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Electronics Engineering Design of a Compact Broadband Microstrip patch Antenna with probe feeding for Wireless Applications T.

Shanmuganantham , S. Raghavan.

T. Shanmuganantham received his B.E. degree in Electronics and Commu- nication Engineering from University of Madras, M.E. degree in Communi- cation Systems from Madurai Kamaraj University and is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in the area of microwave inte- grated circuits under the guidance of Dr. S. Raghavan from Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India. Since 1996, he has 11 years of teach- ing experience in various reputed Engineering Colleges in Tamil Nadu, India. His research interest includes Microwave integrated circuits, computational electromagnetics, numerical techniques of microwave and millimeter wave transmission lines, CAD of MICs and antennas. He has published 14 research papers in various jour- nals and conferences. He is a member in IEEE and life member in IETE and ISTE.

Dr. S. Raghavan has 27 years of teaching (U.G., P.G. and Research) experience in the National Insti- tute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India, as a Senior Professor. He de- veloped microwave and microwave integrated circuits lab. He obtained his B.E. (electronics and communi- cation engineering) degree from Col- lege of Engineering, Guindy, M.Sc. (ENGG.) Microwave Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum, and Ph.D. (Microwave Integrated Circuits) from I.I.T., Delhi, India, under the guidance of K. Koul. He is a senior member of IEEE in MTT and EMBS, Life Fellow in BES, Fellow in IETE and IE and Life member in ISSS, MRSI, ISTE, EMC/EMI, IELTS and ILA. He is a referee for MTT journal. He has carried out two Research and Development projects of Coplanar Waveg- uide and RF-MEMS. He has contributed more than 30 papers in international conferences and five international journals and he has conducted two tutorials in IEEE preconference tutorials.

Abstract In this paper the design and development of a compact broadband probe-fed Microstrip patch antenna for bandwidth improvement and antenna size reduction in a single design is proposed. The well-known technique of effective substrate thickness increment is performed to improve the impedance bandwidth, whereas for size reduction the electrical length of the conducting patch has been increased. A compact probe-fed inverted U-shaped microstrip patch antenna with a W-shaped ground plane has been designed and the experimental results are presented.

Introduction Microstrip patch antenna consists of a radiating patch on one side of a dielectric substrate. The patch is made of materials such as copper or gold. Microstrips are popular due to their low-profile structure. Hence, they are very good for handheld devices. And also, they have been used successfully in satellite communication. The advantage of using microstrip patch antennas is that they light weight and low volume, low-profile planar configuration, low fabrication cost, supports both linear and circular polarization, can be easily integrated with microwave integrated circuits, capable of dual and triple frequency operations and lastly, mechanically robust when mounted on rigid surfaces. A newly made design of a compact broadband probe-fed patch antenna with an inverse U-shaped patch and a W-shaped ground is presented. The W-shaped ground is made by bending the conventional ground plane into an inverted V-shape, seen in the resonant direction of the patch antenna and then adding proper flanges at the two straight edges of the bent ground. To make the antennas compact, the capacitive fringing effect is increased at the radiating edges by providing two additional flanges

along the half-wave long patch edges and then bending them downwards. The Wshaped ground has a thicker substrate that provides a much wider operating bandwidth and keeping the required probe pin length small. This design offers other advantages such as cross-polarization level reduction and wider 3-dB beam width. The issue of bandwidth insufficiency of Microstrip antennas has made researchers to develop several methods to overcome this problem. These include substrate thickness increment, use of low dielectric constant materials, aperture coupling of radiating element, stacked patch antenna, use of impedance matching networks and introduction of losses in the patch. In this paper, many prototypes of the proposed design with various dimensions of a W-shaped ground and an inverted U-shaped patch for size reduction are analyzed.

Experimental results and discussion Many prototypes of the proposed designs with various flange the patch, bent angle lengths ( Fl ) for

and flange parameters (, Wf) for the

ground plane are constructed as given below and they are used in experiments for our analysis. Antenna 1: Fundamental resonant rectangular patch with a flat ground plane.

Experiments on bandwidth enhancement The basic characteristic of the microstrip patch antenna is that the bandwidth of the antenna is limited mainly by impedance variations. The fundamental resonant patch an- tenna (antenna-1) is found to have a 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 6.8% at resonance frequency 2.0375GHz. This funda- mental resonant patch, simulated using IE3D, has return loss characteristics shown in Fig. 8.

The flat ground plane in antenna-1 is now changed into an inverted V shape by bending it downwards. The bend angle () is set to many different values and the correspond- ing 2:1 VSWR bandwidth is noted down. An experiment on antenna -2 with bend angle 10 shows bandwidth improve- ment to 9.25% at a resonance frequency of 2.0142GHz. For the increased bend angle of 30, the 2:1 VSWR bandwidth is found to be 15.62% at 2.1402-GHz resonance fre- quencies. At bend angle 40, the bandwidth improves to a higher value of 18.4% that is almost three times that of the fundamental antenna bandwidth. The bend angle was not increased further as it will affect the finite dimensions of the SMA connector. The antenna with a W-shaped ground plane (antenna-3) is formed by adding flanges to the in- verted V-shaped ground on both sides. It introduces two more parameters in the form of flange height (Wf) and an- gle () between the two ends. This is done mainly to ex- plore the other advantages, if any, of the microstrip patch antenna.

Experiments on antenna size reduction The optimum performances obtained for antennas-2 and -3 with the appropriate geometry settings for broadband op- eration were further used for study of frequency reduction. For this to be accomplished, the radiating patch was con- verted into an inverted U shape by adding flanges to the flat rectangular radiating patch. The dimensions of the flanges were chosen in such a way that it would not touch the ground plane directly while bending to make an inverted U-shaped patch. The corresponding measured return loss is 43.25dB as shown in Fig. 9 and return loss 27.39dB as shown in Fig. 10. From these simulated results, it is seen that the addition of flanges greatly lowered the resonance frequency. The reso- nance frequency of the fundamental antenna is 2.1375

GHz instead of the designed frequency due to the capacitive fring- ing effect between the patch and the ground plane. In par- ticular, the antenna-5 shows great frequency reduction at the same time maintaining a larger bandwidth. The results are shown in Table 2. The frequency reduction provided by each antenna along with their corresponding bandwidth is given in Table 3.

Conclusion In this paper, the design and development of a compact broadband probe-fed inverted U-shaped Microstrip patch antenna with a W-ground plane was presented. The antenna model with a 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 27% has been cho- sen for further experimentation on frequency reduction. The inverted U-shape used for frequency reduction, in effect, increases the electrical length of the patch. The combined antenna model provided a maximum of 39% frequency re- duction and 24.5% of 2:1 VSWR bandwidth. The proposed model also provides good cross-polarization performance. The proposed antenna is suitable for use in many application areas such as wireless communications, space applications and WLAN.