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Module 4 Microstrip Antennas

• Introduction
 Basic Characteristics
 Feeding Methods
 Methods of Analysis
• Rectangular Patch
• Circular Patch
• Quality Factor, Bandwidth and Efficiency
• Input Impedance
• Coupling
• Circular Polarization
• Arrays and Feed Networks
Introduction
• Consider following specifications/
requirements of the antenna for radio and
wireless applications
Small size, weight, cost
Ease of installation
Aerodynamic performance (aircraft,
spacecraft and missile applications)
Suggest Antenna to meet these requirement
Microstrip Antenna(MSA)
Advantages:
 Lightweight and have a small volume and low
profile planer configuration
 Can be made conformal to the host surface
 Low fabrication cost due to use of printed
circuit technology
 Compatible with MMIC designs
 Allow both linear and circular polarization
 Dual and triple frequency operation
 By adding load between the patch and ground
plane such as pins and varactors diodes,
impedance, polarization and pattern can be
designed
Disadvantages:
 Low efficiency
 Low power handling capacity
 High Q
 Poor polarization purity
 Poor scan performance
 Spurious feed radiation
 Narrow bandwidth
Some observations
• Some applications narrow BW is desirable
• Increase height of the substrate(h)
• Bandwidth and Efficiency increases
• As height increases surface waves are
introduced
• Surface wave travels within the substrate and
they are scattered at bends and surface
discontinuities.
• Degrade the antenna pattern and polarization
characteristics
Some observations cont…
• Eliminate surface wave while maintaining BW
• Use Cavities
• Stacking increases BW
Basic Characteristics
• Microstrip antenna in its simplest form
consists of a radiating patch on one side of a
dialectic substrate and a ground plane on the
other side
• It is designed so that its pattern maximum is
normal to the patch
• The length L is usually λo/3 < L < λo/2
Dielectric Constants(εr)
• The dielectric constant is usually in the range of
2.2 ≤ εr ≤ 12
• Is it a design variable?
• Use of thick substrate with εr in lower end of
range gives better efficiency, larger BW, loosely
bound field for radiation at the cost of larger
element size
• Use of thin substrate with higher dialectic
constants minimizes undesired radiation,
coupling and leads smaller element sizes but
results into smaller BW and efficiency
Feeding Methods
I) Microstrip line feed
II) Probe feed
III) Aperture- coupled feed
IV) Proximity-coupled feed
I) Microstrip line feed
• Easy to fabricate, simple to
match by controlling the
inset position
• Types
1. Center Feed
2. Offset Feed
3. Inset Feed
4. Quarter wave line feed
• Center feed yields high input impedance
• Input impedance can be reduced if patch is
fed near to the center(nearer to middle of the
length L).
• This is achieved through inset feed
• Microstrip antenna can be matched to the
transmission line section through use of
quarter wave section
Limitations
• As substrate thickness increases surface wave
and spurious feed radiation increases
• BW is typically 2-5%
• Produces cross polarization radiation
• Conducting type
II) Coaxial-line feed
• Inner conductor is attached to
the radiating patch while
outer conductor is connected
to the ground plane
• Position of feed can be altered
to control input impedance
• Easy to fabricate and match
• Low spurious radiation
• Narrow BW
• Produces cross polarization
radiation
III) Aperture- coupled feed
• Non contacting type • Most difficult to fabricate
• It consists of two substrate • Narrow BW
separated by ground plane • Allow independent
• On the bottom side of the optimization of the feed
lower substrate there is and the radiating
microstrip line whose element
energy is coupled to the
patch through a slot on
ground plane
• Easier to model and has
moderate spurious
radiations
IV) Proximity-coupled feed
• Non contacting type
• Easy to model.
• Low spurious radiation
• larger BW(as high as 13%)
• Fabrication is difficult
• The length of the feeding
stub and width to line
ratio of the patch can be
used to control the patch
Comparison of different feed methods
Microstrip Coaxial feed Aperture Proximity
line feed coupled coupled
feed feed
Spurious feed More More Less Minimum
radiation
Reliability Better Poor due to Good Good
soldering
Fabrication Easy Requires Requires Requires
soldering and alignment alignment
drilling
Impedance Easy Easy Easy Easy
Matching
Bandwidth 2-5% 2-5% 2-5% 13%
(with
impedance
matching)
Methods of Analysis
1. Transmission line
 Microstrip radiator element is viewed as a
transmission line resonator
 No transverse field variation i.e. field varies
only along the length
 Radiation occurs only from the fringing field
at the open circuited end
 Patch is represented by two slots that are
spaced by the length of the resonator
Methods of Analysis
cont…..
2. Cavity Model
The region between patch and ground plane is
treated as cavity that is surrounded by
magnetic wall and by electric wall from the
top and bottom
2. Full wave model
It include integral equation/Moment method
Rectangular Patch
I)Analysis using transmission line model
 Patch is represented by two slots that are
separated by low impedance Zc transmission
line of length L
A. Fringing Effects
• Due to finite dimensions the fields at the edges of
the patch undergo fringing along the length and
width
• Fringing is function of dimensions of the patch
and height of the substrate
• For principle plane( E Plane) it is function of ratio
of length of the antenna L to height of substrate h
and the dielectric constant εr
• Fringing effect is need to be accounted as it
influence the resonant frequency of the antenna
Effective dielectric constant(εreff)
 Effective dielectric constant(εreff) is introduced
is introduced to account fringing and wave
propagation
 Consider Microstrip antenna and its electric
field lines
Effective dielectric constant(εreff) cont..
 To introduce effective dielectric constant assume
conductor of line with its original dimensions and
height above the ground plane is embedded into
one dielectric

