Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.

1 2005, c T
¨
UB
˙
ITAK
Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip
Patch Antenna Arrays for the Wireless
Communication
Gonca C¸ AKIR
1
. Levent SEVG
˙
I
2
1
Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering,
Kocaeli University, Kocaeli-TURKEY
e-mail: gonca@kou.edu.tr
2
Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, Do˘gu¸s University,
Zeamet Sokak, No 21, Acıbadem,
˙
Istanbul-TURKEY
e-mail: lsevgi@dogus.edu.tr
Abstract
Typical low-cost, low-weight microstrip base station antenna arrays with beam-scanning capabilities
are taken into account. In downtowns of large cities like New York, Chicago, and in historical cities
like Istanbul, where high buildings are separated by narrow but densely occupied streets, antenna arrays
with approximately 20

−35

beam-widths are required to complete the cellular communication coverage.
To meet this requirement, new antenna arrays are designed with 35

beam-widths and 60

electronic
scanning capabilities. Their characteristics are investigated both numerically and experimentally. An
FDTD-based antenna simulation package (M-PATCH) is prepared, tested on canonical structures and
against the literature first, for verification and calibration. Then, the characteristics of the designed
arrays are investigated via M-PATCH. Finally, the arrays are experimentally verified. It is illustrated
that, the results of simulations and experiments agree very well, and the arrays meet the design criteria.
Key Words: Wireless communication, microstrip, patch antenna array, beam scanning, beam forming,
FDTD, numerical simulation.
1. Introduction
Parallel to the rising importance of wireless communication systems and personnel IT (information tech-
nologies) services (e.g., Bluetooth) increasing efforts are devoted to the design and implementation of novel
microstrip structures from miniaturized electronic circuits to the antenna arrays. One major application
is design of microstrip antenna arrays which are attractive candidates for adaptive systems in the present
and future communication systems. Their main advantages are light weight, low cost, planar or conformal
layout, and ability of integration with electronic or signal processing circuitry [see, e.g., 1].
Designing active / passive microwave circuits, on the other hand, requires understanding of both math-
ematical relations (i.e., the theory) and applications (i.e, computer simulations as well as measurements).
Mathematical relations exist for only simple, idealized microstrip structures and may help to understand
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Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.1, 2005
only the fundamentals. Fortunately, powerful numerical simulation methods are available which can be used
to design complex microstrip structures. Among the others are the finite-difference time domain (FDTD),
the transmission line matrix (TLM), the finite element (FE) and method of moments (MoM). All of these
methods have continuously been applied to broad range of physical problems, from electromagnetics to me-
chanics and the reader may reach hundreds of references for different topics via a simple internet search
(therefore no references are given in this article for their pioneering and characteristic applications).
This article describes the design, simulation and testing of microstrip patch array antenna for the
current wireless communication systems which operates at 1.8 GHZ band, with 35

beamwidths, up to 60

electronic scanning capabilities. These beamwidths are chosen because they become almost standard for
base station applications [2]. The antennas are analyzed with FDTD-based, in-house prepared M-PATCH
package. The FDTD [3] is chosen just because it is simple to implement, widely accepted, and very effective
in visualisation [4,5].
2. Design Principles
The designed antenna is a 3×3 array. The first step in the design is to specify the dimensions of a single
microstrip patch antenna. The patch conductor can be assumed at any shape, but generally simple geometries
are used, and this simplifies the analysis and performance prediction. Here, the half-wavelength rectangular
patch element is chosen as the array element (as commonly used in microstrip antennas) [6]. Its characteristic
parameters are the length L, the width w, and the thickness h, as shown in Figure 1.
To meet the initial design requirements (operating frequency = 1.8 GHz, and beamwidth = 35

)
various analytical approximate approaches may be used. Here, the calculations are based on the transmission-
line model [7]. Although not critical, the width w of the radiating edge is specified first. The square-patch
geometry is chosen since it can be arranged to produce circularly polarized waves. In practice, the length L
is slightly less than a half wavelength (in the dielectric). The length may also be specified by calculating the
half-wavelength value and then subtracting a small length to take into account the fringing fields [8-10], as:
L =
c
2f
0

ε
e
−2∆L (1)
Where c is the velocity of light and
∆L = 0.412h

e
+ 0.3)

w
h
+ 0.264


e
− 0.258)

w
h
+ 0.813
, ε
e
=
ε
r
+ 1
2
+
ε
r
− 1
2

1

1 + 12h/L

, (w/h ≥ 1) (2)
Here, ε
e
and f
o,
∆L are effective relative permittivity, the operating frequency, and the fringe factor,
respectively.
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C¸ AKIR, SEVG
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I: Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch...,
Ground plane
h
w
Metallic patch
L
Figure 1. A rectangular patch antenna.
From these approximate calculations, the dimensions of the square-shaped microstrip patch antenna
element are specified as shown in Figure 2. For a linear array with a uniform excitation, the beamwidth is
given by [11],
θ
3dB
= cos
−1
¸
sin(θ
0
) − 0.443.
λ
0

