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This is Masters Level Thesis which describes the design and fabrication of Koch fractal Antenna

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83 vizualizări79 paginiThis is Masters Level Thesis which describes the design and fabrication of Koch fractal Antenna

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By

2007-NUST-MS PhD-Elec-16

M.Sc-51 (E)

in Partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of

Master of Science

in

Electrical Engineering

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Mojeeb Bin Ihsan

National University of Sciences & Technology

Rawalpindi, Pakistan

2010

To my parents,

iii

ABSTRACT

Fractal geometries have been proven to be a powerful tool in the field of antenna

design. They have been successfully used in the development of miniaturized and

multiband antennas. This behavior results from their highly convoluted physical

structure and inherent self-similarity respectively. In addition to these properties,

studies have shown that at certain higher order modes, a fractal object exhibits

localized surface vibrations concentrated in small regions around its boundary. The

effect of this localization is to significantly increase the amplitude of these vibrations

compared to the fundamental resonance mode of the object. In an antenna based on

such fractal geometry, corresponding localized zones of high surface current density

will be set up. This results in an antenna with a marked improvement in its directivity

behavior. Such fractal antennas can be used to create antenna arrays which can meet a

gain or directivity requirement with a smaller number of elements, as compared to an

array of Euclidean elements. Reduced number of array elements also result in a

simpler feed network.

Based on the concept stated above, the current thesis focuses on the development of

High-directivity Fractal Antennas. Two fractal geometries have been studied; the

Sierpinski Triangle and the Koch Snowflake. They have been generated by applying

fractal iterations to an equilateral triangular patch antenna. Simulations have been

carried out using Ansoft HFSS, an FEM-(Finite Element Method) based

electromagnetic simulator. A prototype of each antenna has been built and tested. The

original Koch geometry has then been modified by the introduction of a slot. The slot

size and the feed point have been optimized to maintain the antenna return loss

behavior as much as possible. The modified antenna has shown an increase in the

directivity along with improvement in the simulated far-field behavior. The modified

Koch Antenna has also been fabricated and tested. Measured results for all three

antennas will be presented. A comparison between the simulated and measured results

will be made. Any deviations between both will be studied and their possible causes

and remedies will be discussed.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Read! And thy Lord is the Most Bountiful; He who taught by The Pen, taught Man

that which he knew not. (96:2-4)

My first and foremost gratitude to Allah, for granting me the opportunity and the

ability to undertake and complete this work.

I sincerely thank my supervisor, Dr. Mojeeb Bin Ihsan, and my co-supervisor, SRE

Zubair Ahmed for their constant encouragement and guidance, their patience and

indispensible help which enabled me to complete my thesis work. I specially thank my

Co-supervisor for facilitating the antenna fabrications at the GSR Lab. Thanks to Dr.

Khalid Munawwar and Dr. Shehzad Amin Sheikh, esteemed members of my guidance

committee, for always having the time and patience to provide valuable advice and

encouragement.

Very special thanks to my parents for their love and prayers. I would like to thank my

family and friends for their never ending support and for believing in me.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

v

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...................................................................................................................... IV

CHAPTER 1 .......................................................................................................................................... 1

1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 1

1.1 Overview .................................................................................................................................... 1

1.2 Objectives ................................................................................................................................... 4

1.3 Motivation.................................................................................................................................. 4

1.4 Design Process............................................................................................................................ 4

1.5 Document Layout ....................................................................................................................... 5

CHAPTER 2 .......................................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................6

2.1.2 Definition.............................................................................................................................................8

2.1.3 Fractal Dimension ...............................................................................................................................8

2.1.4 Types of Fractals and their Generation ...............................................................................................9

2.1.5 Examples of fractals ..........................................................................................................................12

2.1.5.1 Boundary fractals ...........................................................................................................................12

2.1.5.2 Mass Fractals ..................................................................................................................................13

2.2 Localized resonance behavior in fractals ................................................................................. 15

2.2.1 The fractal drum ................................................................................................................................15

2.3 Fractals in Literature: Basic Concepts ...................................................................................... 16

2.4 Antennas: Basic Concepts ........................................................................................................ 16

2.5 Fractals in Antenna Engineering .............................................................................................. 17

2.5.1 Overview of fractal Antennas ............................................................................................................18

2.5.2 Fractal Antenna Geometries and their Applications .........................................................................19

2.5.3 Fractal Antenna Geometries with High Directivity Behavior .............................................................20

CHAPTER 3 ............................................................................................................................................. 22

3. DESIGN AND SIMULATION OF THE SIERPINSKI FRACTAL ANTENNA .............................................................. 22

3.1 Introduction.............................................................................................................................. 22

3.2 Design and simulation sequence .............................................................................................. 22

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

vi

3.2 Generation of the Sierpinski Fractal Patch ............................................................................... 24

