rectangular slot. as shown in the bottom left of Figure 43. 58 . and triangular slots.

6GHz.606 8 Table 1. and Table 1 shows that the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth is the same for each antenna. All three of the antennas were tuned to approximately 1.601 8 Slots with Circle Termination 1.7 Figure 45 .Dimensioned drawings of the three slot shapes compared to observe effect of slot shape on bandwidth.5 Circular Slots Slot + Circle Triangle Slot 1.Figure 44 .6 Frequency [GHz] 1.55 1.598 8 Triangular Slots 1.Return loss of the simulated antennas with different slot shapes for comparison of bandwidth performance. 2:1 VSWR B [MHz] Circular Slots 1. Slot Shape fo [GHz] Comparison of Slot Shapes 0 -5 -10 S11 [dB] -15 -20 -25 -30 1. No shape was found to provide an improved impedance bandwidth compared to simple rectangular slots.Comparison of the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth for three different slot shapes.65 1. 59 .

Also.Patch antenna using two slots to achieve the desired resonant frequency. which allows the patch antenna to be tuned to a lower resonant frequency than what is possible with a single slot. the edge of the triangular slot is closer to the center than the edge of the slot terminated in the circular cavity. Figure 44 shows that for the same resonant frequency. shown in Figure 46. 60 . the slot with the circular cavity termination is less likely to interfere with the feed probe placement than the triangle-shaped slot. Some shapes may allow easier placement of the feed probe than others. Figure 46 .However. another use of multiple slots is to place two slots off-center from the central axis. Therefore. such as in Figure 43. For example. removing an impedance tuning obstacle while retaining the frequency tuning performance. which allows the centerline to be completely unobstructed for maximum flexibility in feed probe placement. Also. while leaving the centerline of the patch free for the feed probe. some slot shapes provide advantages in frequency tuning. multiple slots can be cut into a patch surface.

This allows the high loss and high permittivity tolerances to be avoided. Some shapes might allow for easier feed probe placement. resulting in an effect analogous to that of an inductor placed in series between two halves of the patch. • The shapes of the slots cut into the patch layer do not have any bandwidth performance benefits with respect to one another. • The slots have the most impact on performance when placed in areas of high current on the patch surface. the resonant frequency decreases approximately linearly in direct relation to the length of the slot.The slot study results can be summarized as follows: • The slots decrease the resonant frequency of the patch antenna by diverting the current to a longer path. • For narrow rectangular slots. although in a nonlinear manner. the frequency is decreased further by capacitance developed between the ground and the patch. allowing more convenient feed probe placement. • Increasing the width of the rectangular slots further decreases resonant frequency. • Multiple slots can be cut into a patch to obtain further frequency reduction. Multiple slots can also be used to free the patch area along the center axis. 61 . although at no benefit in bandwidth or gain. which for the dominant TM100 mode is along the center of the patch length. • For substrate thicknesses less than the slot width. • Slot loading can be used to allow the use of low permittivity substrates while obtaining the same frequency tuning of much higher permittivity materials.

The structure is fed via an L-shaped probe placed through a clearance hole in the bottom patch with the 4mm long horizontal section placed between the two patches with 0. The bottom patch is placed on a 36×36×3. the top patch is 30×30mm square with four 12mm long slots 1mm wide along each of the main axes of the patch. 62 .Isometric view of the optimized slotted. a design that uses slots is presented that was optimized according to the design specifications that motivated this study. Stacked Patch Design The slot study data provides insight and trends on how the various slot parameters affect the antenna performance.5mm TMM10 substrate.5mm square. and the bottom patch is 27. and between the bottom and top patch is a 36×36×3mm TMM10 substrate.2. Figure 47 . This design consists of two stacked patches. Figure 47 and Figure 48. To illustrate the use of slot loading in reducing the size of an antenna. stacked patch antenna.3.75mm separation between the top patch and the probe.2 Optimized Slotted.5×27.

stacked patch antenna. satisfying the matching requirements of the design that motivated this study. Figure 49. Figure 50 shows the impedance loci and the impedance match obtained on the Smith chart. The isolation is better than 20dB across both bands. The antenna is impedance matched at each band. The structure was simulated in Ansoft HFSS using PEC patch material and TMM10 dielectric material.Figure 48 – Dimensioned drawing for the optimized slotted. and 10MHz at the L1 band. 63 . All dimensions are in millimeters. indicating good cross-pol and low loss due to coupling. with a 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 6MHz at the L2 band.

00 -60 -70 -80 -90 Figure 50 .50 90 1.00 -30 -40 -50 -120 -110 -100 -1. Ansoft Corporation Smith Plot 1 HFSSDesign2 100 110 120 130 140 150 0.2 6MHz Bandwidth At L2 10MHz Bandwidth At L1 S11 S21 1. which differs from the traditional IEEE definition of antenna gain. The simulation results are expressed in “realized gain”.00 2.00 160 20 170 10 180 0. 64 .4 1.65 1.00 Curve Info St(WavePort1.20 -0.3 1.Scattering Parameters for the Slotted L-probe Antenna 0 -5 -10 -15 [dB] -20 -25 >20dB Isolation -30 -35 -40 1.45 1.00 80 70 60 2. The excitations at each port were in quadrature phasing.00 -20 -150 -140 -130 -0.00 0 -170 -10 -160 -0.00 5.25 1.20 -5. The gain performance was analyzed with the antenna placed on an infinite ground plane.WavePort1) Setup1 : Sw eep1 50 40 30 5.6 1.00 0.Smith chart for the slotted stacked patch design. showing the matching of the impedance loci.5 Frequency [GHz] 1.50 1.55 1.50 -2.20 0.7 Figure 49 – Simulated return loss for the optimized slotted stacked patch design on TMM10 substrate material.00 0.35 1. which is the HFSS gain parameter that takes into account the impedance mismatch.

65 .26 1. For L2.allowing circular polarization to be generated.4dB throughout the band.23 1.22 RHCP LHCP Realized Gain [dB] 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 L1 Band RHCP LHCP 1. where the axial ratio increases above the 3dB level. At L1.59 Figure 51 – Simulated maximum gain at broadside versus frequency at L1 and L2 for the slotted. The performance met the desired 3dB axial ratio specification over both bands L1 and L2. which is well below the typical 3dB axial ratio specification.56 1. The antenna was found to have a +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth of 28MHz at L1 and 15MHz at L2.25 Frequency [GHz] 1. stacked patch antenna. out of the gain flatness bandwidth. and the axial ratio was calculated at broadside over the bands where gain flatness was obtained. the axial ratio was between 1 and 2dB except towards the very lower end of the band. Figure 52. the axial ratio was below 0.58 Frequency [GHz] 1. with a gain above 3dB over each band. although both bands have usable gain outside of this bandwidth if gain flatness is not a priority. Figure 51. The low LHCP levels indicate good cross-pol over each band.57 1.24 1.55 1. L2 Band 10 0 Realized Gain [dB] -10 -20 -30 -40 1.