−cos
−1
¸
sin(θ
0
) + 0.443.
λ
0

(3)
where θ
0
is the main beam pointing angle, λ
0
is the free-space wavelength, and is the total array length.
The total array length is found to be

= 23 cm for the 35

beamwidth.
a
w
y
x
a
w
b
y
b
x
PML-8
w = 5.52 cm
h = 1mm
ε
r
= 2.2
a = 2.758 cm
Figure 2. The square patch element and the dimensions.
When the inter-element distance is selected to be half-wavelength the 3×3 array satisfies 35

beamwidth
on both planes normal to the patch surface. The 3x3 patch array is pictured in Figure 3.
a
w
w
w = 5.516 cm
h = 1 mm
ε
r
= 2.2
a = 2.758 cm
h
Figure 3. The 3×3 patch array that operates at 1.8 GHz, and with 35

beamwidth.
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Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.1, 2005
3. M-PATCH Package, its Calibration and Canonical Compar-
isons
The FDTD (finite difference time domain) technique developed by K.S. Yee [3], discretizes the two Maxwell
curl equations directly in time and spatial domains, and put them into iterative forms. The physical geometry
is divided into small (mostly rectangular or cubical, but non-orthogonal in general) cells. Both time and
spatial partial derivatives are handled with finite central difference approximation and the solution is obtained
with a marching scheme in iterative form. The characteristics of the medium are defined by three parameters,
permittivity, conductivity and permeability, and three electric and three magnetic field components are
calculated at different locations of each cell. Beside the spatial differences in field components, there is
also a half time step difference between electric and magnetic field components, which is called as leap-frog
computation. The three dimensional (3D) FDTD Yee cell is shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Locations of three neighbouring Yee cells in 3D.
The differential time domain Maxwell equations in a linear, isotropic and non-dispersive medium are
∇× E = −
∂B
∂t
, ∇×H =
∂D
∂t
+J (4)
∇.D = ρ , ∇.B = 0 (5)
where D = εE and B = µH. Here,
E [V/m] : electric field J [A/m
2
] : the current density
H [A/m] : magnetic field ρ [q/m
3
] : vol. charge density
D [q/m
2
] : el. displacement vector ε [F/m] : permittivity
B [Wb/m
2
] : mag. flux density µ [H/m] : permeability
σ [S/m] : conductivity
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C¸ AKIR, SEVG
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I: Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch...,
All the parameters are vector quantities, except ε, σ, ρ and µ. This is all the information needed
for linear isotropic materials to completely specify the field behaviour over time so long as the initial field
distribution is specified and satisfies the Maxwell’s equations.
Using the Taylor’s expansion and discretizing partial derivatives directly in time and spatial domain
yield the well-known FDTD iterative equation. Three electric and three magnetic field components are
calculated at different locations within the reference cell in such a way so as to minimize the computational
effort after the discretization of two curl equations by using central-difference approach (or by taking up the
second order terms in their Taylor’s expansion). Besides, there is also a half time step difference between
electric and magnetic field components, which is called as leap-frog computation (i.e., electric and magnetic
fields are calculated at time instants t=∆t, 2∆t, 3∆t, ... and t=∆t/2, 3∆t/2, 5∆t/2, ..., respectively,
where ∆tis the time step size).
For a lossy and source-free region, e.g., two of the iterative FDTD equations are
H
˜ n
x
(i, j, k) = H
˜ n−1
x
(i, j, k) +
∆t
µ
0
∆z

E
n
y
(i, j, k) − E
n
y
(i, j, k −1)


∆t
µ
0
∆y
[E
n
z
(i, j, k) −E
n
z
(i, j −1, k)]
(6)
E
n
y
(i, j, k) =
2ε − σ∆t
2ε + σ∆t
E
n−1
y
(i, j, k)

2∆t
(2ε +σ∆t)∆x

H
˜ n
z
(i, j, k) − H
˜ n
z
(i −1, j, k)

+
2∆t
(2ε +σ∆t)∆z

H
˜ n
x
(i, j, k) − H
˜ n
x
(i, j, k − 1)

(7)
Here, ∆x, ∆y and ∆z are the spatial steps (cell dimensions) in (x, y, z) directions, respectively. One
FDTD Yee cell occupies a ∆x×∆y×∆z volume. The spatial steps ∆x, ∆y and ∆z may be either taken as
equal (Yee cube) or different (Yee rectangular prism). Everything inside this cell is assumed to be constant.
Calculations are performed at distinct instants t
1
, t
2
, t
3
, . . . , where t
1
=∆t, t
2
=2∆t, t
3
=3∆t, . . . , with a
chosen time step ∆t. The integer n is used to denote a number of time steps since the iterations starts. The
integers i, j, k are used to mention number of cells from the origin in x, y and z directions, respectively. A
half time-step difference between electric and magnetic fields is denoted by ˜ n = n + 1/2.
Numerical simulations used to investigate the designed patch arrays are performed via the M-PATCH
package that is based on the FDTD method. The FDTD computation volume in the M-PATCH is terminated
by PML (perfectly matched layer) (very often 6-10 cell length) blocks which simulates free-space effectively.
Also, a near-to-far-field (NTFF) transformation module is added to handle far-field projections, which are
necessary in antenna radiation pattern simulations.
The M-PATCH package is first calibrated against another powerful time domain simulator TLM-ANT
[7,12], which is based on the transmission line matrix method. Sample microstrip structures are used during
these tests and scattering (S) parameters are calculated via both packages. The S-parameters in frequency
domain is obtained from time domain simulation data as follows (see figure 5):
Assume the microstrip structure as a two port device (with port 1 and 2).
First, observe and store y-component of the voltage at port 1 for an infinite microstrip line (without
structure); this yields the incident voltage, V
+
1
(t).
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Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.1, 2005
Then, repeat the same observation (with the structure) at both ports, which yields V
t
1
(t) (total field)
at port 1, and V