3.3 Simulation of Sierpinski fractal Antenna in Ansoft HFSS .......................................................... 25

3.3.1 Sierpinski fractal antenna without air gap ........................................................................................25

3.3.2 Sierpinski fractal antenna with air gap ..............................................................................................27

3.4 Simulated results in HFSS ......................................................................................................... 31

3.4.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance Curves .........................................................................................31

3.4.2 Radiation Patterns .............................................................................................................................33

3.4.3 Surface Current Density ....................................................................................................................35

3.5 Observetions ............................................................................................................................ 36

CHAPTER 4 ............................................................................................................................................. 37

4. DESIGN AND SIMULATION OF THE KOCH FRACTAL ANTENNA ................................................................... 37

4.2 Simulation of Koch fractal Antenna in Ansoft HFSS ................................................................. 38

4.3 Simulated results in HFSS ......................................................................................................... 39

4.3.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance Curves .........................................................................................40

4.3.2 Radiation Patterns .............................................................................................................................41

4.3.3 Surface Current Density ....................................................................................................................43

CHAPTER 5 ........................................................................................................................................ 45

5.1 Modified Koch Fractal Geometry ............................................................................................. 45

5.1.1 Description ........................................................................................................................................45

5.2 Simulated Results ..................................................................................................................... 48

5.2.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance .....................................................................................................48

5.2.2 Radiation Patterns .............................................................................................................................50

5.2.3 Surface Current Density ....................................................................................................................53

CHAPTER 6 ........................................................................................................................................ 55

6.2 Sierpinski Fractal Antenna........................................................................................................ 56

6.2.1 Measured Return Loss.......................................................................................................................56

6.2.2 Radiation Patters ...............................................................................................................................56

6.3 Koch Fractal Antenna (Koch1) .................................................................................................. 58

6.3.1 Measured Return Loss.......................................................................................................................58

6.3.2 Radiation Patters ...............................................................................................................................59

6.4 Modified Koch Fractal Antenna (Koch2) .................................................................................. 60

6.4.1 Measured Return Loss.......................................................................................................................60

6.4.2 Radiation Patters ...............................................................................................................................60

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

vii

CHAPTER 7 ........................................................................................................................................ 62

7. DISCUSSIONS ................................................................................................................................. 62

5.2 Koch Fractal Antenna ...........................................................................................................................63

5.4 Conclusions ..........................................................................................................................................64

5.5 Future Suggestions ...............................................................................................................................64

BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................. 65

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

viii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2-2: Mathematical renditions of a Fern leaf. ....................................................... 7

Figure 2-3: Mathematical rendition of a tree. ................................................................. 7

Figure 2-4: A 3-lens MRCM [1]. .................................................................................. 11

Figure 2-5: Generation of the Koch Snowflake. ........................................................... 13

Figure 2-6: Generation of the Minkowski Fractal. ....................................................... 13

Figure 2-7: Generation of the Sierpinski Triangle. ....................................................... 14

Figure 2-8: Generation of the Sierpinski Carpet. .......................................................... 14

Figure 3-1: The Equilateral Triangle Antenna and its simulated return loss. ............... 23

Figure 3-2: Simulated directivity and surface current density for the triangular antenna.

....................................................................................................................................... 23

Figure 3-3: Graphical representation of the IFS approach. ........................................... 24

Figure 3-4: Sierpinski patch antenna without airgap and simulated return loss. .......... 26

Figure 3-5: Simulated radiation patterns at (a) 1.8GHz, (b) 3.6GHz and (c) 7.2GHz for

= 0, 90. ................................................................................................................... 26

Figure 3-6: Simulated radiation patterns at (a) 1.8GHz, (b) 3.6GHz and (c) 7.2GHz .. 27

Figure 3-7: Simulation model for the Sierpinski fractal antenna. ................................. 29

Figure 3-8: Simulated return-loss for the Sierpinski antenna. ...................................... 31

Figure 3-9: The real component of simulated input-impedance. .................................. 32

Figure 3-10: Complex component of simulated input-impedance. .............................. 32

Figure 3-11: Simulated radiation patterns at 3GHz for = (a) 0, (b) 90. ................ 33

Figure 3-12: Simulated radiation patterns at 5.4GHz for = (a) 0, (b) 90. ............. 34

Figure 3-13: Simulated radiation patterns at 9.8GHz for = (a) 0, (b) 90 .............. 34

Figure 3-14: Simulated current densities for (a) 3GHz, (b) 9.8GHz ............................ 35

Figure 3-15: Simulated current densities for (a) 5.4GHz, (b) 9.8GHz. ........................ 36

Figure 4-1: Generation of the Koch fractal. .................................................................. 37

Figure 4-2: Koch-fractal antenna model in HFSS. ....................................................... 38

Figure 4-3: Structure of the annular-ring for capacitive-matching. .............................. 39