This antenna performs satisfactorily. εr = 9.20) and the slots that were used to reduce the size of the L2 patch without having to resort to either a larger size antenna or a higher permittivity substrate.25 Frequency [GHz] 1. The length of this antenna is on the order of λ/6. this design was the thinnest antenna designed during this study that met the impedance bandwidth specifications. The miniaturization achieved was due to the use of moderately high permittivity substrate (TMM10.L2 Band 3 2.26”).5 1 0.58 Frequency [GHz] 1.56 1. while occupying a small volume of 36×36×6.5 2 1. A cavity backing provides a metallic boundary around the antenna that can be 66 . and has a thickness of only λ/37. Further.55 1.24 1.5mm (1.59 Figure 52 – Simulated Axial Ratio at L2 and L1 for the Slotted Stacked Patch Antenna.57 1.3 Cavity Loading Cavity loading offers some distinct advantages when designing a microstrip antenna.5 1 0. meeting the VSWR bandwidth requirements and approaches the gain bandwidth requirements.5 0 L1 Band 1.42×0. resulting in a design that is closest to meeting the electrical specifications and the ultimate goal of 31×31×5mm total volume for the antenna.42×1.23 1.22 Axial Ratio [dB] 3 2.26 1.7.5 Axial Ratio [dB] 2 1.5 0 1. 3.

By placing a cavity behind the patch. high permittivity substrates to reduce the resonant frequency while maximizing bandwidth for a given area. load the edges of the patch similar to that of a lumped parallel plate capacitor. Since the cavity is essentially the ground plane for the antenna folded to form a cavity. which results in a loss of power out along the grounded substrate – lowering the efficiency of the antenna and/or distorting the radiation pattern. This can allow shorter paths to the antenna than from the bottom of the cavity. surface waves are suppressed by the metallic walls. 67 . reducing the inductance introduced by feed probes in thick substrates. The side-effect of this method is the excitation of surface waves.used to isolate the antenna from its surroundings. The cavity backing can also provide extra feeding options compared to a regular microstrip antenna. which lowers the overall resonant frequency of the patch. When a cavity is placed around a microstrip antenna. which essentially “short out” the TE/TM surface wave modes [31]. airplanes and other surfaces. flush with the surface. a feed probe can be placed in a side wall to feed the antenna just as easily as on the bottom plane of the cavity. This allows close integration of an antenna onto circuit boards. The walls of the cavity. if close to the patch antenna. providing compact and unobtrusive antenna placement on the exterior of automobiles. The cavity also provides some electrical benefits. Also. this allows the antenna to be recessed into the mounting surface (the ground plane). or surfaces where the antenna must be placed near surfaces that might absorb or scatter energy. Often miniaturized patch antenna designs use thick. a microstrip antenna is planar and can conform to the surface it is mounted on.

Figure 53 .1 The cavity walls are part of the ground system of the antenna.1. shown in Figure 53.Modified transmission line model for the microstrip patch antenna when a cavity is placed behind it. in parallel with the slot admittance. The capacitance in parallel with the slot admittance lowers the resonant frequency of the patch antenna. so the metallic walls load the antenna similar to a capacitor in shunt from the edge of the patch to the ground. shown in Section 3. 68 . CC represents the effective capacitance of the cavity backing.One way of assessing the loading of the cavity is to look at the transmission line model for a microstrip patch antenna. similar to the lumped capacitor loading shown in Appendix G.

the effective permittivity of the substrate dielectric decreases. The substrate size α is varied between 31. small patch antennas often have substrates not much larger than the patch itself.3. The simulated results are shown in Figure 55. helping to compensate for the narrow bandwidths of the small antenna. A 31. which equation 3.2) substrate of thickness t and of width and length α. On substrates that extend well beyond the edges of the patch element. However.1 Cavity Loading Performance Trends For a miniaturized patch antenna.5mm. increasing the substrate thickness will increase the bandwidth. With the fringe fields extending into air both above the substrate and on the sides of the truncated substrate.3. which is large enough to approach the performance of the antenna on an infinite substrate for various thicknesses t.5 (and shown in Appendix H). Figure 54.5 shows results in an increase in resonant frequency. as predicted by equations 3. and 100mm. increasing the thickness t of the substrate linearly decreases the resonant frequency.5mm square patch on a TMM10 (εr = 9. 69 . so an additional side effect of the increased substrate thickness is an increase in resonant frequency with increasing substrate thickness due to the fringing fields extending out the sides of the substrate. is used to illustrate this effect.2-3.5×31. where the substrate is truncated to the same size as the patch.

7 1.25 30 t t t t t t = = = = = = 1mm 3mm 5mm 7mm 9mm 11mm 40 50 60 70 Sub Size α [mm] 80 90 100 Figure 55 . 70 .35 1. width α.6 1.5mm patch on substrates of thickness t and length α.75 1.5×31.31.3 1.Change in resonant frequency for 31. 1.4 1.45 1.65 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.Figure 54 .55 1.5×31. Antenna is mounted on an infinite ground plane.5 1.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness t and length and width α.

The substrate size α = αo at which this occurs varies depending on substrate thickness.Change in resonant frequency for 31. and the thickest substrate has the largest αo. which lowers the effective permittivity of the substrate. the substrate is large compared to the 31.45 1.5 1. This causes the tuning curves to crossover in the range of 34mm<α< 38mm.55 1. after which the resonant frequency becomes approximately invariant with substrate size and the tuning curve approaches a horizontal line. since all of the fringing fields extend outside of the substrate into the air.5mm < α < 40mm. For antennas with α = 100m.7 1.65 1. the antennas with thick substrates tune to a resonant higher frequency than the thin substrates. and the antennas with thick substrates tune to a lower resonant frequency than the thin substrates. t t t t t t = = = = = = 1mm 3mm 5mm 7mm 9mm 11mm 1.5mm patch. where the thinnest substrate has the smallest αo.5. as theory predicts. This effect is more pronounced for thick substrates since more fields extend laterally from the thick substrates than for the thin substrates. Figure 55 also shows that the resonant frequency decreases with increasing substrate size α until the substrate is large enough to contain the fringe fields for a particular thickness.75 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.6 1.5×31. 71 .4 32 33 34 35 36 37 Sub Size α [mm] 38 39 40 Figure 56 .5mm patch on substrates of thickness t and length and width 31.For α = 31. Figure 56.

