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"Tri-Band Circularly Polarized Annular Slot Antenna for GPS and CNSS
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Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/LAWP.2012.2200869

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Tri-Band Circularly Polarized Annular Slot


Antenna for GPS and CNSS Applications
Lei Wang, Yong-Xin Guo, Senior Member, IEEE, and Weixing Sheng

could cover L1/L2/L5 GPS band, but two L-shaped probes and
Abstract— A single-feed tri-band circularly polarized (CP) a 0°-90° hybrid were employed to ensure RHCP radiation. In
annular slot antenna is presented. The antenna structure is [9], a three-layer stacked microstrip antenna was designed to
composed of two non-concentric annular slots that are fed by an achieve tri-band CP radiation. Also, a tri-band CP stacked
L-shaped series step impedance microstrip line configuration. The
design was introduced in [10] for GPS and CNSS applications.
proposed antenna is designed to operate at the L1 & L2 bands of
the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the frequency band of The CP radiations were achieved by inserting the two pairs of
the Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS). The measured narrow slots parallel to the edges of the top square patch and
results show that the impedance bandwidths are good for all cutting a slit in the bottom square patch. However, the antennas
bands. And the radiation patterns with good CP characteristics presented in [9] [10] are with high profile, large in size and
are obtained at the three resonant frequencies. complex to fabricate on a multi-layer PCB. Different types slot
antennas to achieve dual-band CP characteristics by dual spiral
Index Terms— circular polarization; slot antenna; tri-band
slots [11], pentagonal slot [12], folded L-shaped stub [13], and
antennas; GPS; CNSS.
CPW fed antennas with different loaded [14] [15] were
I. INTRODUCTION presented. Most of multi-band CP antennas presented in
[1]-[15] are dual-band CP antennas.
C IRCULARLY polarized (CP) antennas have been received
much attention for the applications of the wireless
communication services such as global and positioning system
In this letter, a tri-band CP annular slot antenna is proposed.
The antenna consists of two non-concentric annular slots with
an L-shaped series step impedance feed configuration. The
(GPS) and other wireless communications and sensor systems. frequency-ratio of antenna can be controlled by adjusting the
This is due to the advantages including immunity to Faraday
dimensions of two annular slots. This design is compact in
rotation, mitigation of multipath propagation effects and
structure, and is suitable for GPS (both L1 and L2 band) and
reduced antenna orientation constrains. For more demanding
CNSS applications.
applications, such as surveying systems employing differential
GPS, an antenna covering both L1 and L2 bands is useful. In
china, compass navigation satellite system (CNSS), or named
“BeiDou”, has provided navigation and positioning services
compatible with GPS. Thus, a multi-band CP antenna which
can operate both at GPS and CNSS frequency bands is required.
Various types of designs related to multi-band CP antennas
have been reported [1]-[16]. Single-layer designs using square
and circular patches with several slits have been demonstrated
in [1]-[3]. Stacked-patch multi-band CP antennas have also
been introduced [4]-[10]. Some dual-band CP stacked
microstrip patch antennas were achieved, like using an aperture
couple feed [4] [5], by two different types of stacked patched
[6], and by carving an asymmetric S-shaped slot [7]. A
dual-band proximity-fed stacked patch antenna presented in [8]

Manuscript submitted Nov 28, 2011, resubmitted January 10, 2012 and
resubmitted on Feb 26, 2012.
L. Wang is with the Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing Fig.1 Proposed tri-band CP antenna.
210094, People’s Republic of China, and also with the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore II. ANTENNA STRUCTURE AND DESIGN
117576, (e-mail: nustwl@ gmail.com).
Y. X. Guo is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The proposed antenna is shown in Fig.1. Two non-concentric
National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Singapore (e-mail: annular slots and an L-shaped step impedance microstrip feed
eleguoyx@nus.edu.sg).
W. X. Sheng is with the Millimeter Wave Technique Laboratory, Nanjing line are etched on opposite sides of a microwave RO4003
University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, People’s Republic of substrate with εr =3.38, tanδ=0.0027 and thickness h=0.813mm.
China.