Figure 4-4: Simulated return-loss for the Koch fractal antenna. .................................. 40

Figure 4-5: Real component of the input impedance of Koch fractal antenna. ............ 41

Figure 4-6: Imaginary component of the antenna input impedance. ............................ 41

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

ix

Figure 4-7: Radiation patterns for the Koch antenna at 3.1GHz for: (a) = , (b)

= ........................................................................................................................ 42

Figure 4-8: Radiation pattern of the Koch antenna at 3.4GHz: (a) = , (b) =

. ............................................................................................................................... 42

Figure 4-9: 3D radiation patterns for the Koch antenna showing the: (a) = , (b)

= views. ............................................................................................................. 43

Figure 4-10: Surface current density for the Koch antenna in the fractino mode......... 44

Figure 5-1: Koch fractal patch with a 0.25 scaled Koch slot. ....................................... 48

Figure 5-2: The capacitive annular ring in the modified Koch patch antenna....... Error!

Bookmark not defined.

Figure 5-3: Simulated return loss of the Modified Koch antenna. ............................... 49

Figure 5-4: Real component of the simulated input impedance. .................................. 49

Figure 5-5: Imaginary component of the simulated input impedance. ......................... 50

Figure 5-6: Directivity patterns at 2.5GHz non-fractino resonance for: (a) = , (b)

= . ....................................................................................................................... 51

Figure 5-7: Directivity patterns at 3.3GHz fractino resonance for: (a) = , (b) =

. ............................................................................................................................... 51

Figure 5-8: 3D radiation pattern for Modified Koch antenna at 2.5GHz resonance at (a)

= , (b) = . ................................................................................................... 52

Figure 5-9: 3D radiation pattern for Modified Koch antenna at 3.3GHz resonance at (a)

= , (b) = . ................................................................................................... 52

Figure 5-10: Simulated surface current density at 3.3GHz........................................... 53

Figure 5-11: Simulated surface current density at 3.3GHz (magnified). ...................... 54

Figure 6-1: Measured return loss for the Sierpinski fractal antenna ............................. 56

Figure 6-2: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Sierpinski antenna at

5.4GHz for: (a) = , (b) = ........................................................................... 57

Figure 6-3: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Sierpinski antenna at

9.9GHz for: (a) = , (b) = ........................................................................... 57

Figure 6-4: Measured return loss of the Koch1 antenna. .............................................. 58

Figure 6-5: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Koch1 antenna at

3.4GHz for: (a) = , (b) = ........................................................................... 59

Figure 6-6: Measured return loss for the Koch2 antenna. ............................................ 60

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x

Figure 6-7: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Koch2 antenna at

3.3GHz for: (a) = , (b) = ........................................................................... 61

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

xi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 3-1: Variation in the resonant frequencies with airgap height. ........................... 28

Table 3-2: Variation in antenna directivity with airgap height. .................................... 29

Table 3-3: SMA-model properties. ............................................................................... 30

Table 3-4: Return-loss characteristics of the Sierpinski antenna. ................................. 32

Table 3-5: Simulated gain and directivity for the Sierpinski antenna (all values for =

). ................................................................................................................................ 35

Table 6-1: Simulated and measured radiation parameters for the Sierpinski antenna. . 58

Table 6-2: Measured gains for the Koch fractal antenna. ............................................. 59

Table 6-3: Measured gain for Modified Koch Antenna................................................ 61

Table 7-1: Comparison between simulated and measured gains for the Sierpinski

antenna. ......................................................................................................................... 63

Table 7-2: Comparison of the simulated and measured bandwidths for the Koch

antenna. ......................................................................................................................... 64

Table 7-3: Comparison between simulated and measured gains for the Koch antenna.

....................................................................................................................................... 64

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

1

CHAPTER 1

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Overview

performance plays an important part in the determining the overall performance of the

communication system. Therefore antenna designers have gone to great lengths to

achieve desirable characteristics in antennas, using different existing techniques.

Antenna geometries and topologies directly influence the antenna behavior and hence,

a great effort has been put into finding the geometries which provide as much of a

desirable behavior as possible, while keeping the design and fabrication complexity to

a minimum. One of the outcomes of these efforts has been the development of

Microstrip Antennas.

Microstrip antennas possess numerous highly desirable traits, some of which are light

weight, low profile, easy to fabricate using conventional PCB manufacturing

techniques, ease of integration into MMIC packages and devices and very high

resilience and robustness when mounted on a firm base surface [1]. Due to these

characteristics, microstrip antennas have been used extensively, in applications ranging

from handheld communication devices to space communication and radar applications.

