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50 (IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security,

Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2009

Design and Experimental Analysis of High

Performance Microstrip Antenna
for Wireless Broadband Communication

Raheel M. Hashmi1, Arooj M. Siddiqui 2, M. Jabeen 2, K. Shehzad2, S. Muzahir Abbas2, K.S.Alimgeer2

Department of Electronics & Information, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Department of Electrical Engineering, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology
Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract: Antennas have fundamental importance in the authorities of the realm, 2.45 GHz is also employed for
field of wireless communication systems. With advances in operation of WiMAX networks [6]. Microstrip antennas are
miniature design for communicating devices and broadband low profile antennas which can be easily mounted on
technologies, needs for low-cost and small sized antennas surfaces due to their planar geometrical designs [7]. These
supporting broadband communications have grown like never antennas are manufactured by etching the designed
before. In this paper, we present a simple and very low-cost prototype on a dielectric substrate with dielectric constants
design of a wide-band micro patch antenna for operation in the ranging as 2.2 ≤ εr ≤ 12 [7]. Designs with greater substrate
broadband wireless spectrum. The proposed design has been
thickness and lesser value of dielectric constants can
optimized using quarter-wave strip-line approach to provide
high performance at a wide functional bandwidth while
increase efficiency of the antenna but introduce application
minimizing reflection effects. The design has been fabricated constraints as well. Smaller and cheaper designs are
and the prototype been analyzed using the results from Network required for implementation in practical systems to support
Analyzer. The results of the analysis suggest that the wideband communications and offer low reflection losses.
characteristics of the fabricated prototype comply with the
In this paper, the proposed design is aimed to provide very
simulated outcomes. Hence, the proposed design proves to be
simple, scalable and very low-cost with provision of optimum
low cost hardware and small size for operation on 2.45 GHz
features by combining the advantages of broadband frequency band with optimum performance. Furthermore,
communication with micro-strip design. the proposed design has been optimized using strip-line
matching approach and offers very low reflection losses on
the resonant frequencies. The resonant or nominal
Keywords:Broadband Communication; Micro-strip lines; bandwidth offered by this prototype is more than 100 MHz
Radio Frequency, Radiation Pattern; and is supported by a very close to ideal voltage standing
wave ratio (VSWR).
1. Introduction The rest of the paper is organized as: Section 2 describes the
proposed antenna geometry. Section 3 highlights the
Development of broadband communications has achieved
modeling and designing process while Section IV depicts
a very high pace in modern era. Antennas serve as the
the radiation characteristics. Section 5 presents the results of
foremost interface between air and transceivers to transform
the hardware prototype and Section 6 concludes the paper.
electrical signals into electromagnetic energy in the free
space and vice versa [1]. Modern communication devices
demand portability, low manufacturing cost, small size and 2. Proposed Geometrical Design
high performance with excessive bandwidth requirements.
These needs are being met by new developments in the field The prototype has been designed for operation at 2.45
of antenna design and analysis. GHz band and the dimensions have been calculated by the
equation set provided in [7]. The design consists of a
There are several classes of antennas like narrowband rectangular patch printed on 1.6mm thick; FR-4 substrate.
antennas, fractal or frequency independent antennas and The substrate bed has dimensions of 50mm x 80mm and has
wideband antennas. Broadband or wideband antennas are ground plane printed on the lower face. Figure 1 shows the
termed as those which can cover an octave or two around image of the proposed design. The antenna is fed using a
the designated centre frequency [2]. Present broadband 3mm x 17mm transmission line with 50 ohms resistance.
communications involve IEEE 802.11 based Wireless Local The radiating patch and the transmission line (T-Line) have
Area Networks (WLANs) [3] and IEEE 802.16 based been matched using a strip-line to act as a quarter-wave
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access transformer to manipulate the fact suggested by T-Line
(WiMAX) networks [4]. WiMAX serves as a solution for theory that open and short circuit effects alternate at
Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks and hence, can distances separated by factor of λ/4. The impedance of the
accommodate several WLANs for backhaul purposes [5]. quarter-wave transformer is calculated using (1) as:
The most widely employed spectral band for WLANs is 2.45
GHz [3]. However, depending upon the allocation
Ζ1 = (Ζ0 RL) 1/2 (1)
(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, 51
Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2009

Where RL is the load resistance calculated by using the

relation of transmission coefficient and impedance ratios [8]
and Z0 is the characteristic impedance equal to 50 ohms.
The dimensions of quarter-wave transformer are 0.1mm x

Figure 2. The basic building frame of radiating patch

4. Radiation Characteristics

The results obtained from the simulations include the

radiation pattern and the return loss. The return loss
experienced is measured to be -34.59 dB whereas the
resonating bandwidth calculated at -10 dB is approximately
150 MHz. According to IEEE 802.16 specifications, the
Figure 1. Radiating Patch Prototype Layout channel bandwidth for WiMAX is scalable between 1.25 -
20 MHz whereas of 802.11 specifications state a channel
The design and software simulations have been performed bandwidth of 20 MHz (non-overlapping) [3]. This endorses
using the software package AWR Microwave Office (MWO- the fact that not only the designed antenna possesses wide-
228, VSS-100). This package has an embedded graphical band characteristics, but also it provides ease of operation
user interface which can help to calculate the dimensions of over the 2.45 GHz band for both types of broadband
the quarter-wave transformer. The patch is fed using female communication networks.
SMA connector which has 50 ohms impedance to match the

3. Modelling and Design

The antenna design has been modeled in AWR
Microwave Office Design Environment which is based on
the Method of Moments to calculate the current distributions
on the patch and determine the radiation characteristics [9].
The modeling structure has been designated to be of copper
metal with radiating and ground planes sandwiching the
FR-4 substrate between them. The radiating patch elements
consist of strip-lines and bends as shown in figure 1. The
layered metallic frame is then filled by using copper
conductor plane and the final shape is presented in figure 2.
Layering properties are adjusted for simulation in the design
environment. The adjustments of the layering parameters
are made according to data presented in Table 1.

