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12, DECEMBER 2013

Printed Slot Loaded Bow-Tie Antenna With
Super Wideband Radiation Characteristics
for Imaging Applications
Okan Yurduseven, David Smith, and Michael Elsdon
AbstractA super wideband printed modied bow-tie antenna loaded
with rounded-Tshaped slots fed through a microstrip balun is proposed for
microwave and millimeter-wave band imaging applications. The modied
slot-loaded bow-tie pattern increases the electrical length of the bow-tie an-
tenna reducing the lower band to 3.1 GHz. In addition, over the investigated
frequency band up to 40 GHz, the proposed modied bow-tie pattern con-
siderably attens the input impedance response of the bow-tie resulting in a
smooth impedance matching performance enhancing the reection coef-
cient characteristics. The introduction of the modied ground plane
printed underneath the bow-tie, on the other hand, yields to directional
far-eld radiation patterns with considerably enhanced gain performance.
The and E-plane/H-plane far-eld radiation pattern measurements
have been carried out and it is demonstrated that the fabricated bow-tie
antenna operates across a measured frequency band of 3.140 GHz with
an average broadband gain of 7.1 dBi.
Index TermsBow-tie antenna, imaging, microstrip balun, slot loading,
super wideband.
Antennas offering ultra-wideband (UWB) radiation characteristics
have been the subject of much research in recent years. Various antennas
covering UWB have been studied in the literature including travel-
ling-wave antennas, such as Vivaldi antennas; frequency-independent
antennas, suchasbiconicalantennas; self-complementaryantennas, such
as logarithmic spiral antennas; and multiple resonance antennas, such
as fractal antennas. Among these, printed planar antennas have received
much attention due to their planar structure, making themeasily mount-
able on planar surfaces, and simple low-cost manufacturing. Bow-tie
antennas, which are the planar version of biconical antennas, have the
advantage of being considerably compact in size and offering good time
domain and broad-band frequency domain radiation characteristics [1],
[2]. UWBbow-tiegeometries studiedinthe literature canbegivenas slot
[3], [4], double-sided[5], self-complementary[6] andself-grounded[7].
Bow-tie antennas are widely used in ground penetrating radar (GPR)
applications [8], [9]. Recently, UWB GPR systems have found many
applications in the detection of subsurface objects and high resolution
non-destructivescanning/imagingof variousstructures, suchasconcrete
blocks, roads andpavements [10]. BeyondUWB, -bandimaging
of moving targets [11], K-band imaging for airborne radar systems in
terrain reconnaissance applications [12] and millimeter-wave band
(30300 GHz) imaging for security and surveillance [13] have been the
subject of muchresearch.
Traditionally, for microwave and millimeter wave band imaging
systems, separate antennas are used increasing the complexity and the
cost of the imaging system. In view of this, the design of a super wide-
band low-prole bow-tie antenna with desirable linear phase response,
directional radiation characteristics across a wide frequency band and
good time domain impulse response would be a signicant contribution
to low-cost UWB, -band and millimeter-wave band imaging
applications. However, very little work exists on the design of bow-tie
Manuscript received March 21, 2013; revised May 20, 2013; accepted Au-
gust 31, 2013. Date of publication September 10, 2013; date of current version
November 25, 2013.
The authors are with the Faculty of Engineering and Environment,
Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, U.K. (e-mail: okan.
Color versions of one or more of the gures in this communication are avail-
able online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TAP.2013.2281353
Fig. 1. Fabricated modied bow-tie antenna (a) x-y plane and (b) x-z plane.
antennas to operate above -band. In this communication, a low-pro-
le printed modied bow-tie antenna fed through a microstrip balun is
quencybandof 3.140GHz, simultaneouslycoveringUWB,
imagingbandsinfull andmillimeter-waveimagingbandpartly.
The fabricated modied bow-tie antenna is shown in Fig. 1. The
bow-tie has been printed on a low-loss RT/duroid 5870 substrate,
and . The are angle of the bow-tie arms is 26.2
while each armhas a total length of 16.9 mmas can be seen in Fig. 1(a).
Underneath the substrate, a modied ground plane has been introduced
to improve the overall gain performance of the bow-tie antenna [14].