2
(t), (reflected field) at port 2.
Take the Fourier transforms of all and calculate S
11
and S
21
from
S
11
(f) =
V

1
(f)
V
+
1
(f)
=
V
t
1
(f) − V
+
1
(f)
V
+
1
(f)
, S
21
(f) =
V

2
(f)
V
+
1
(f)
(8)
x
z
y
Ground plane
NX=60 x ∆X
NY=24 x ∆Y
NZ=100 x ∆Z
Discontinuity
under
investigation
Dielectric substrate
ε
r H=1 mm
port2 port1
Figure 5. The configuration and dimensions.
Typical results are pictured in Figure 6, together with the investigated structures. Here, 60 × 24 ×
100 FDTD space is used with ∆x = ∆y = ∆z = h/6, where h = w = 1 mm. The time step is chosen as
∆t = ∆x/(2c), where c is the velocity of light. Relative permittivity is fixed toε
r
= 2.2. As observed in
these examples, a very good agreement has been obtained between the results of the packages.
FDTD ND = 20
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
Frequency (GHz)
S
-
P
a
r
a
m
e
t
e
r
s

(
d
B
)
S21
S11
ND
0 10 15 5 30 40 45 20 25 35
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
Frequency (GHz)
S
-
P
a
r
a
m
e
t
e
r
s

(
d
B
)
S21
S11
ND
0 10 15 5 30 40 45 20 25 35
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Frequency (GHz)
S
-
P
a
r
a
m
e
t
e
r
s

(
d
B
)
S21
S11
ND
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
0 10 15 5 30 40 45
Frequency (GHz)
S
-
P
a
r
a
m
e
t
e
r
s

(
d
B
)
S21
S11
ND
20 25 35
TML
Figure 6. S parameters vs. frequency obtained via M-PATCH and TLM-ANT. (ND is the number of cells).
98
C¸ AKIR, SEVG
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I: Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch...,
After the calibration against the TLM-ANT package the M-PATCH is compared with the results of
three different problems from the literature; a line-fed rectangular patch antenna [13], three-element patch
coplanar parasitic microstrip antenna [14], and four-element series-fed patch array antenna [15]. These
structures are presented in Figure 7, together with the dimensions. The line-fed rectangular patch is designed
to have a resonant frequency at 7.5 GHz, three-element coplanar parasitic is 3.9 GHz and the third one is at
9.5 GHz. These patches are etched on a dielectric substrate. The length of the fed-line from the source plane
to the edge of the antenna is 20 ∆z, and the reference plane for port 1 is 10 ∆z from the edge of the patch
for both of antennas. The 8-cell PML is applied as the absorbing boundary condition. Other parameters of
the structures are given in Table 1.
2.45 cm
3.75 cm
0.25 cm
4.70 cm
2.55 cm 2.45 cm
0.25 cm
z
12.45 mm
16 mm
2.09
mm
2.46 mm
y
x
3.93 mm
2.36 cm
1.3 mm
1.008
cm
1.23 cm
1.179 cm
Figure 7. Structures from literature [13-15] that are tested with M-PATCH.
The spatial distribution of E
y
(x,y,z,t) just beneath the microstrip antennas at different simulation
time instants are presented in Figure 8. Since pulse propagation under the microstrip is simulated propa-
gating and discontinuity-reflected pulses may be observed in the figure.
Table 1. The parameters of microstrip structures given in Figure 7.
Line-fed single Three-element Series-fed
patch antenna patch antenna patch antenna
Thickness
(h) 0.8 mm 1.55 mm 1.574 mm
Space ∆ x = 0.492 mm ∆ x = 0.15 cm ∆ x = 0.433 mm
Steps ∆ y = 0.198 mm ∆ y = 0.038 cm ∆ y = 0.393 mm
∆ z = 0.8 mm ∆ z = 0.15 cm ∆ z = 0.504 mm
Total Size
NX = 60 NX = 89 NX = 63
NY = 20 NY = 20 NY = 20
NZ = 66 NZ = 76 NZ = 250
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Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.1, 2005
Figure 8. Ey on xz-plane, (a) line-fed rectangular patch, (b) 3-element coplanar patch (c) series-fed patch array.
Microstrip patch antenna is a one-port circuit and it has a scattering parameter of S
11
, or simply
the reflection coefficient. The frequency variation of the input reflection coefficient of the rectangular patch
antenna (i.e., the first structure) is shown in Figure 9 (left). The operating resonance at 7.5 GHz is strongly
traced via both the M-PATCH simulation package and in the measurement. Return loss vs. frequency of
the 3-element microstrip patch antenna is also shown in the figure (right). The results with the literature
are in good agreement.
18
10
5
0
-5
-10
-15
-20
-25
-30
-35
-40
-45
-50
R
e
t
u
r
n