Table 1: layering parameters adjustments

Thickness Permittivity
Layer Type Tangent
(mm) (εr)
1 Air 16 1 0

2 Substrate (FR-4) 1.6 4.7 0.019

Figure 3. Radiation Plot in Elevation Hemisphere
52 (IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security,
Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2009

approximately 100 MHz at RL -10 dB. This low value of RL

yields a reflection coefficient (τ) to be 1x10-4.

Figure 4. Radiation Plot in Azimuthal Hemisphere

Figure 3 and 4 show the simulated radiation patterns of the

antenna in horizontal and vertical planes. The radiation Figure 6. Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)
plots suggest a symmetric behavior with low directional
properties. The half power beam-width of the antenna is Figure 6 shows the values of VSWR plotted against a range
calculated to be 60o whereas the first null beam-width is of frequencies. At 2.45 GHz, the value of VSWR is
approximately 160o. measured to be 1.0545 which is very close to the ideal
response valued unity. This result clearly depicts that the
reflections and thus, the creation of standing waves has been
5. Experimental Results & Analysis extremely suppressed due to the optimization using the
The hardware prototype of the simulated design was strip-line approach.
fabricated using the process of photolithography and was
connected with a SMA 4-hole female connector for practical
analysis. The prototype was analyzed using Agilent ENA
Series Network Analyzer Model-E5062A. The tests were
made to measure return-loss, VSWR, group delay
experienced by the transmission and the impedance
characteristics. The obtained results are presented in this

Figure 7. Antenna Impedance plotted on Smith Chart

Figure 7 shows that the plot of input impedance on a smith

chart generated by the network analyzer. The point in figure
7 bounded by a triangle and marked ‘1’ represents the value
Figure 5. Return Loss and Resonant Bandwidth of impedance at operating frequency of 2.45 GHz. This has
been plotted using a frequency sweep of 2.3 – 2.7 GHz.
Figure 5 shows the plot of RL which has increased in the
practical prototype to -40 dB with a resonant bandwidth of In figure 8, the plot of group delay experienced by the
transmission has been shown which comes out to be
(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, 53
Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2009

2.9152x10-9 seconds, which is very low. The results Appendix I

illustrated in figures 5 – 8 reveal that the performance of the
simulated design in comparison to that of hardware
prototype is considerably close.

Antenna Prototype under test on E5062A Network

Analyzer at Communications Lab., CIIT Main Campus,
Islamabad, Pakistan

[1] Constantine A. Balanis, “Antenna Theory: Analysis &
Design”, Chapter 1,3rd Edition, Jhon Wiley & Sons
Figure 8. Plot of group delay experienced by the Inc. USA, 2003.R. Caves. Multinational Enterprise
transmission and Economic Analysis, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 1982. (book style)
Moreover, the performance results obtained from the [2] Philip Felber, “A literature study: Fractal Antennas”,
fabricated prototype can be expressed as even better than the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA, December
simulated characteristics. 2000.
[3] H. Labiod, H. Afifi, C. De Santis,”Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,
6. Conclusion Zigbee and WiMAX”, Chapter 2: Introduction to Wi-
The proposed design, its simulation results and the Fi, Springer, Netherland, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4020-
experimental analysis agree together and hence, it can be 5397-9
concluded that this antenna can provide favorable outcomes [4] R. M. Hashmi et. al., “Improved Secure Network
when employed in WLANs or WiMAX networks, Authentication Protocol for IEEE 802.16”, 3rd IEEE
specifically with user-end communicating devices. International Conference on Information and
Moreover, it can also be extracted that extension of this Communication Technologies, Pakistan, 2009., in
prototype into a scalable array of similar antennas can be press
helpful for implementation as a base station transmitter as [5] Alberto Escudero-Pascual, “WLAN (IEEE 802.11 B)
well. The design and analysis has been successful and the and WMAN (802.16 A) Broadband Wireless Access:
hardware antenna performs quite close to the simulated when opportunities drive solutions”, Royal Institute of
structure. Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002.
[6] WiMAX Forum, “Online MAPS”, retrieved 30th July
2009 from http://www.wimaxmaps.org/
[7] Constantine A. Balanis, “Antenna Theory: Analysis &
Design”, Chapter 14, 3rd Edition, Jhon Wiley & Sons
Inc. USA,pp 811-820, 2003.
[8] David M. Pozar, “Microwave Engineering”, 3rd
Edition, Jhon Wiley & Sons, USA, 2005.
[9] Robert E. Collin, “Antennas and Radiowave
Propagation”, Chapter 2, Mc-Graw Hill,
Singapore,pp 46-50, 1985.