The rectangular hollow-shaped pattern of the ground plane illustrated
in Fig. 1(a) has been optimized in CSTMicrowave Studio to ensure that
it has minimal effect on the impedance bandwidth of the bow-tie an-
tenna while providing optimum gain performance both of which have
been achieved with a printed copper line width of 10 mm.
Traditionally, the surface current of a bow-tie antenna is stronger at
the edges and ows through the path determined by the edges [15].
In order to widen the frequency band of a bow-tie antenna at the
lower band, the electrical length of the current path must be increased.
Moreover, the input impedance response over a desired frequency
band should remain as at as possible to perform a smooth wide-
band impedance matching. In order to achieve this, a novel rounded
T-shaped slot loaded modied bow-tie pattern has been designed and
is demonstrated in this communication.
Theproposedmodiedbow-tiepatternconsistsof arounded-Tshaped
slot with a thin PCB copper line inside as can be seen in Fig. 1(a). The
depth of the rounded T-shaped slot is 9 mmwith a width of 2 mm. Inside
the slot, at a distance of 5.7 mm away from where the slot begins, 1 mm
widePCBcopperlinelies, whichisincontact withtheroundededgeofthe
bow-tiearm. This lineis responsiblefor forcingthecurrent toowwithin
the slot with the help of the rounded 2 mmwide top of the T-shaped slot.
This results in a considerably increased electrical length of the current
path as demonstrated in this communication. The increased electrical
length of the bow-tie arm reduces the lower operation band to 3.1 GHz
enablingtheantenna tocover UWB.
In addition, the proposed slot-loaded bow-tie pattern plays a signi-
cant role in further attening the input impedance response of traditional
rounded bow-tie antennas. In Fig. 2, comparison is made between the
simulated input impedance curves of the proposed slot-loaded modi-
ed rounded bow-tie arm and a traditional solid version as a function
0018-926X 2013 IEEE
Fig. 2. Simulatedinput impedancecurves of atriangular monopole, atraditional solidroundedbow-tieandthe proposedslot-loadedroundedbow-tiearms.
of antenna length in degrees. Fig. 2 also includes the simulated input
impedance curves of a triangular monopole arm for comparison. In
Fig. 2, represents the arm length and is the are angle of bow arm,
which are 16.9 mmand 26.2 , respectively, corresponding to an antenna
length of 405.6 at the center frequency of 20 GHz. It can be seen in
Fig. 2that roundingthe bow-tie edges reduces the uctuationinthe input
impedance response making it possible to perform a better impedance
matching over a wider frequency band. However, an even further at-
tening in the input impedance response has been achieved as a result
of the proposed rounded-T shaped slot loading, which signicantly
enhances the impedance matching performance, enabling the proposed
modied bow-tie antenna to have stabilized impedance response over
the investigatedfrequencybandupto40GHz. Fromthe resistance curve
obtainedfor theproposedmodiedbow-tiearminFig. 2together withthe
reactance response, which has signicantly been attened and slightly
uctuates around zero enabling a wideband impedance matching to be
performed, an average broadband impedance of 150 has been deter-
mined as bow-tie input impedance, , across the investigated
frequencyband, 3.140GHz.
In order to optimize the radiation performance of a bow-tie antenna, it
should be fed using a balanced feeding structure. Abalun equals the cur-
rentsat thebalancedportsofabow-tieantennainamplitudeandopposites
in phase [15]. In addition to stabilizing the radiation characteristics, the
fabricated microstrip balun illustrated in Fig. 3 has been designed as an
impedance matching circuit, matching the impedance at the input SMA
port of the balun, which is 50 , to the input impedance of the bow-tie
arms, which has been obtained as an average 150 fromFig. 2. Amajor
factor considered in the design process is the requirement of the balun to
have a wide impedance bandwidth performance in order to enable the
The balun has been printed on a CER-10 substrate, and
, andattachedtothebow-tieat thebottomat right angleas
showninFigs. 1(b)and3(d). Itconsistsoftwotypesofplanartransmission
lines. The rst type is the unshielded U-shaped microstrip transmission
line printed onthe rear surface of the substrate as canbe seen inFig. 3(b).