L
o
s
s

(
d
B
)
a
b
c
20 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
0
-5
-10
-15
-20
-25
-30
-35
-40
R
e
t
u
r
n

L
o
s
s

(
d
B
)
0 3 3.5 4 4.5
a
b
c
Frequency (GHz) Frequency (GHz)
Figure 9. (Left) Return loss vs. frequency, (a) M-PATCH, (b) measurement [13], (c) FDTD [13]; (Right) Return
loss vs. frequency, (a) FDTD [14], (b) M-PATCH, (c) measurement [14].
The series-fed patch array is also manufactured and measured. Figure 10 shows the measurement setup
and input reflection vs. frequency. The scattering parameters are measured by using an HP 8510C network
analyzer. As presented in the figure, the M-PATCH result is in good agreement with the measurements [16].
100
C¸ AKIR, SEVG
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I: Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch...,
9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 8.5
0
-5
-10
-15
-20
-25
-30
-35
-40
I
S
1
1
1

(
d
B
)
Frequency (GHz)
FDTD
Measurement
Figure 10. (Left) The measurement setup (HP 8510C Network Analyzer), (right) series-fed microstrip array, and
return loss vs. frequency curves.
4. The 3×3 microstrip square patch array
The designed 3×3 array antenna is analyzed with the calibrated M-PATCH package. First, return loss vs.
frequency of a square unit microstrip antenna is simulated and the result is given in Figure 11. As observed,
the resonance frequency of the single patch is around 1.8 GHz.
1.4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
-8
-10
-12
-14
I
S
1
1
l

(
d
B
)
Frequency (GHz)
1 0.6 0.2 1.8 2.2 2.6 3
Figure 11. Return loss vs. frequency of a single patch (∆x = ∆y = 2.76 mm, ∆z = 0.25 mm, w = 20×∆, a =
18×∆, by = 5×∆, bx = 7×∆).
The radiation patterns of the 3×3 patch array are also simulated via M-PATCH. Typical examples
are plotted in Figure 12, together with the coordinates and array location. The patterns belong to φ=0

and φ=90

cases and equi-phase feedings. Nearly 34

beam-width is obtained with this 3×3 array.
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Turk J Elec Engin, VOL.13, NO.1, 2005
x
x
φ
θ
y
E
H
φ
θ
-20 -15 -10 -5 0
θ=0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
φ=90°
240
270
300
330
-20 -15 -10 -5 0
θ=0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
φ=0°
240
270
300
330
Figure 12. Radiation patterns at 1.8 GHz, left: φ=0

, right: φ = 90

.
The position of the main beam can be moved or steered by introducing a phase shift (equivalently, a
delay in time) between elements. To point the beam direction towards a desired θ-direction, ∆τ time delay
must be applied to the feeding pulses between the elements. The delay can be calculated as
∆τ =
d

c
( d

= d sin(θ) ). (9)
The 3×3 array elements are numbered from 1 to 9 and the delays of each element are calculated
according to classic beam-forming approach [16]. Typical examples are given in Figure 13.
θ=0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
φ=30°
240
270
300
330
θ=0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
φ=10°
240
270
300
330
-16 -12 -8 -4 0 -16 -12 -8 -4 0
θ=0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
φ=20°
240
270
300
330
-16 -12 -8 -4 0
Figure 13. Beam forming with M-PATCH, 1.8 GHz, xz-plane, (solid: M-PATCH, dashed: M-PATCH plus analytical
array factor formulation, β: beam steering direction).
5. Conclusions
The design, simulation and experimentation of microstrip patch arrays with beam-steering capabilities are
discussed. A 3×3 square patch array is designed with approximately 35