The gray represents the metallization on all four of the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity. which is counter-productive to the miniaturization effort.5mm square patch antenna on a TMM10 substrate of thickness t and length and width α. 72 .Cavity backed 31. Figure 57 . and is compared to the performance of the same size antenna of Figure 54. as shown in Figure 57. loading the patch with a backing cavity can alleviate this increase in resonant frequency. The antenna shown in Figure 54 was modified by cladding the substrate in metal on the vertical sides of the dielectric. increasing the substrate thickness for a patch antenna with a small substrate size α will require increasing the area occupied by the antenna. and the resonant frequency of the antenna is shown simulated for substrate sizes α over the range 32mm < α < 100mm. Conversely.5×31. which does not have a cavity. The cavity is recessed in an infinite ground plane.For a particular resonant frequency. The thickness for the cavity backed antenna is chosen as t = 7mm.

which is also 200MHz below the resonant frequency of the same antenna on an approximately infinite substrate.5×31.7GHz to 1.7 Without Cavity Backing With Cavity Backing Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1. beyond which the cavity backed antenna tunes to the same resonant frequency as the antenna without a cavity backing. and the results are shown for antennas with and without a cavity backing.4 1. the cavity backing can be used to 73 .5 1. For the cavity backed antenna with substrate thickness t = 7mm. Antennas have TMM10 substrates of thickness t = 7mm. causing the resonant frequency to increase. This change in capacitance is analogous to a parallel plate capacitor.Change in resonant frequency for 31.5mm patch antennas with carrying substrate size α.1. Therefore.2 40 50 60 70 Sub Size α [mm] 80 90 100 Figure 58 .6 1. where increasing the separation between the plates decreases the capacitance. As the size α increases. the cavity loading reduces the resonant frequency by 500MHz from 1. this occurs at approximately α = 55mm. the cavity walls move further away from the patch and the capacitive loading is decreased.2GHz. For the substrate size α = 32mm.3 1. The resonant frequency of the cavity backed antenna continues to change with increasing α until the walls of the cavity are far enough away from the edges of the patch that they no longer have a loading effect.

the patch size is reduced to 27×27mm. the substrate thickness t will be referred to as cavity depth t. The second study involves observing the effect on resonant frequency.2) substrate. 74 . The cavity is recessed in an infinite ground plane.27×27mm patch antenna with four 7mm long. The cavity is formed by placing a metallic wall on each of the vertical walls of the TMM10 (εr = 9. and the frequency reduction is accomplished by placing four 7mm long. 28. 1mm wide slots.5mm. and bandwidth for a reduced size. Four values of α were chosen . Since this study deals only with a cavity backed antenna. Modifying the antenna in Figure 57.5mm) and two values that place the cavity walls a few millimeters beyond the patch edges (α = 30mm. cavity-backed patch antenna. All dimensions are in millimeters. The new antenna is shown in Figure 59.2) substrate has a thickness t and length α and width α. Figure 59 .lower the resonant frequency of the antenna when the cavity is close in size to the patch. The TMM10 (εr = 9. 31mm). and is clad with metal on all four of the vertical walls of the substrate to form the cavity. represented in gray. even when the thickness of the substrate is increased. and thickness t. gain. 1mm wide slots in the patch surface. of length and width α.two values that place the cavity walls close to the patch (α = 27.

5mm α =30mm α =31mm 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cavity Depth t [mm] 8 9 10 Figure 60 – Change in resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed. as well as cavity size. Increasing the cavity size α results in an increase in resonant frequency.The resonant frequency is affected by changes in cavity depth t.25 1.15 1.4 1. 75 .2 1.5 1. similar to increasing the area of the cavity walls increases the capacitance. This further validates the parallel plate analogy. Cavity Depth 1. the resonant frequency is decreased. and the capacitance they introduce decreases. α. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend. as the taller cavity walls introduce a larger capacitance to the patch edges. With increasing cavity depth. since increasing the area of a parallel plate capacitor increase the capacitance. Resonant Frequency Vs.3 1.35 1. Figure 60.45 Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.5mm α =28. since the walls are moving further away from the patch edges.55 1. slotted microstrip patch antenna. These two trends provide intuitive guidelines on how the cavity can be used to tune the resonant frequency of a patch antenna for a particular depth t or size α.1 α =27.

whereas increasing t decreases the resonant frequency. As the cavity size α is increased. 76 . but increasing α raises the resonant frequency. the fractional bandwidth also increases due to an increase in antenna volume. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.5mm α =30mm α =31mm 9 10 Figure 61 – Change in fractional 2:1 VSWR bandwidth with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed.25 0.65 0.7 0.5mm α =28. which is directly related to the Q of the antenna.6 % 2:1 VSWR Bandwidth 0.35 0. Therefore.3 0. Cavity Depth 0.The cavity dimensions also affect the bandwidth of the patch antenna.55 0. antenna bandwidth can be increased by increasing either depth t or size α.4 0.2 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cavity Depth t [mm] 8 α =27. Figure 61 shows that increasing the cavity depth t leads to a larger fractional bandwidth. The stair step nature is due to bandwidth values in increments of 1MHz. Fractional Bandwidth Vs. slotted microstrip patch antenna.45 0.5 0. since the volume of the antenna is increasing.

Figure 62 does not account for the change in resonant frequency which is different for a particular cavity depth t and size α. the gain is reduced due to the small aperture size of the antenna. For small α. 77 . slotted microstrip patch antenna.5 2 α =27. For small cavity depth t. Cavity Depth 5 4.5mm α =28.5mm α =30mm α =31mm 3 4 5 6 7 Cavity Depth t [mm] 8 9 10 1. the gain is shown to also vary with the size of the cavity. leading to low gain.5 3 2.5 4 Broadside Gain [dB] 3. resulting in increased gain. the volume of the antenna is small. and as α (and aperture size) is increased. the gain was normalized to the operating frequency to show more clearly the effects of aperture size and volume on gain. in Figure 63. Finally. the gain also increases. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.Broadside Gain Vs. and increasing the cavity depth t increases the volume of the antenna.5 2 Figure 62 – Change in broadside gain with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed. Since the resonant frequency is also changing with cavity depth t and cavity size α. Figure 62.

5 α =27.Change in broadside gain normalized to resonant frequency with variation in cavity depth t of a cavity backed.5 3 2. slotted microstrip patch antenna.5mm and α = 28.5mm α =28.5mm α =30mm α =31mm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cavity Depth t [mm] 8 9 10 Figure 63 . 78 . and without the increase in frequency resulting from a truncated substrate. Some design guidelines for the cavity backed antenna can be summarized as: • Cavity backing allows thick substrates to be utilized without the loss in efficiency due to surface wave excitation. Cavity Depth Broadside Gain [dB] / Resonant Frequency [GHz] 3. Cavity sizes α are shown in the legend.Normalized Broadside Gain Vs. increasing the cavity depth t will result in higher gain. Increasing the cavity size α will result in higher gain.5mm is much greater than the difference in gain between α=30mm and α = 31mm. but note that the difference in gain between α=27. which indicates that cavity size α will impact the gain more significantly when the cavity is close to the patch antenna.5 2 1. For a particular resonant frequency.