This transmission line is a combination of two sub-transmission lines,
line and line with characteristic impedances of and . The
second type is the balanced co-planar stripline with a characteristic
impedance of , which consists of two short-circuited ground planes
representing the outer conductors of lines and in coaxial equivalent
circuit given in Fig. 3(c), printed on the front surface of the substrate as
illustrated in Fig. 3(a). The balun matches the impedance at the terminal
X-Y, given as in Fig. 3(c), which is the input impedance of short-cir-
cuit line ABin parallel with that together in series with the input
impedance of line . The balun designed for this work is based on a
renement of the balun originally described by Bawer and Wolfe [16].
In [16], transmission line with the same characteristic impedance as
transmissionline is usedtomatchtothe balancedsection. Inthis work,
the impedance of transmission line has been optimized to provide a
considerable enhancement in the reection coefcient response
of the balun especially at the lower band as shown in Fig. 4 whereas the
width of transmission line has been xed at mmresulting
Fig. 3. Balun(a) balancedco-planar stripline, topview(b) unshieldedmicrostrip
transmission line, back view(c) coaxial equivalent circuit [16] (d) balun attached
tothebow-tie, (e) balunmeasurement set-up. Dimensions (inmm):
in a characteristic impedance of , which is equal to the input
impedance of the input SMAport of the balun. FromFig. 4, the optimum
performance has been obtained when , achieved with
a transmission line width of mm. When ,
requiring as demonstrated in [16], deterioration in re-
sponseof thebalunbelow15GHzcanclearlybeseeninFig. 4preventing
the balun from covering UWB. Increasing higher than 75 , on the
other hand, improves the average level compared to the proposed
balunwith but at theexpenseofthebandwidth. Thisisevident
inFig. 4, where setting has shiftedthe low-bandfrom2.92
GHzto4.6GHz, whichisnot desirablefor UWBimagingapplications.
Fig. 5 demonstrates the and transmission coefcient ( and
) patterns of the fabricated balun terminated in a load impedance
of 150 . It should be noted here that as the differential output port of
the balun has two single-ended balanced terminals, together with the
Fig. 4. Simulated responseof thebalunversusvarying with .
Fig. 5. Simulated and measured and patterns of the balun.
Fig. 6. Measured phase response of the fabricated balun.
input port, a 3-port S-parameter analysis, and , has been
performed. As illustrated in Fig. 5, there is good agreement between
the simulated and measured S-parameter responses and the fabricated
balun operates across a dB frequency band of 2.9240 GHz. The
simulated and measured and patterns in Fig. 5 demonstrate
a good forward transmission performance with an equal power split
between the balanced output ports of the fabricated balun.
The measured phase response of the balanced terminals of the balun
is shown in Fig. 6. As illustrated in Fig. 6, the phase difference be-
tween the balanced outputs is almost constant at 180 over the entire
frequency range.
The simulated and measured patterns of the fabricated bow-tie
antenna fed through the proposed balun are shown in Fig. 7. As demon-
strated, the proposed modied bow-tie antenna operates across a mea-
sured frequency band of 3.140 GHz, offering a dB impedance
bandwidth of 36.9 GHz. This covers the full spectrum of UWB and
, and part of the millimeter wave spectrum.
Fig. 8 provides a comparison between the measured phase responses
of the proposed rounded T-shaped slot loaded bow-tie antenna and the
traditional version, which is a rounded-edge solid bow-tie antenna, both
of which have been fed through the same proposed microstrip balun.
In Fig. 8, the traditional solid bow-tie has considerable distortions in
the phase response at the frequency band of 13.85 GHz and above 20
Fig. 7. Simulated and measured patterns of the bow-tie antenna.
Fig. 8. Comparison between the measured phase responses of the proposed
modied bow-tie antenna and the traditional solid version.
Fig. 9. Simulated current distributions (a) 3.1 GHz, (b) 20 GHz, (c) 40 GHz.
GHz whereas the phase response of the proposed modied bow-tie is
almost linear across the entire investigated frequency band. The surface
current distributions across the bow-tie arms obtained at 3.1, 20 and 40
GHz with the antenna attached to the proposed balun across terminals
as shown in Fig. 3(a) are illustrated in Fig. 9.
The surface current distribution across the left and right bow-tie arms
is balanced and symmetric over the investigated frequency band of
3.140GHzvalidatingtheaccuracyof thebalun. Asexpected, thecurrent
owing across the edges of the bow-tie is stronger in amplitude and the
proposedT-shapedslot-loadedbow-tie pattern forces the current toow
throughtheshapedmodiedgeometry, increasingtheelectrical lengthof
theproposedbow-tieantenna, especiallyat thelower band.