beamwidth and up to 60

electronic
scanning capability. Initial design is done via an analytical approximate approach (i.e., the transmission-line
model), and then accurate characteristics are determined via numerical simulations. Finally, the parameters
of the designed array are measured.
An FDTD based simulation package M-PATCH is prepared and calibrated against other powerful
simulators, as well as on canonical microstrip patch structures that are investigated in the literature. The
M-PATCH package is then used in performance evaluation of the arrays designed for 1.8 GHz cellular wireless
102
C¸ AKIR, SEVG
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I: Design, Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch...,
communication systems. The M-PACH package is designed to calculate network parameters which requires
near field simulations, as well as to obtain radiation patterns which requires near-to-far-field transformation.
It is shown here that the package is very effective in simulating microstrip patch structures.
References
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[2] See for example http://www.kathrein.com, http://www.fractus.com
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¨
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[9] M. Schneider, “Microstrip Lines for Microwave
˙
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nd
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[14] L.M. Zimmerman, “Use of the FDTD Method in the Design of Microstrip Antenna Arrays”, Int. J. of Microwave
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2004.
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(w/h ≥ 1) (2) Here. from electromagnetics to mechanics and the reader may reach hundreds of references for different topics via a simple internet search (therefore no references are given in this article for their pioneering and characteristic applications).264 h (εe − 0.412h (εe + 0. VOL. as shown in Figure 1. Its characteristic parameters are the length L.8 GHz. The patch conductor can be assumed at any shape. and very effective in visualisation [4. in-house prepared M-PATCH package. simulation and testing of microstrip patch array antenna for the current wireless communication systems which operates at 1.1. Here. the operating frequency. and the thickness h. as: L= 2f0 εe c √ − 2∆L (1) Where c is the velocity of light and ∆L = 0. Design Principles The designed antenna is a 3 ×3 array. the length L is slightly less than a half wavelength (in the dielectric). the calculations are based on the transmissionline model [7]. the finite element (FE) and method of moments (MoM). Here. and this simplifies the analysis and performance prediction. Among the others are the finite-difference time domain (FDTD). These beamwidths are chosen because they become almost standard for base station applications [2].258) w + 0. powerful numerical simulation methods are available which can be used to design complex microstrip structures. The antennas are analyzed with FDTD-based.Turk J Elec Engin. In practice. the width w . the half-wavelength rectangular patch element is chosen as the array element (as commonly used in microstrip antennas) [6].813 h . the width w of the radiating edge is specified first. and beamwidth = 35 ◦ ) various analytical approximate approaches may be used. with 35 ◦ beamwidths. respectively. but generally simple geometries are used. This article describes the design. and the fringe factor. 94 . widely accepted. 2005 only the fundamentals. The FDTD [3] is chosen just because it is simple to implement. 2.8 GHZ band. NO. εe = εr + 1 εr − 1 + 2 2 1 1 + 12h/L .13. Fortunately. up to 60 ◦ electronic scanning capabilities. Although not critical. The length may also be specified by calculating the half-wavelength value and then subtracting a small length to take into account the fringing fields [8-10].3) w + 0. To meet the initial design requirements (operating frequency = 1. the transmission line matrix (TLM). ∆ L are effective relative permittivity. The first step in the design is to specify the dimensions of a single microstrip patch antenna.5]. All of these methods have continuously been applied to broad range of physical problems. The square-patch geometry is chosen since it can be arranged to produce circularly polarized waves. εe and f o.

The 3 × 3 patch array that operates at 1. and is the total array length.758 cm Figure 2. SEVGI: Design. The total array length is found to be ∼ 23 cm for the 35 ◦ beamwidth.2 a = 2. the dimensions of the square-shaped microstrip patch antenna element are specified as shown in Figure 2..758 cm h Figure 3.. A rectangular patch antenna. Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch. the beamwidth is given by [11]. = PML-8 w w = 5. From these approximate calculations. ¸ Metallic patch L w h Ground plane Figure 1. 95 . − cos−1 sin(θ0 ) + 0.. The square patch element and the dimensions. λ0 λ0 θ3dB = cos−1 sin(θ0 ) − 0.443. λ0 is the free-space wavelength.˙ CAKIR. (3) where θ0 is the main beam pointing angle. The 3x3 patch array is pictured in Figure 3.8 GHz.2 a = 2. When the inter-element distance is selected to be half-wavelength the 3×3 array satisfies 35 ◦ beamwidth on both planes normal to the patch surface.52 cm a by bx y a x w h = 1mm εr = 2.516 cm h = 1 mm εr = 2. a w w w = 5.443. For a linear array with a uniform excitation. and with 35 ◦ beamwidth.

Figure 4. isotropic and non-dispersive medium are ∂B ∂t ∂D +J ∂t ×E =− . charge density permittivity permeability conductivity 96 . its Calibration and Canonical Comparisons The FDTD (finite difference time domain) technique developed by K. NO. 2005 3. . ×H = (4) . which is called as leap-frog computation. flux density . Locations of three neighbouring Yee cells in 3D. The three dimensional (3D) FDTD Yee cell is shown in Figure 4.S. VOL.D = ρ where D = εE and B = µH . Beside the spatial differences in field components. Both time and spatial partial derivatives are handled with finite central difference approximation and the solution is obtained with a marching scheme in iterative form. M-PATCH Package. E [V/m] H [A/m] D [q/m2] B [Wb/m2] : : : : electric field magnetic field el. and put them into iterative forms. there is also a half time step difference between electric and magnetic field components.13. Here. The differential time domain Maxwell equations in a linear.B = 0 (5) J [A/m2] ρ [q/m3] ε [F/m] µ [H/m] σ [S/m] : : : : : the current density vol.1.Turk J Elec Engin. displacement vector mag. discretizes the two Maxwell curl equations directly in time and spatial domains. conductivity and permeability. and three electric and three magnetic field components are calculated at different locations of each cell. The characteristics of the medium are defined by three parameters. but non-orthogonal in general) cells. permittivity. The physical geometry is divided into small (mostly rectangular or cubical. Yee [3].