Another form of capacitive loading is illustrated by the stacked patch antenna shown in Appendix I. • The cavity walls act like parallel plate capacitors connected in shunt with the radiating edges of the patch – increasing the depth of the cavity increases the effective capacitive loading (by increasing area of the walls). unobtrusive microstrip patch antenna design.• The cavity backing allows the antenna to be isolated electrically from its surroundings. flush with a surface. and increasing the separation between the patch edges and the cavity walls decreases the capacitive loading. • The size of the cavity α and the depth of the cavity t can be used to tune the resonant frequency of the antenna. and the separation between the patch and the ground 79 . This provides a low profile. and can be optimized to provide the best compromise between bandwidth and gain. creating a capacitor loading very similar to the cavity. instead of the bottom of the cavity. The resonant frequencies of this antenna are adjusted with the height of the walls on the edge of the patch. Vertical walls extend from the edges of the patch toward the ground plane. • The cavity allows the antenna to be recess mounted. • Probe feeding can be accomplished via a side wall. potentially reducing the inductance incurred by the use of a long feed probe by shortening the distance the probe travels to reach the antenna. making it possible to mount the antenna in closer proximity to other components or surfaces. This section has explored the effect of loading a patch antenna with a cavity to create the capacitive loading of the patch antenna.

Additional tuning options are available by changing the width of the wall. The cavity length was initially chosen as 31mm (due to original design specs of 1.Optimized design of the cavity backed stacked patch GPS antenna on TMM10 (εr = 9. and utilizes L-shaped probes to proximity couple to the antenna.3.plane. Figure 64 . Stacked Patch Design A stacked patch design is presented that operates with dual polarization (CP capability) and dual frequency performance to cover both L1 and L2 bands.2) dielectric substrate. and the cavity length was chosen to be 34mm to achieve the desired bandwidth of 5MHz at 2:1 VSWR at the L2 band. 3.2 Optimized Cavity Backed. and the horizontal section of the L probe situated between the patches. 80 . or changing the shapes of the walls. The antenna was designed with a depth of 7mm (close to original design goals of 0. The design is a variation on the stacked patch design with the feed extending through a circular opening in the lower patch.25” length) but was increased in length until the desired minimum bandwidth of 5MHz at 2:1 VSWR was achieved at L2.2” thickness).

and was obtained by use of the L-shaped feed probe.5×28. CP. placing the L2 band patch on top increased the bandwidth at L2 by increasing the size of the substrate below the patch. 1mm wide slots to provide additional loading to tune it down to the L2 band. This is adequate bandwidth to meet the performance specifications of dual band GPS systems on both L1 and L2. The bottom patch is 25mm×25mm with two 5mm diameter holes to allow the vertical sections of the L probes to pass through.93×1mm. and the antenna was modeled with the infinite ground plane flush with the top of the cavity. Once again. All dimensions are in millimeters. Figure 66. stacked-patch GPS antenna. contained fully inside the metallic cavity.Dimensioned drawing for the optimized cavity backed dual band. The isolation 81 . The results of the simulations. Horizontal “L” probes are 2.Figure 65 . giving this antenna a recessed mounting platform. show that the antenna exhibits a 5MHz 2:1 VSWR bandwidth at L2. The top patch is 28.5mm with four 11mm long. The total antenna volume is 34×34×7mm. which allowed both bands to be matched through the extra degrees of freedom the L probe permits. The antenna was modeled using PEC surfaces. and an 8MHz 2:1 VSWR bandwidth at L1.

26 1.22 1.55 1.Return Loss for the optimized cavity backed CP.24 1.62 Figure 67 – Simulated realized gain at L1 and L2 for optimized cavity backed CP. 82 .22 1. L2 Band 10 10 L1 Band 0 Realized CP Gain [dB] Realized CP Gain [dB] RHCP LHCP -40 1. dual frequency antenna. indicating good cross-pol and very low power lost through coupling between the ports.2 1. dual frequency antenna.54 1.52 1.28 Frequency [GHz] 1.65 Figure 66 .2 1.56 1.24 Frequency [GHz] 1. The simulated gain at L2 and L1 is shown in Figure 67.6 Frequency [GHz] 1.3 S11 S21 5 MHz Bandwidth [dB] 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1.between the probes is also better than 20dB at both bands of interest.58 1.26 0 -10 -10 -20 -20 -30 -30 RHCP LHCP -40 1. L2 Band 0 -5 -10 -15 [dB] -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1.5 L1 Band 8MHz Bandwidth S11 S21 1.6 Frequency [GHz] 1.

but only approaches the gain bandwidth 83 . Both L1 and L2 have better than 3dB axial ratio over their operating bands. the +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth is 23MHz. however.24 Frequency [GHz] 1.The gain at L2 has a +/-1dB gain flatness bandwidth of 11MHz. which is approximately half of the desired bandwidth.2 1. and for gain above isotropic the gain bandwidth is 34MHz – both of which are wide enough for proper GPS signal reception.26 1.22 1. Figure 67 shows that over the L2 band the LHCP component of radiation below -15dB. At L1. indicating good cross-pol. which is a desirable limit for maximum signal reception and rejection of reflections of LHCP signals. The axial ratio is shown over both bands in Figure 68. This gain flatness bandwidth could be increased with a larger cavity size (depth or length).54 1.62 Figure 68 .52 L1 Band 1.6 Frequency [GHz] 1.58 1. These low axial ratios are the result of the low cross-pol shown in the gain patterns. This optimized antenna meets the VSWR and gain bandwidth goals at the L1 band. or can be used when gain flatness is not critical. and meets the VSWR bandwidth at L2.Axial ratio over the L1 and L2 band for the optimized cavity backed antenna. L2 Band 5 4 Axial Ratio [dB] 3 2 1 0 Axial Ratio [dB] 5 4 3 2 1 0 1.56 1. and at L1 shows the LHCP component also below -15dB.

usable gain bandwidths above isotropic if the variation in amplitude with frequency can be tolerated. the gain bandwidths have been defined by a +/. whereas the L2 band is secondary. which reduces the operating frequency of the antenna while making it very low profile.1dB flatness specification. but each band has wider. This optimized antenna utilizes a cavity backing. 84 . For most GPS applications. This makes this antenna viable for applications where low profile is the priority specification. As indicated.goal at the L2 band. making this a candidate for applications where it is desired to have the antenna built into a structure. in a recess. reception of the L1 band information is of primary importance. allowing it to be mounted flush in a metal surface. and the sacrifice in gain performance is acceptable.