In the determination of the time-domain characteristics of the
bow-tie performed in CST, the width of the amplitude of the analytic
impulse response envelope at half-maximum, , has
been investigated [1]. Mathematically, the analytic impulse response
Fig. 10. Simulated impulse response envelope and transmit impulse.
Fig. 11. Measured E-plane and H-plane far-eld radiation and cross-polariza-
tion/co-polarization ratio patterns taken at (a) 3.1 GHz, (b) 10 GHz, (c) 20 GHz,
(d) 30 GHz, (e) 40 GHz.
of the bow-tie, , has been obtained through Hilbert transform in
In (1), h(t) is the simulated impulse response data obtained in CST.
The obtained envelope and the transmit impulse of the antenna
are shown in Fig. 10.
The of theimpulseradiatedbythebow-tiehas beencalculated
as47ps.Consideringthatthe ofthesynthesizedexcitinginputim-
pulseinCSTwas38ps, althoughaslightbroadeninginthewidthoftheim-
pulseoccurs, the47ps obtainedfromthebow-tiecombinedwith
the observedtransmit impulse of the bow-tie withminimal distortionen-
sures agoodimpulse responseperformance.
Fig. 11 demonstrates the measured E-plane and H-plane far-eld
radiation patterns of the proposed bow-tie antenna together with the
cross-polarization/co-polarization ratio. Table I shows a comparison
between the measured maximumgain values obtained with and without
the proposed modied ground plane.
As can be seen in Fig. 11, the measured E-plane and H-plane far-eld
radiation patterns demonstrate stabilized directional radiation charac-
teristics across the entire operational frequency band. The difference
between the cross-polarization and co-polarization patterns is higher
than 10 dBin both E-plane and H-plane at the frequency band of 1040
GHz. The ratio stays above 5 dB at the lowest frequency of 3.1 GHz,
which can be considered acceptable considering the proposed opera-
tional impedance bandwidth which is larger than a decade.
The contribution of the rectangular hollow-shaped ground plane to
the overall gain performance of the proposed modied bow-tie antenna
can clearly be seen in Table I. In addition to resulting in directional
far-eld radiation patterns required for imaging applications as demon-
strated in Fig. 11, the introduction of the ground plane has increased the
average measured maximum gain from 4.14 dBi to 7.1 dBi. This is an
enhancement in the gain performance of the proposed bow-tie antenna
by a factor of 71.5%.
A microstrip balun fed super wideband printed modied bow-tie an-
tenna, consisting of rounded T-shaped slot loaded bow arms printed
on a low-loss RT/duroid 5870 substrate with a modied ground plane
underneath, has been proposed. E-plane/H-plane far-eld radiation pat-
tern and S-parameter results have been demonstrated and it has been
veried that the proposed modied bow-tie antenna brings a consider-
able improvement in the impedance bandwidth response of traditional
printed bow-tie antennas. It results in a signicant reduction in antenna
resistance variation and an antenna reactance close to zero, thus sig-
nicantly extending the impedance match. The measured directional
far-eld radiation patterns and linear phase response across the fre-
quency band of 3.140 GHz combined with the obtained good time
domain impulse response performance conrm the suitability of the
proposed bow-tie antenna for UWB GPR, and and mil-
limeter-wave band imaging applications.
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A Four-Beam Pattern Recongurable Yagi-Uda Antenna
C. Kittiyanpunya and M. Krairiksh
AbstractThis communication presents a pattern recongurable an-
tenna which is based on the Yagi-Uda conguration that can change the
radiation beam into four directions. The function of the parasitic elements
can be altered between a director and a reector with PIN diodes while
the driven element can be altered between two perpendicular directions
with RF switches. To be able to use this proposed antenna on an electric
conductor, such as on the vehicle rooftop, the antenna is thus mounted on
electromagnetic band gap (EBG) structure which serves as a magnetic
conductor. The gain is approximately 5 dBi and the eld trial exhibited
the diversity gain of 17 dB over the xed beam antenna. As a result, the
proposed antenna possesses high potential for further development into a
TV signal reception on moving vehicles.