and t=∆ t/2. where ∆tis the time step size). y. SEVGI: Design. y and z directions. j. 3 ∆ t. except ε. . 2 ∆ t. The spatial steps ∆ x. The FDTD computation volume in the M-PATCH is terminated by PML (perfectly matched layer) (very often 6-10 cell length) blocks which simulates free-space effectively. k are used to mention number of cells from the origin in x . e. two of the iterative FDTD equations are n ˜ n ˜ Hx (i.. For a lossy and source-free region.. j. First. 5 ∆ t/2. ˜ Numerical simulations used to investigate the designed patch arrays are performed via the M-PATCH package that is based on the FDTD method. . z ) directions.. t2 =2∆ t. j. ¸ All the parameters are vector quantities. k) + ∆t n E n (i. k) = Hx −1 (i. Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch. j. k) 2ε + σ∆t y 2∆t ˜ n ˜ H n (i. electric and magnetic fields are calculated at time instants t=∆ t. j. j. a near-to-far-field (NTFF) transformation module is added to handle far-field projections. j. which are necessary in antenna radiation pattern simulations. Sample microstrip structures are used during these tests and scattering (S) parameters are calculated via both packages. k − 1) + (2ε + σ∆t)∆z x (7) Here. k − 1) µ0 ∆z y ∆t n [E n (i. ∆ x. . where t1 =∆ t. j. j − 1. with a chosen time step ∆ t. This is all the information needed for linear isotropic materials to completely specify the field behaviour over time so long as the initial field distribution is specified and satisfies the Maxwell’s equations. respectively.g. observe and store y -component of the voltage at port 1 for an infinite microstrip line (without structure). k)] − µ0 ∆y z (6) n Ey (i. ∆ y and ∆ z are the spatial steps (cell dimensions) in (x.. j. Besides. σ . ∆ y and ∆ z may be either taken as equal (Yee cube) or different (Yee rectangular prism). k) − Ey (i.12]. A half time-step difference between electric and magnetic fields is denoted by n = n + 1/2 . One FDTD Yee cell occupies a ∆ x ×∆ y×∆ z volume... . Also. . respectively. Three electric and three magnetic field components are calculated at different locations within the reference cell in such a way so as to minimize the computational effort after the discretization of two curl equations by using central-difference approach (or by taking up the second order terms in their Taylor’s expansion). j. k) − (2ε + σ∆t)∆x z 2∆t ˜ n ˜ H n (i. which is based on the transmission line matrix method. j. j. . 3 ∆ t/2. The S-parameters in frequency domain is obtained from time domain simulation data as follows (see figure 5): Assume the microstrip structure as a two port device (with port 1 and 2)... Everything inside this cell is assumed to be constant. k) − Hx (i. which is called as leap-frog computation (i.e. The integers i. 97 . Using the Taylor’s expansion and discretizing partial derivatives directly in time and spatial domain yield the well-known FDTD iterative equation. there is also a half time step difference between electric and magnetic field components. Calculations are performed at distinct instants t1 . t2 .. k) = 2ε − σ∆t n−1 E (i. The integer n is used to denote a number of time steps since the iterations starts. . respectively.. The M-PATCH package is first calibrated against another powerful time domain simulator TLM-ANT [7. . k) − Ez (i. ρ and µ. t3 =3∆ t. this yields the incident voltage. . t3 .˙ CAKIR. k) − Hz (i − 1. V1+ (t). .

Here. (ND is the number of cells). NO. and V2− (t). (reflected field) at port 2.Turk J Elec Engin. As observed in these examples. which yields V1t (t) (total field) at port 1.1. Relative permittivity is fixed toεr = 2. frequency obtained via M-PATCH and TLM-ANT. S parameters vs. V1+ (f) V1+ (f) V2− (f) V1+ (f) S11 (f) = S21 (f) = (8) NY=24 x ∆Y port1 NZ=100 x ∆Z port2 Discontinuity under investigation NX=60 x ∆X y εr z x Ground plane Dielectric substrate H=1 mm Figure 5. 2005 Then. FDTD 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 S11 S-Parameters (dB) S21 TML 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 ND = 20 S21 S11 ND S-Parameters (dB) ND 0 10 20 30 40 Frequency (GHz) S21 50 60 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency (GHz) 35 40 45 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 S11 ND 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency (GHz) 35 40 45 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 S21 S-Parameters (dB) S-Parameters (dB) S11 ND 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency (GHz) 35 40 45 Figure 6. 98 . The time step is chosen as ∆ t = ∆ x/(2c). The configuration and dimensions.13. a very good agreement has been obtained between the results of the packages. together with the investigated structures. 60 × 24 × 100 FDTD space is used with ∆ x = ∆ y = ∆ z = h/6. Take the Fourier transforms of all and calculate S11 and S21 from V t (f) − V1+ (f) V1− (f) = 1 . where h = w = 1 mm. VOL. where c is the velocity of light.2 . Typical results are pictured in Figure 6. repeat the same observation (with the structure) at both ports.