5mm (1. and provides reduction in size.575GHz) and L2 (1.9×12mm (1.47”). inductive loading of the patch element via slots cut into the surface.8×5mm).8×31.2” (31.63×0. Each method allows for two-axis rotational symmetry.5×6. other designs were presented that achieved similar performance.82×0. Additionally.25×1. and a CP stacked patch design that met all electrical specifications and occupied a volume of 41. The motivation for this study stems from the desire to develop a miniature GPS microstrip patch antenna that would provide 20MHz bandwidth at both L1 (1. Three main methods were found to be viable solutions: the use of high permittivity dielectric materials. providing guidelines on how these loading methods can be used in patch antenna designs.26”).5×41.14×0. and capacitive loading via a cavity backing. A slotted. stacked patch was designed to meet the VSWR specifications. Two of the optimized designs were built and tested: a linear antenna covering both bands and occupying a volume of 29×20. circular polarization with low axial ratio. and gain. Circular polarization was desired with an axial ratio of less than 3dB over each band. while occupying a volume of 1. many miniaturization methods fail to meet the required performance. Due to the requirements of bandwidth. and approached the gain flatness 85 .CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION This thesis set out to explore appropriate miniaturization methods for reducing the size of antennas for GPS systems.25×0.63×1. with a minimum gain of 0dBi. Some of the trade-offs involved when using each of the loading methods were explored. Each loading method was then applied in an optimized design that approaches the desired specifications.227GHz) bands. required to produce circular polarization with good axial ratio.

Additionally. 86 . Many designs found in the literature sacrificed the impedance match to achieve their operating bandwidth. as in traditional proximity coupling.33×0. This antenna was 34×34×7mm (1.33×1. a cavity backed stacked-patch configuration was used to design an antenna that once again met the VSWR specifications but fell short of the gain flatness bandwidth goals. such as probe width.5mm (1. Literature searches failed to find antennas that were as compact in size while achieving the 2:1 VSWR bandwidths of these antenna designs. which was used in most of the designs presented.specifications in a volume of 36×36×6. instead of proximity feeding the patches from the side. length. the use of the “L” probe feed structure. Finally. provided the ability to tune to both L1 and L2 in the stacked patch configurations.26”).42×1. The extra degrees of freedom. and allowed for recessed mounting if desired.42×0. and proximity to each patch allowed for a good impedance match of 2:1 to be achieved on both patches at once.28”) in size. Additional size reduction was accomplished for each antenna by feeding the L probes through clearance holes in the lower patch for the stacked patch configuration. This was the smallest antenna found in this study that approached the electrical specifications.

to compute the fields of the TM01 spherical mode. the total stored electric energy density can be computed as 1 1 2 2 we = ε E i E * = ε Eθ + Er 2 2 1  2  1 1 k  1   1 η sin θ  3 6 − 4 + 2  + 4cos 2 θ  3 6 + 4   = 2ω  kr r  kr   k r k r As the limit r → ∞ is taken. Omnidirectional Antenna – TM10 mode only First. an r-directed magnetic vector potential is given as a linear electric current element j   Ar = − cos θ  1 −  e − jkr  kr  The fields from which are  j 1 H φ = sin θ  2 −  e − jkr r  kr 1 j   1 jk Eθ = + 3  e − jkr sin θ  − 2 − jωε r kr   r Er = 1   j cos θ  2 + 3  e − jkr ωε kr  r 2 From the field components. the Er term goes to zero.APPENDIX A DERIVATION OF MINIMUM Q LIMITS Based on [15] Single Polarized. and the radiated fields become Hφ rad ( ) Eθrad e − jkr = − sin θ r e − jkr = −η sin θ r 87 .

the total radiated power can be found by integrating the real part of the Poynting vector over a spherical surface of an arbitrary radius Prad = = = 2π π 2π π ˆ ∫ ∫ Re ( E × H )iu r * r 0 0 2 sin θ dθ dφ ∫ 0  η sin 2 θ  ˆ  ˆ 2 Re  ∫  r 2 ur iur r sin θ dθ dφ 0 3 2π π ∫ ∫η sin 0 0 θ dθ dφ = 8π η 3 The Quality factor can then be calculated as 88 . to find the total non-propagating energy.The radiated electric energy density can be computed as 2 1 1 1 η2 werad = ε E i E * = ε Eθrad = ε 2 sin 2 θ 2 2 2 r McLean then used the difference between the total electric energy density and the radiated electric energy density to find the non-propagating electric energy density as we′ = we − werad = 1  2  1 1  1   1 η sin θ  3 6 − 4  + 4cos 2 θ  3 6 + 4   2ω   k r kr   k r kr   Then. the energy density is integrated over a volume between a sphere of radius a and an infinitely large sphere to get We′ = = = 2π π ∞ ∫ ∫ ∫ w ′r e 2 sin θ drdθ dφ 2 0 0 a 2π π ∞ ∫ ∫ ∫ 2ω η sin  0 0 0 1  θ 1  1   1  1 − 4  + 4 cos 2 θ  3 6 + 4   r 2 sin θ drdθ dφ 3 6 kr  kr   k r k r 4πη  1 1   3 3+  3ω  k a ka  Next.

For the TE case. where k = ω µε . The field components then become. an electric vector potential and its fields are given as the dual of the TM case as: j   Fr = − cos θ 1 −  e − jkr  kr   j 1 Eφ = sin θ  2 −  e− jkr  kr r  Hθ = j   1 jk sin θ  − 2 − + 3  e− jkr jωµ r kr   r 2 1   j Hr = cos θ  2 + 3  e− jkr ωµ  r kr  1 In order to get CP.Q= 2ωWe′ 1 1 = 3 3+ Prad k a ka Circularly Polarized Omnidirectional Antenna – TE01 and TM01 modes excited Much of the derivation is the same.η = µ ε  j 1 H φ = sin θ  2 −  e − jkr r  kr 1 j   1 jk Eθ = sin θ  − 2 − + 3  e − jkr jωε r kr   r Er = 1   j cos θ  2 + 3  e − jkr ωε kr  r  j 1 Eφ = jη sin θ  2 −  e − jkr r  kr 1 j   1 jk Hθ = sin θ  − 2 − + 3  e − jkr k r kr   r 2 Hr = 2j 1   j cos θ  2 + 3  e− jkr k kr  r 89 . an amplitude adjustment of jη is applied to Fr. and the TE fields and TM fields are combined. so details are omitted for operations that are the same.

and is then Prad = 16π η 3 The quality factor Q is then computed as Q= 2ωWe′ 1  1 2  =  3 3+  Prad 2  k a ka  The Q is approximately half that of the linear case. since here power is exciting both modes equally.The total electric energy density of this field distribution can be found as 1 1 2 2 we = ε E i E * = ε Eθ + Er + Eφ 2 2 ( 2 ) The same method is applied as in the linear polarization case. 90 . and it is found that We′ = 4πη  1 2 +  3 3 3ω  k a ka   It is found that the radiating power is twice that of the linear case.