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The center line of the horizontal L-shaped feed line and the [16]. The coupling strength between the annular slots and the
center line of the vertical L-shaped feed line are intersected at fed line configuration are changed with different width of the
the origin O. Origin O, O1 (center of the outer slot ring) and O2 annular slot and width of the feed line. To optimize the values
(center of the inner slot ring) string on the same line having a of S1, S2, w1 and w2, good impedance matching of all the three
angle of 45° with x-axis. To simplify the design, the width wf of frequency bands need be met. After optimization, R1 and R2
the feed line was chosen to be 1.7mm, which corresponds to the were chosen to be 29 mm and 21.3 mm for the L2 and L1 GPS
characteristic impedance of 50 Ω. And the length lf of the feed bands, respectively. And the optimized values of S1, S2, w1 and
line was chosen to be 15 mm. w2 were 3 mm, 1.5 mm, 4 mm and 10 mm, respectively.

III. PARAMETRIC STUDIES


The tunable L-shaped step impedance feed line is employed
to improve the parameter optimization freedom to lead to match
all the three bands easily. For the proposed tri-band antenna, d o
and d, l1and l2, and ls are also the key parameters. To investigate
their effects on antenna performance, parametric analyses are
(a) (b) (c) performed into three groups varied. Other parameters were
Fig.2 Simulated surface current distributions for the three bands; fixed as in Table I.
(a) Low frequency, (b) Middle frequency, (c) upper frequency.
TABLE I
In order to investigate the mechanism for the tri-band CP DIMENSIONS OF THE OPTIMIZED ANTENNA DESIGN
antenna, the current distributions for the three frequencies
simulated by HFSS are shown in Fig.2. It can be seen from Dimensions Dimensions
Parameters Parameters
Fig.2 (a) that the resonant frequency for low frequency is (mm) (mm)
mainly determined by the circumference (2*π*(R1+S1/2)) of Wa 60 La 53
Wb 35 Lb 40
the outside annular slot, which is about one guided wavelength wf 1.7 lf 15
at the low frequency. As seen from Fig 2(b), the middle w1 4 l1 11
resonant frequency is mainly determined by the circumference w2 10 l2 22
(2*π*(R2+S2/2)) of the inner annular slot, which is about one h 0.813 ls 18
R1 29 S1 3
guided wavelength at the middle frequency. The Fig 2(c) shows R2 21.3 S2 1.5
that the upper resonant frequency is excited by the high-order d 3 do 2
resonant modes of inner and outer annular slots.
A. The effect of d o and d
Also, single annular-ring slot antenna and dual annular slots
antenna were simulated individually. Fig.3 shows the simulated The parameter of d o is the distance from the center of the
|S11| for the cases with single and double annular slots. It is also inside ring slot to the center of the outside ring slot. To ensure
clearly seen that the low resonance frequency and the middle that there is no overlapping between the two ring slots, a
resonance frequency are controlled by the outer annular slot feasible d o is chosen from 0 mm to 3 mm. Two non-concentric
and the inner annular slot, respectively. Both the inner and annular ring slots were used for good matching. As shown in
outer annular slots of this proposed antenna have influence on Fig.4, with the increasing of d o, the matching of the third
the third band. The upper resonant frequency is excited by both operating band becomes better, and there is slight effect on the
the high-order resonant modes of inner and outer annular slots other two bands.
and thus a wideband impedance bandwidth can be achieved to 0
cover the CNSS band.
-5
0
-10
-5
|S11| (dB)

-15
-10
-20
|S11| (dB)

-15
-25 do=0mm
-20
do=1mm
-25
-30 do=2mm
with dual annular slots do=3mm
-30 with inner annular slot only -35
with outer annular slot only 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
-35 Frequency (GHz)
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
Frequency (GHz) Fig.4 Simulated |S11| for various do ; d=3mm, l1=11mm, l2 =22mm, ls=18mm.

Fig.3 Simulated |S11| for single and double annual slots antennas. Fig.5 shows the simulated |S11| for different value of d. The
An L-shaped serial step impedance microstrip feed line is value d is the distance from the centre of the inside circle slot.
used for more parameters tuning freedom, which is similar to All the three bands are sensitive to d. With d increasing, the

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impedance bandwidth of the first frequency band becomes axial ratio [16]. Fig.7 illustrates the simulated |S11 | for different
worse. But, the middle frequency band is enhanced. When the values. The effect on the impedance bandwidth is slight for all
value of d is smaller than 3 mm, the third band will be spitted to three frequency bands. In the first operating band, with ls
two narrow bands around at 2.4 GHz. After optimization, d o increasing, the matching is enhanced. The resultant CP axial
and d of 2 mm and 3 mm were chosen. ratios against three frequency bands are presented in Fig.8. It is
0 found that the suitable CP performances of all three bands were
achieved when the values of ls is 18 mm.
-5
15
-10 ls=16mm
ls=18mm
12 ls=20mm
|S11| (dB)