The 8-cell PML is applied as the absorbing boundary condition. The parameters of microstrip structures given in Figure 7.25 cm 1. three-element coplanar parasitic is 3.45 cm 1. Since pulse propagation under the microstrip is simulated propagating and discontinuity-reflected pulses may be observed in the figure.y.8 mm ∆ x = 0. The length of the fed-line from the source plane to the edge of the antenna is 20 ∆ z.492 mm ∆ y = 0.5 GHz.15 cm ∆ y = 0. ¸ After the calibration against the TLM-ANT package the M-PATCH is compared with the results of three different problems from the literature..008 cm 1.55 mm ∆ x = 0. and the reference plane for port 1 is 10 ∆ z from the edge of the patch for both of antennas. These patches are etched on a dielectric substrate.25 cm 4. Structures from literature [13-15] that are tested with M-PATCH.75 cm 2. Line-fed single patch antenna Thickness (h) Space Steps 0.45 cm 2.5 GHz.. three-element patch coplanar parasitic microstrip antenna [14].23 cm 0.504 mm NX = 63 NY = 20 NZ = 250 99 Total Size . The line-fed rectangular patch is designed to have a resonant frequency at 7.3 mm z 16 mm 2.8 mm NX = 60 NY = 20 NZ = 66 Three-element patch antenna 1.09 mm y 2.70 cm 12.198 mm ∆ z = 0.z. a line-fed rectangular patch antenna [13]. Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch.9 GHz and the third one is at 9.433 mm ∆ y = 0.45 mm 0.179 cm 1.15 cm NX = 89 NY = 20 NZ = 76 Series-fed patch antenna 1.˙ CAKIR. The spatial distribution of Ey (x.46 mm x 2.93 mm Figure 7.55 cm 2. and four-element series-fed patch array antenna [15]. These structures are presented in Figure 7. Other parameters of the structures are given in Table 1.574 mm ∆ x = 0.. Table 1.t) just beneath the microstrip antennas at different simulation time instants are presented in Figure 8.038 cm ∆ z = 0.393 mm ∆ z = 0. SEVGI: Design. together with the dimensions. 3.36 cm 3.

NO. The series-fed patch array is also manufactured and measured. (a) M-PATCH.5 Return Loss (dB) a b c Figure 9. frequency. (a) line-fed rectangular patch. (b) measurement [13]. The scattering parameters are measured by using an HP 8510C network analyzer. frequency of the 3-element microstrip patch antenna is also shown in the figure (right).Turk J Elec Engin. (c) measurement [14].13. frequency. (b) M-PATCH. 100 . (Right) Return loss vs. Ey on xz-plane. 2005 Figure 8. Return loss vs. Figure 10 shows the measurement setup and input reflection vs. (Left) Return loss vs. the first structure) is shown in Figure 9 (left). As presented in the figure. (a) FDTD [14].5 Frequency (GHz) 4 a b c 4. or simply the reflection coefficient.1. The frequency variation of the input reflection coefficient of the rectangular patch antenna (i.e. (b) 3-element coplanar patch (c) series-fed patch array. the M-PATCH result is in good agreement with the measurements [16]. The operating resonance at 7. VOL. The results with the literature are in good agreement. frequency.5 GHz is strongly traced via both the M-PATCH simulation package and in the measurement.. Microstrip patch antenna is a one-port circuit and it has a scattering parameter of S 11 . (c) FDTD [13]. 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 -45 -50 0 0 -5 Return Loss (dB) -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 2 4 6 8 10 12 Frequency (GHz) 14 16 18 20 -40 0 3 3.

.8 GHz.5 11 11.6 3 Frequency (GHz) Figure 11. Typical examples are plotted in Figure 12.5 10 10. First. The 3×3 microstrip square patch array The designed 3 ×3 array antenna is analyzed with the calibrated M-PATCH package. ¸ 0 -5 -10 IS111 (dB) -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 8. 4. The radiation patterns of the 3×3 patch array are also simulated via M-PATCH. return loss vs. frequency of a square unit microstrip antenna is simulated and the result is given in Figure 11. a = 18 ×∆ . Return loss vs. As observed. 2 0 -2 IS11l (dB) -4 -6 -8 -10 -12 -14 0. b x = 7 ×∆ ). Nearly 34 ◦ beam-width is obtained with this 3×3 array. frequency of a single patch ( ∆ x = ∆ y = 2. frequency curves. (right) series-fed microstrip array.5 FDTD Measurement 9 9.2 0.8 2. w = 20 ×∆ .2 2.. together with the coordinates and array location..5 Frequency (GHz) Figure 10. ∆ z = 0. Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch.25 mm. 101 .76 mm.˙ CAKIR.4 1. the resonance frequency of the single patch is around 1. (Left) The measurement setup (HP 8510C Network Analyzer). and return loss vs. SEVGI: Design. b y = 5 ×∆ .6 1 1. The patterns belong to φ =0 ◦ and φ =90 ◦ cases and equi-phase feedings.