7 Figure 69 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for the 36×36×10mm antenna. All dimensions are in millimeters. and achieved similar bandwidths of 8MHz at L2 and 16MHz at L1 with a smaller area.3 1.4 1.6 1. the stacked patch L-probe GPS antenna. but a larger thickness.1. this design was reduced in size to 36×36×10mm.APPENDIX B ADDITIONAL ANTENNA DESIGNS Antenna B1: Modified from the antenna found in 3. Return loss for 36X36X10mm Antenna 0 S11 S21 -10 [dB] -20 -30 -40 1.3. 91 .2 1.5 Frequency [GHz] 1.

this design was reduced in size to 31×31×10mm. Figure 70 .3. 92 . the stacked patch L-probe GPS antenna. The antenna achieves smaller bandwidths of 7MHz at L2 and at L1 a match that gives approximately 50MHz 3dB bandwidth.Wireframe drawing of the 31×31×10mm stacked patch antenna. and L1 needs better impedance matching.Antenna B2: Modified from the antenna found in 3. showing the location of slots in both the top and bottom patch layers. This antenna would require further tuning to get L2 tuned down to the proper range.1. with slots in both the top and the bottom patches. and a larger thickness. with no match at 2:1 VSWR.

93 .7 Figure 71 – Dimensioned drawing and return loss for antenna comparison with the theoretical Q limits.6 1.Return loss for 31X31X10mm Antenna 0 S11 S21 -10 [dB] -20 -30 -40 1. All dimensions are in millimeters.3 1.4 1.2 1.5 Frequency [GHz] 1.

models the surface as an impedance boundary condition where the tangential E field is related by ˆ ˆ ˆ n × E = Z o (n × n × H ) where : Zo = 1+ j δσ 2 δ = skin depth = ωσµ A patch simulation.APPENDIX C HFSS CONDUCTIVITY CONSIDERATIONS Finite Conductivity Study Over the course of this research project. • PEC Boundary Condition – models surface as having zero loss. and no tangential electric field. Patch antennas are usually modeled with a sheet layer assigned with a Perfect Electric Conductor boundary condition. Also allows an equivalent thickness to be assigned to the surface that attempts to model the effects of a finite thickness conductor. 94 . attempts were made to take advantage of the finite conductivity simulation options in Ansoft HFSS (High Frequency Structure Simulator) to better estimate performance of realistic antennas. using this method. is defined as an infinitely thin sheet with this boundary condition assigned. The HFSS software offers multiple options to handle the surface boundary conditions for a conductive patch: • Finite Conductivity Impedance .

To compare these different options. These results are compared to simulations using CST. there are meshing options: • Max Element Size – restricts the element size on a given surface to a maximum size. Figure 72 . Patch is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3. and measured results. a copper volume 2. a copper volume with a 1mm maximum element size 95 . while choosing the number of meshing layers used to mesh the skin depth.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate.8×107S/m.2) for use as the transmit antenna in Appendix E. In addition. • Skin Depth Mesh – Allows a mesh to be developed to one skin depth thickness. shown in Figure 89. Provides the option to solve on the surface only or to include the interior of the volume in the solution.Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. allowing the meshing to be set as desired.• Copper Volume – defines a copper volume as copper material with conductivity of σ = 5. two of the prototype antennas were simulated using various settings for conductivity in HFSS. The first comparison involves the antenna built on Rogers 5880 (εr = 2. The simulations were carried out using: 1.

a PEC sheet 7.3. a finite conductivity surface of copper with zero equivalent thickness 5. despite the different methods employed. a finite conductivity surface of copper with 1mil equivalent thickness 6. with very little variation among them. including the measured results. The CST simulation also showed good agreement. although at a reduced bandwidth. CST copper surface Figure 73 shows the return loss results for all seven methods. a copper volume with a skin depth mesh using 3 layers of mesh 4. compared to the infinite ground plane used in the simulations. The measured results show a resonant frequency very close to the simulation. It is possible that the impedance match is affected by the 12×12” ground plane this antenna is mounted on. 96 . with a slightly lower resonant frequency and approximately the same bandwidth. all of the HFSS simulations matched up well. For an antenna of this size.

631 17. but vary considerably both in memory usage and simulation time. Solution Method B [MHz] fo [GHz] Memory # Tetrahedra Measured Copper Copper 1mm mesh Copper Skin Depth FC infinite thin FC 1mil thickness PEC CST 25 36 35 35 38 38 36 40 1.3 Measured HFSS Copper HFSS Copper Fine Mesh HFSS Copper Skin depth HFSS Finite Cond Thin HFSS Finite Cond 1mil HFSS PEC CST Copper 1.452 1.452 1. All simulations run on 64 bit WinXP.453 1. HFSS 97 .454 1. The HFSS simulations have little variation in bandwidth and resonant frequency.448 n/a 712MB 2.076 43375 17.35 1.45 1. 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM.826 115.464 1.321 Table 2 – Summarized results of the measured and simulated data.52GB 315MB 314MB 365MB Solution Time hr:min:sec 0:13:26 1:26:21 0:37:10 0:08:51 0:09:36 0:09:08 21.454 1.4 1.0 -5 -10 -15 S11 [dB] -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1. The results of the simulations and measurements are summarized in Table 2.5 1.14GB 1.6 1.55 Frequency [GHz] 1.65 1.454 1.631 22.7 Figure 73 – Comparison of the return loss results for all 8 methods.

a copper volume 2. Figure 74. The simulations were carried out using: 1. Figure 74 – 27×27mm patch on 31×31×3. since the computational cost rose considerably while generating almost identical results. on TMM10 dielectric material. a copper volume with a 0.5mm maximum element size 4. compared to the PEC modeling. Another example is the simulation of the patch antenna with four 9mm long. 1mm wide slots. with four 9mm long. a copper volume with a 2mm maximum element size 3.It is seen that there is little benefit gained by using the finite conductivity surfaces. a copper volume with a skin depth mesh using 5 layers of mesh 5.175mm TMM10 substrate. 1mm wide slots. a finite conductivity surface of copper with zero equivalent thickness 98 .