Index TermsEBG, magnetic conductor, mobile TV antenna, pattern
reconguration, PIN diode, recongurable antenna, RF switch, Yagi-Uda
The Yagi-Uda antenna [1] is an end-re array using a single feed and
it has been in use for TVreception worldwide. Due to its xed unidirec-
tional radiation pattern, the Yagi-Uda antenna is unsuited to mounting
on vehicles. Thus, the solution lies in a recongurable antenna [2] that
is able to cover the full azimuth plane.
Manuscript received December 27, 2012; revised September 09, 2013; ac-
cepted September 15, 2013. Date of publication September 20, 2013; date of
current version November 25, 2013.
The authors are with Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkuts In-
stitute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok 10520, Thailand (e-mail:
s3611416@kmitl.ac.th; kkmonai@kmitl.ac.th).
Color versions of one or more of the gures in this communication are avail-
able online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TAP.2013.2282914
On the recongurable Yagi-Uda antenna, attempts have been made
to develop the antennas which are recongurable in frequency [3]
and/or pattern. The antennas in [4][6] were designed according to the
principle of Yagi - Uda antenna by switching the state of PIN diodes
inserted on parasitic elements between ON and OFF to force them
act as reectors or directors. Even though the beam is recongured and
becomes multi-directional, it still fails to cover the horizontal plane.
Gray et al. experimented with an electronically steerable Yagi-Uda
microstrip patch antenna array based on a four element Yagi-Uda
patch antenna [7]. The four antennas forming the array are located
radially from a single reector patch. By switching the four elements,
the main beam of the array is steerable in the azimuth plane and
support circular polarization radiation. In [8] circular polarization was
formed by two identical recongurable linear Yagi - Uda patch arrays
lying orthogonally to each other around a single driven patch element.
Switching among the four modes changes the radiation pattern and
thereby makes coverage of the horizontal plane possible. Nevertheless,
as TV reception employs horizontal polarization, it is thus difcult to
mount a low-prole antenna on a metallic surface, such as the rooftop
of a vehicle, due to the boundary condition in which reection-phase
cancels out the electric eld on the surface. Meanwhile, the EBG
structure [9][12] acts as a magnetic conductor that addresses the
problem of mounting a horizontal polarization antenna on an electric
conductor. Recently, studies on the recongurable antennas over the
EBG ground plane have been undertaken [13], [14], none of which
nevertheless deals with antennas that produce the radiation patterns in
directions surrounding the azimuth plane.
This work presents a pattern recongurable antenna which can alter-
nate the main beam into four-direction radiation. The structure is based
on the Yagi-Uda antenna, whose driven element and parasitic elements
are switched to change the main beamdirection. This proposed antenna
has been installed on EBGstructure that serves as a magnetic conductor
to obtain a pattern recongurable antenna for horizontal polarization.
The objective of this work is to investigate the pattern recongurable
antenna with horizontal polarization mountable on the metallic roof-top
of a vehicle. The radiation pattern must be recongurable to receive
the high eld strength of UHF signal from the TV station as the ve-
hicle moves. The authors have proposed the Yagi-Uda antenna with a
driven element that can be altered between two perpendicular direc-
tions using SPDT RF switches (AS186-302LF), while the function of
parasitic elements can be altered between a director and a reector with
PIN diodes (BAP51-02). The proposed antenna is mounted on a mush-
room-like EBG structure.
A. Four-Beam Pattern Recongurable Yagi-Uda Antenna in Free
In this research work, the operating frequency is 562 MHz and the
proposed antenna consists of brass tubes, foam substrate, SPDT RF
switches and PIN diodes. The geometry of the proposed four-beam
pattern recongurable Yagi-Uda antenna with integrated SPDT RF
switches and PIN diodes is shown in Fig. 1(a). The schematic of the
circuit board of RF switches is shown in Fig. 1(b), where RF switch
legs H1, H2, H3, and H4 are respectively soldered to monopoles
D1, D2, D3, and D4. Monopoles D1 and D3 and monopoles D2 and
D4 form two perpendicular dipoles. The output signal from the RF
switches is connected to the coaxial cable where inner and outer con-
ductors are at I and O, respectively. The biasing circuit for a PIN diode
and its photograph are shown in Fig. 1(c). The antenna design is based
on the Yagi-Uda antenna. The initial design was as shown in [15] in
0018-926X 2013 IEEE