as well as on canonical microstrip patch structures that are investigated in the literature. (solid: M-PATCH. β : beam steering direction).e. ∆τ time delay must be applied to the feeding pulses between the elements.13. xz-plane.Turk J Elec Engin. Initial design is done via an analytical approximate approach (i. The delay can be calculated as d c ∆τ = ( d = d sin(θ) ). a delay in time) between elements. Finally. The M-PATCH package is then used in performance evaluation of the arrays designed for 1. the parameters of the designed array are measured. 2005 θ=0 x Eφ θ Hθ y 240 φ x φ=0° 210 150 180 φ=90° 210 150 180 120 240 120 270 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 90 270 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 90 300 330 θ=0 330 60 300 30 30 60 Figure 12. An FDTD based simulation package M-PATCH is prepared and calibrated against other powerful simulators. Typical examples are given in Figure 13. right: φ = 90◦ . θ=0 330 300 θ=0 330 60 300 θ=0 330 60 300 30 30 30 60 270 240 φ=10° 210 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 90 120 150 180 270 240 φ=20° 210 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 90 120 150 180 270 240 φ=30° 210 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 90 120 150 180 Figure 13. the transmission-line model). and then accurate characteristics are determined via numerical simulations. Conclusions The design. The position of the main beam can be moved or steered by introducing a phase shift (equivalently. A 3 ×3 square patch array is designed with approximately 35 ◦ beamwidth and up to 60 ◦ electronic scanning capability.8 GHz. 5. simulation and experimentation of microstrip patch arrays with beam-steering capabilities are discussed. To point the beam direction towards a desired θ -direction. VOL. Beam forming with M-PATCH. Radiation patterns at 1.8 GHz. 1. left: φ =0 ◦ . dashed: M-PATCH plus analytical array factor formulation. (9) The 3 ×3 array elements are numbered from 1 to 9 and the delays of each element are calculated according to classic beam-forming approach [16]. NO.1..8 GHz cellular wireless 102 .

24 . Bekkadal. 1467-1474. Hammerstad. Simulation and Tests of a Low-cost Microstrip Patch. Bilgisayar Benzetimleri Ve Ol¸meler. J.... Ali. pp. as well as to obtain radiation patterns which requires near-to-far-field transformation. 846 . Jin. pp. G. http://www. 1990.fdtd..851. AP-24. Doktora Tezi. [2] See for example http://www. October 2002.849-856. S. IEEE Trans. no.A. pp. Derneryd.D. no. SEVGI: Design. Abouzahra. Design of Nonplanar Microstrip Antennas and Transmission Lines. uu 2004. Schneider.34.4 GHz Band”. “Numerical Solution of Initial Boundary Value Problems Involving Maxwell’s Equations in Isotropic Media”. IEEE Trans. Ling. 48. 1976. 1975. [4] Visit http://www. “Design of Rectangular Microstrip Patch Antennas for the 2..M. Gezgin Ileti¸im Sistemleri I¸in H¨ zme Y¨nlendirmeli Mikro¸erit Dizi Anten Tasarımı: Analitik ¸ u o s ¨c ¨ Hesaplama. University of Trondheim. Thiele. IEEE Trans. ¸ communication systems. and Tech. Sevgi. of Microwave and Millimeter Wave Comp. J. [10] E. pp.1969. Vol.M. 1966.F.L. 58 . [11] W.com. “Microstrip Lines for Microwave Integrated Circuits”.1421-1444.S. It is shown here that the package is very effective in simulating microstrip patch structures. References [1] K. 302 – 307. AP-46. ELAB Report..66. “Linearly Polarized Microstrip Antennas. Vol. 2003 [13] D. no. Applied Microwave & Wireless. “Application of Three-Dimensional Finite-Difference TimeDomain Method to the Analysis of Planar Microstrip Circuits”. pp. New York.. Int. [15] C. On Microwave Theo. Institute of Science. ˙ [9] M. J.7. Wang. pp. Bell Syst. Wong..com [3] K. 4. Antenna Theory and design. 2 nd Ed. Stutzman. 103 .M. Ocak.org for both chronological and subject list of major applications [5] K. F. ˙ s ˙c [16] G. Antennas and Propagat. John Wiley & Sons.-aided Eng. Ozyal¸ın.D. “A Fast Full-Wave Analysis of Scattering and Radiation from Large Finite Arrays of Microstrip Antennas”.. J. Norway. Kong. Sheen.. Shlager. 1. Piscataway. Fen Bilimleri Enstit¨s¨. New Jersey.37. F. Complex Electromagnetic Problems and Numerical Simulation Approaches. Istanbul Technical University. Tech. 1994. New York. The M-PACH package is designed to calculate network parameters which requires near field simulations. 39-56. John Wiley & Sons. Zimmerman.˙ CAKIR. Amman. IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine. 10. pp.O.fractus. c Ph. Antennas and Propagat. STF 44 A74169. pp. Modeling and Simulation of Electromagnetic Problems via Transmission Line Matrix Method. “Use of the FDTD Method in the Design of Microstrip Antenna Arrays”.A. 1998. Yee. [14] L.M. [12] L. Kocaeli Univ. 1995. [8] A. November/December 1997. 1998. Schneider. MTT-38. Microstrip Handbook.A. Cakır.kathrein. Antennas and Propagat. IEEE Press – John Wiley & Sons. 1999. M. Dissertation. ¨ [7] M. [6] M. J.” IEEE Trans.L. “A Selective Survey of the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Literature”. AP-14.

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