 The effective dielectric constants is defined as


dielectric constant of the uniform dielectric
material so that it has identical electrical
characteristic particularly propagation constant
as actual line
Effective dielectric constant(εreff) cont..
 The effective dielectric constant at low
frequency is given as

 It is function of frequency
 As frequency increases most of the field lines
concentrates in the substrate and effective
dielectric constants approaches the value of
dielectric constants of the substrates
Physical and effective length
 Because of fringing
effects, electrically patch
of the Microstrip antenna
looks larger than its
physical length
 Dimensions are extended
by length ΔL and is  The normalized
function of εreff and width extension of the length
to height ration(W/h) is
 The effective length of
the patch is
Leff=L+2ΔL
Resonant Frequency
• For the dominant TM010 mode, the resonant
frequency is given as

• It is a function of length and where vo is speed


of light in free space. Above equation do not
account fringing hence must be modified to
include edge effect and is given as
Design of Microstrip Antenna
 Specified information
Dielectric constant of the substrate(εr)
Height of the substrate(h)
Resonant frequency(fr)
 Determine
Width of the patch(W)
Length of the patch(L)
Design Procedure
1. For an efficient radiator, a practical width
that leads to good radiation efficiency is

2. Calculate effective dielectric constant of


Microstrip antenna using
Design Procedure cont…
3. Determine the extension of the length ΔL
using

4. The actual length of the patch can be


calculated as
Design Problem
• Design a rectangular Microstrip antenna using
a substrate( RT/duroid 5880) with a dielectric
constant of 2.2, h=0.1588 cm so as to resonate
at 10 GHz.
Solution
The width of the patch, W=1.186
The effective dielectric constant, εreff=1.972
The extension of the length is ΔL= 0.081 cm
The actual length of the patch is L=0.906 cm
2. Cavity Model
• MSA resembles • Charge distribution is
dielectric loaded cavity controlled by two
• The region between mechanism
patch and ground plane i) Attractive
is treated as cavity that Ii) Repulsive
is surrounded by • Creates current densities
magnetic wall and by
electric wall from the
top and bottom
• Consider charge
distribution and current
density creation
Cavity model cont…
The attractive mechanism dominates and
most of the charge concentration and current
flow remain underneath the patch
The effective loss tangent is chosen
approximately to represent the loss
mechanism of the cavity
Field Configurations
• Field Configurations within the cavity can
calculated using the vector potential