1mm wide slots in the patch surface.48 Frequency [GHz] 1.5 Figure 75 – Comparison of simulation and measured data for the antenna with 9mm long.47 1.465 1.495 1. 99 .475 1. a finite conductivity surface of copper with 1mil equivalent thickness 7. in Figure 75.49 1.485 1.45 Measured HFSS Copper 2mm max element size HFSS Copper 0. 0 -5 -10 -15 S11 [dB] -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 1. CST copper surface The various conductivity methods are compared to CST and measured data. and summarized in Table 3.6.46 1.455 1. a PEC sheet 8. The gain of the antennas simulated using HFSS are shown in Figure 76 and summarized in Table 3.5mm max element size HFSS Copper 5 Layer Skin Depth HFSS FC 1mil thickness HFSS FC infinitely thin HFSS PEC CST Copper 1.

852 34.485 1.52GB 31.475 1.505 1. 1mm wide slots in the patch surface. 100 HFSS .47 HFSS HFSS HFSS HFSS HFSS HFSS 1.49 1.15GB 2. All simulations run on 64 bit WinXP.704 23.5 1.5GB 3.1 4.55GB 1. **indicates 0.210 Table 3 – Summary of comparison between simulated and measured data using different HFSS conductivity settings.495 1.454 1. 2.51 1.1 4.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system (two active cores) with 4GB of RAM.736 36.5mm max element size Copper 5 Layer Skin Depth FC 1mil thickness FC infinitely thin PEC 1.2 n/a 1.495 Frequency [GHz] Figure 76 .5 layer skin depth* FC infinite thin* FC 1mil thickness* PEC CST B Max Gain Memory # Tetrahedra fo [GHz] [dB] [MHz] 7 7 7 7 9 9 6 11 1.494 4.494 1. Solution Time hr:min:sec 0:47:08 1:52:36 1:45:23 1:02:19 2:55:01 0:26:52 Solution Method Measured Copper* Copper** Copper .48 Copper 2mm max element size Copper 0.58GB 3.940 40.98GB 3.494 1.1 3 3 4.Comparison of HFSS simulation gains for the antenna with 9mm long.487 1.488 1. * indicates 2mm maximum element size.5mm maximum element size.031 54.488 1.4 3 2 Broadside Gain [dBi] 1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 1.

which is within 3%. where the finite conductivity cases show an increased bandwidth compared to the PEC and copper cases. these bandwidth values are all very close. Regardless. The finite conductivity boundary condition results in too much loss on the patch. This offset in resonant frequency is also shown for many slot lengths. The maximum gain values vary between 4dBi for the PEC and copper cases and 3dBi for the finite conductivity cases. more than what is expected with a copper surface. in section 3. for this study it was determined that modeling using PEC surfaces suffices in predicting the performance of the antennas 101 . Considering the results of the large microstrip patch antenna on low permittivity material. One explanation might be tolerances in the milling process that was used to fabricate the antennas. and once again the computational costs for the various conductivity methods do not produce a benefit for these antenna structures.2. The CST bandwidth is greater than the HFSS simulations. while the PEC simulation had the lowest. All of the simulation methods show a resonant frequency on the order of 40MHz higher than that measured. mainly due to the time domain solver used and the difficulties that arise when simulating high Q resonant structures. The difference in efficiency is also reflected in the bandwidths. The simulated bandwidths are all within a few MHz of the measured antenna.1.All of the simulated resonant frequencies are within 8MHz. shown in Figure 76. which is good agreement amongst the different methods. and the small slotted patch antenna on TMM10. The infinitely thin finite conductivity layer showed the highest bandwidth out of the HFSS simulations.

175mm.while using less computer resources. Throughout this thesis. Size of Radiating Air Volume Finally. with an air box of size 2a×2a×a. The antenna in Figure 74 was simulated for an air box of volume 2a×2a×a. Figure 77 – 27×27mm patch antenna with four 9mm long. although the -10dB 102 . as shown in Figure 77. For a small air box where a = 30mm. Ansoft HFSS recommends a radiating box that extends at least λo / 4 from the structure when using the radiation boundary condition. the impedance match of the antenna is shown to suffer. 1mm wide slots on TMM10 substrate of size 31×31×3. The results of the simulations are shown in Figure 78. all simulation results use PEC patch surfaces. concern was raised over size of the radiation air box volume used in the HFSS simulations and the impact on antenna performance. which places the radiating boundary at approximately λo / 8 from the antenna structure.

an air box of at least 160×160×80mm was used to ensure a large enough distance between the antenna and the radiation boundary.54 -30 1.51 Frequency [GHz] 1.47 1. 103 . Return Loss of Antenna for Various Radiation Box Sizes -5 -10 S11 [dB] -15 -20 -25 a= a= a= a= a= a= a= a= a= a= a= a= 1. the impedance match is approximately the same for each simulation.52 30mm 40mm 50mm 60mm 70mm 80mm 90mm 100mm 110mm 120mm 130mm 140mm 1.5 1.49 1. For all simulations in this study.53 Figure 78 – Simulated return loss for air box volumes of size a=30mm to a=140mm. As the air box size a is increased.46 1.48 1.bandwidth is nearly the same as the other cases.

APPENDIX D SLOT MAGNETIC FIELD VECTOR PLOTS
The Ansoft HFSS simulations allow for visualization of the fields on the antenna, which were used to observe the effect of the slots on the fields. Specifically, the magnetic field (H) was of interest in the slot, as well as the currents on the patch surface supporting this magnetic field. These fields are shown in Figure 79, Figure 80 and Figure 81.

Figure 79 - Plot of the magnitude of the H field at x=0 plane of the patch in Figure 34b, showing the concentration of field in the slots.

104

Figure 80 - Vector field plot of the magnetic field in the x=0 plane of the patch in Figure 34b, showing the field penetrating the patch through the slot.

Figure 81 - Vector plot showing the currents (YELLOW) on the patch surface around the slots, and the magnetic field (RED) inside the slot. This shows the concentration of currents at the end of the slot producing the strongest magnetic field.
105

APPENDIX E MEASURED SLOTTED PROTOTYPE ANTENNAS
Six antennas were fabricated at UMASS Amherst in order to validate the studies performed on the slot loading of the patch antennas. The antennas were milled on 31×31×3.175mm TMM10 substrates, with 2oz copper plating on both sides of the substrate material. The antennas were probe feed using SMA connectors, and all of the antennas were mounted on 12×12” metallic ground planes for impedance measurements, and a pattern measurement was taken for the patch antenna with 9mm long, 1 mm wide slots.

0

-5

-10

-15 S11 dB

6mm long 1mm wide

-20 9mm long 1mm wide 9mm long 3mm wide -30 9mm long 1.5mm wide -35 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Frequency [GHz] 1.7 3mm long 1mm wide 1.8

-25

no slots

Figure 82 - Measured return loss for the 6 prototype slotted antennas. The dimension on the first line of each label denotes the slot length, and the second line denotes the slot width. All antennas were mounted on a 12×12" ground plane.

106

Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3. with 3mm long.175mm TMM10 substrate.175mm TMM10 substrate. 107 .Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.Figure 83 . 1mm wide slots. with no slots. Figure 84 .