-15 ls=22mm

Axial ratio (dB)


-20
9
-25 d=-3mm
d=0mm
d=3mm 6
-30 d=5mm

-35 3
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
Frequency (GHz)
0
Fig.5 Simulated |S11| with various d; do=2mm, l1=11mm, l2=22mm, ls=18mm. 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.56 1.58 1.60 2.4 2.5 2.6

Frequency (GHz)
B. The effect of l1 and l2
Fig.8 Simulated axial ratio for various ls; d=3mm, do=2mm, l1=11mm,
Keeping the total length of l1 and l2 invariant, the simulated l2=22mm.
|S11| for different values of microstrip feeding line length l1 and
l2 is shown in Fig.6. The impedance bandwidth of the third band IV. PROTOTYPE AND MEASUREMENT RESULTS
is improved with l1 increased. The other two bands are shown
slightly sensitive to these parameters. We choose l1=11 mm and The optimized antenna based on the parameters shown in
l2=22 mm to achieve good impedance matching for three bands. Table. I was fabricated on a Rogers RO4003 laminate.
0
Photographs of the top and bottom layers are shown in Fig. 9.
The input reflection coefficient was measured by Agilent HP
-5
8753D. A reasonable agreement is obtained between
-10 simulation and measurement. Fig.10 displays the measured and
simulated |S11 | for the proposed antenna. The measured
|S11| (dB)

-15
impedance bandwidths (|S11|< -10) are 9% with respect to 1.22
-20
GHz (from 1.16 GHz to 1.27 GHz) for the low band, 2.5% with
-25 l1=9mm, l2=24mm respect to 1.575 GHz (from 1.55 GHz to 1.59 GHz) for the
l1=11mm, l2=22mm
-30 l1=13mm, l2=20mm
middle band and 27% with respect to 2.31 from 2.0 GHz to 2.62
-35
GHz for the upper band.
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
Frequency (GHz)

Fig.6 Simulated |S11| for various l1 & l2; d=3mm, do =2mm, ls=18mm.
0

-5

-10

-15 (a) (b)


|S11| (dB)

-20 Fig.9 Photographs of the proposed antenna: (a) top layer, (b) bottom layer.
ls=16mm 0
-25
ls=18mm
ls=20mm -5
-30 ls=22mm
-10
-35
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0 -15
|S11| (dB)

Frequency (GHz)
-20
Fig.7 Simulated |S11| for various ls; d=3mm, do=2mm, l1=11mm, l2=22mm. -25
Simulated
C. The effect of ls -30
Measured
-35
The value of ls is a key parameter. The circular polarization
performance with an optimum axial ratio can be obtained by -40
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
fine tuning ls. The length of ls can control the loop size in Frequency (GHz)
impedance loci of Smith chart that is directly related to the CP
Fig.10 Measured and simulated |S11 |.

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Fig.11 illustrates the measured and simulated axial ratio three bands of the proposed antenna are 4.0 dBi at 1.22 GHz,
(AR) plotted against frequency. A good agreement between 4.6 dBi at 1.58GHz and 5.7 dBi at 2.49 GHz, respectively.
simulation and measurement is also observed. The measured
result shows the 3-dB AR bandwidth to be 60 MHz (1.19 GHz V. CONCLUSION
to 1.28 GHz) for the low band, 20 MHz (1.57 GHz to 1.59 A tri-band circularly polarized (CP) annular slot antenna
GHz) for the middle band and 100 MHz (2.45 GHz to 2.59 with a single feed has been proposed and experimentally
GHz) for the upper band. demonstrated. By employing two annular slots coupled with an
10
L-shaped series step impedance feed line, a tri-band circular
9 Simulated

8
Measured polarization was achieved. More parameters tuning freedom is
7
achieved by using the series step impedance microstrip feed
Axial Ratio (dB)

6 line. It is easy to well match all the three frequency bands. This
5 antenna covers the L1 and L2 bands of GPS and the operating
4
band of CNSS. Due to its compactness, the proposed antenna
3
represents an interesting alternative for mobile communication
2
1
and portable positioning systems.
0
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.56 1.58 1.60 2.4 2.5 2.6
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Fig.11 Measured and simulated Frequency
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