• By using Ax electric and magnetic fields and


hence resonant frequency of the cavity is
calculated
Circular Patch
• Analyzed using the cavity model
• Electric and Magnetic Fields- TMzmnp
Obtained by solving wave equation subjected to
appropriate boundary conditions the resonant
frequency for TMzmn0 modes can be written as

• The resonant frequency for dominant mode


TMz110
• The resonant frequency does not take into
account fringing. The correction is introduced
by using effective radius ae to replace ‘a’ is
given by

• The resonant frequency for dominant mode


TMz110 is modified as
Design of circular patch based on
cavity model
• Specify
εr, fr(in Hz), and h (in cm)
• Determine
the actual radius a of the patch
• Design procedure
• A first order approximation for solution for a is
Design problem
 Design a circular Microstrip antenna using a
substrate(RT/duriod 5880) with a dielectric
constant of 2.2, h= 0.158 cm so as to resonate
at 10 GHz.
Answer
F= 0.593
a= 0.525 cm
Quality Factor, Bandwidth and
Efficiency
These figure of merits are interrelated
Tradeoff require for optimum antenna
performance
The quality factor is representative of antenna
losses like radiation, ohmic, dielectric and
surface wave
 Total quality factor is expressed as
Observations
 For thin substrate the losses due to surface wave are
very small
 Losses can be eliminated using cavities
 Fractional BW is inversely proportional to total
quality factor(Qt) of the antenna

 Above for formula do not take into account


impedance matching. A modified form that take into
account the impedance matching is
Observations cont…
Fractional BW is proportional to volume
BW is inversely proportional to the square
root of the dielectric constant of the
substrate.
BW increases as the substrate height
increases.
The radiation efficiency can be expressed as
Refer to efficiency and BW versus substrate height
curves and write observations
Arrays and Feed Networks
o Microstrip antennas can be used as single
element and in arrays
o Advantages of array
To synthesize a required pattern
Scan the beam of an antenna system
Increase the directivity
o Feed Arrangements for Microstrip patch arrays
1. Series feed(element is feed by a single line)
2. Corporate feed (element is feed by a multiple lines)
Feed arrangement for Microstrip patch array

• The corporate feed network is used to provide


power split of 2n i.e. n=2,4,8, ---
• This can be achieved by
a) By using tapered line
b) By using quarter-wave impedance transformer
Matching structure to match 100 ohm patch to a
50 ohm line
Comparison of series and corporate feed

Series Feed
Conveniently fabricated using photolithography
for both feed network and radiating element
Limited for array with a fixed beam or scanned by
varying frequency
Any change in one of the elements or feed lines
affects the performance of the others
 effect of mutual coupling and internal reflections
Comparison of series and corporate feed cont..

Corporate Feed
General and versatile
More control( amplitude and phase) of each
element
Ideal for scanning phased array, multibeam array
and shaped beam array
 Phase can be controlled by phase shifter and
amplitude can be adjusted using amplifiers or
attenuators
Observations
• Radiations from feed lines is a serious problem
that limits cross polarization and side lobe
level.
• Cross polarization and side lobe level can be
improved by isolating the feed network from
the radiating face of the array.
• Use probe feed or aperture coupling
Circular Polarization
Conventional feed results into linear
polarization
Circular polarization can be obtained if two
orthogonal modes are excited with 900 time
phase difference between them.
This can be accomplished by adjusting the
physical dimensions of the patch or by using
single, or two or more feed.
Rectangular and circular patch
arrangement for circular polarization
Single Feed arrangement for circular polarization
Circular polarization by cutting vary thin slot
Alternative ways to have circular
polarization
Coupling
Coupling between two element can be taken
into account using full wave analysis
For two rectangular Microstrip patches the
coupling for two side by side element is a
function of the relative alignment
Consider E and H plane arrangement
Observations
For an edge to edge separation of s, the E
plane exhibits the smallest coupling for large
spacing typically s < 0.10 λ0
H plane exhibit smallest coupling for large
spacing typically s > 0.10 λ0
Mutual coupling is primarily attributed to the
fields that exists along the air dielectric
interface