175mm TMM10 substrate. Figure 86 . 1mm wide slots. with 6mm long.Figure 85 .Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3. 1mm wide slots. with 9mm long. 108 .175mm TMM10 substrate.Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.

3mm wide slots. with 9mm long. with 9mm long.Figure 87 .175mm TMM10 substrate.5mm wide slots.175mm TMM10 substrate. 1.Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3. Figure 88 . 109 .Built 27×27mm Patch Antenna on 31×31×3.

Figure 90 . The antenna used for transmit was designed to have the same resonant frequency as the slotted patch with four 9mm long. 1mm wide slots are shown in Figure 91 and Figure 92. 1mm wide slots. and was mounted on a 12×12” ground plane. 110 .Patch antenna built for use as transmit antenna in far-field range. so a 66×85mm (L×W) patch was fabricated on 125mil thick Rogers 5880 substrate material to be used as the transmit antenna.Built transmit antenna for use in the far-field range. Figure 89 . radiation patterns were measured for the antenna shown in Figure 86. Patch is 66×85mm on a 120×120×3.175mm Rogers 5880 substrate.5GHz.Also. The far-field range at UMASS Amherst is not equipped with standard gain horns at 1. the principle plane pattern cuts. and is shown in Figure 89 and Figure 90. The patterns for the antenna for the antenna with 9mm.

H Plane Pattern 0o0 dB -30o -5 -10 30o -60o -15 -20 -25 60o -90o -25 -20 -15 o 90o -120 HFSS -10 Measured -5 120o -150o 0 dB 150o 180o Figure 92 . 1mm wide slots. 1mm wide slots.E-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long. 111 .E Plane Pattern 0o0 dB -30o -5 -10 30o -60o -15 -20 -25 60o -90o -25 -20 -15 90o -120o HFSS -10 Measured -5 120o -150o 0 dB 150o 180o Figure 91 .H-plane pattern for the slotted patch antenna with four 9mm long.

1mm wide slots mounted on AUT positioner in the far field range.Figure 93 – Patch with four 9mm long.Transmit antenna mounted on tapered end of the far field range. Figure 94 . The ground plane is 12×12”. 112 .

APPENDIX F EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT FOR WIDE SLOTS As the slot width increases.Transmission line model for slot cut in a patch surface when the width of the slot is much greater than the substrate thickness. The patch shown is on a 3mm thick substrate with 5mm wide slots. 113 . the circuit model is changed to take into account the capacitance loading both between the patch and the ground and across the slot itself. Figure 95. Figure 95 .

114 .Transmission line model modified with the addition of a 2 lumped capacitors on the radiating slots of the microstrip patch antenna.APPENDIX G CAPACITOR LOADED PATCH ANTENNA The transmission line model is useful for predicting the resonant frequency performance of a microstrip antenna. and a modified form from section 3. Figure 96 .1 is presented.

included again as G.The modified model in Figure 96 allows for calculation of the resonant frequency of the antenna when the radiating edges are loaded with lumped capacitors. as well as the equations included specifically for capacitive loading on the radiating edges of the patch [2].3. The equivalent length added by the shunt capacitance can be found using equation G. 115 . The analysis makes use of equations 3.667 ln  + 1.444    t  t and the new effective length is found using equation G. with shunt capacitances ranging from 0-10pF. Leff = L + 2 ∆ L jB + 2 ∆ LCl (G.2) ε reff W W   + 1.393 + 0. ∆LCl = c ω εe tan −1 (ωCl Z o ) ≈ cCl Zo εe .2 and 3. the resonant frequency is found using equation 3.4) For a square patch with L=W=27mm on an infinite substrate of TMM10 (єr = 9.2) of thickness t = 3mm. connected between the patch and ground.1 [32]. ωCl Z o ≪ 1 (G. Finally.3) Note that ∆LjB is the same ∆L calculated in equation 3. fr = 2 ( Leff co ) ε reff (G.5.4. the resonant frequency can be approximated using the analytic equations.1) Where Zo is defined as [9] Zo = 377 (G.4.3.

8 Frequency [GHz] 1.1.2 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Shunt Capacitance [pF] 8 9 10 Figure 97 – Resonant frequency behavior for varying the value of the lumped loading capacitor.6 1. calculated using the modified transmission line model shown in Figure 96. 116 .4 1.

7 1. Figure 98 .8 1. shown in Figure 99.APPENDIX H EFFECT OF SUBSTRATE THICKNESS ON RESONANT FREQUENCY Using equations 3.6 1. thickness t.5 2 4 6 8 10 12 Substrate Thickness [mm] 14 Figure 99 . the resonant frequency of a 27×27mm square patch (Figure 98) on an infinite substrate of TMM10 (єr = 9. of TMM10 dielectric material.Change in resonant frequency with substrate thickness for 27×27mm patch on an infinite substrate of TMM10 dielectric material. 117 . Resonant Frequency [GHz] 1.2-3.5.Square 27×27mm patch antenna on an infinite substrate.2) is calculated for various thicknesses t.

The antenna is formed by bending down the edges of a patch to lower the resonant frequency for one of the fundamental (TM010. L1 and L2 were then split between the two stacked patches. as shown in Figure 101. modes on each of the patches. Figure 100 . The combination of resonant mode directions allowed for circular polarization to be obtained when the ports were fed in quadrature.Capacitively loaded antenna utilizing bent capacitive sections of the patch to generate a lower resonant frequency.APPENDIX I VERTICAL WALL LOADED ANTENNA An additional example of capacitive loading is a patch antenna loaded with bent sections in the patch surface. TM100). This antenna was explored and shows another application of the capacitive loading without using lumped element capacitors. 118 .

This was obtained only after finely tuning the probe dimensions and placement. where the coupling mechanism is drastically different between the two modes.Diagram of the tuning of both bands in both orthogonal directions when both patches were excited. which was very sensitive to changes in any of the feed positions or dimensions. The main difficulty was tuning each polarization of each band to have the same RL response (to have equal amplitude). many tuning difficulties arose due to the asymmetries in the structure. y directions and how when fed with 90° phase difference (j) generate proper CP at both bands. A proper match in return loss for port 1 and port 2 was not obtained for both L1 and L2 at the same time.Figure 101 . The best case return loss tuned for the antenna at L2 is shown in Figure 102. which showed large changes in tuning with very small changes in the physical parameters. L2 bands in the x. 119 . Ultimately. Shown are the field components at L1.

1 S11 S22 1.6 1.3 1.0 -5 -10 [dB] -15 -20 -25 1.5 Frequency [GHz] 1.4 1.7 Figure 102 .2 1. 120 .Return loss of the side wall loaded stacked patch antenna with L-probe feeds.

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