In spite of their desirable characteristics stated above, microstrip antennas have some

limitations too. Some of these limitations are narrow bandwidth, low power handling

capability, unwanted radiation from feed points, feed networks and other junctions and

low gain. Many applications, like radar systems and long-distance or space

communication, which can greatly benefit from low profile, light weight and

mechanical robustness of microstrip antennas, demand antenna structures that possess

high gain and directivity. To utilize the positive aspects of microstrip antennas in these

applications, techniques have been devised to improve the gain of microstrip antennas.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

2

antennas are:

2. To increase the effective physical area of the microstrip antenna.

most commonly used approach. Multiple microstrip elements, printed over separate

substrate sheets are stacked and bonded together. Commonly used feeding techniques

are probe-feeding and electromagnetically-coupled feeding.

electromagnetically-coupled feeding.

improve the gain as well as the bandwidth of microstrip antennas. The behavior of the

stacked microstrip antenna depends upon the separation between the microstrip

elements. It has been observed that if the separation between the individual elements is

~0.1, the stacked antenna displays a wideband behavior whereas if this spacing is

increased to 0.3~0.5, the antenna now shows a high-gain behavior [2]- [3].

This technique however has its limitations. Stacked microstrip elements may pose a

difficulty in fabrication. Improper alignment of the various layers of the stacked

antenna may lead to undesirable variation in the antenna performance. If the

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

3

microstrip antennas may also become prohibitively expensive.

The surface area of a microstrip antenna can be increase in three ways: by increasing

microstrip element dimensions, by using parasitic patches coupled to the driven

microstrip patch or by creating an array of microstrip antenna elements. Increasing the

antenna element dimensions can not be used as a method to increase antenna gain

because the resonant frequency of the microstrip antenna is inversely proportional to

the antenna dimension. So increasing the dimension reduces the antenna operating

frequency.

The quest for the perfect antenna geometries has led researchers to explore the field

of fractal geometries as possible candidates for antenna designs. Fractal geometry is a

relatively new branch of mathematics and geometry, dealing with the explanation and

characterization of shapes that cannot be explained with the conventional Euclidean

Geometry. Many fractal geometries have been analyzed as antennas and it has been

established that the unique nature of fractal shapes imparts some desirable

characteristics to such antennas, when compared to antennas designed with Euclidean

geometries.

improvement of gain and directivity. This requirement was initially met through

geometries like the horn antenna or the parabolic reflector antennas. With the

development of microstrip technology, patch-antenna arrays were designed to cater for

this requirement. They provided the gain and directivity behaviors similar to the said

antennas, with the added benefits of being easier to fabricate and possessing very slim

profiles. The ongoing research regarding the application of fractal geometry in patch

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

4

antenna design has, along with many benefits, provided yet another approach to gain

and directivity enhancement for microstrip antennas.

1.2 Motivation

The motivation behind this work has been the study of a technique which will enable

the antenna designer to:

conventional geometries.

A single element with improved gain means an antenna array which will meet a

required gain or directivity level with a smaller number of antenna elements.

Due to lesser elements, the feed network complexity in such an array will be

reduced.

Such an array will require lesser time for fabrication and will also be more

economical.

1.3 Objectives

To study fractal antennas possessing the desirable characteristic of high-

directivity.

To study the effect of various variations in the geometries on the antenna

behavior.

To attempt an improvement in the directivity of the antennas by modification

in their geometry.

The design flow of the antennas in the current work is two-staged. In the first stage,

the antenna models have been implemented in EM- simulation software. Simulation

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

5

results, including return loss, radiation patterns and surface current densities have been

obtained. In the second stage, the antenna models have been physically implemented.

The prototypes have been measured using network analyzers and anechoic chambers

and the simulated and measured results have been compared to assess the agreement

between the both.

The documentation of the work has been divided in the following manner:

Introduction

Literature review and theoretical concepts

Design and simulation of the fractal antennas

Variations introduced in the antenna geometries

Fabrication, testing and measurements, and finally,

Discussion of the results.

Each of these dimensions of the work has been covered in a separate chapter. A brief

outline of each chapter is as follows.

Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the objectives and motivation behind the work.

It also outlines the design flow behind the work.

literature studied during the course of this work, providing an idea of the research

work being carried out in this field.

Chapter 3 deals with the actual work carried out in this thesis. It includes a description

of the simulated antenna models and the simulated results for the antennas.

Chapter 4 discusses a variations introduced in the basic Koch antenna geometry and its

simulated results are presented.

Measured results have also been presented.

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6

Chapter 6 contains the discussion and comparison of simulated and measured results

for the antennas.

CHAPTER 2

This chapter is an outline of the study of literature pertaining to fractal theory and its

applications in antenna engineering, carried out during the course of the work. A brief

discussion of fractal theory is presented, along with some well-known examples of

fractal geometries. The generation of two fractal geometries of interest is briefly

discussed. Finally, an overview of the application of fractal theory in antenna research

has been presented.

2.1 Fractals

2.1.1 Introduction

Fractal Geometry was first theorized by B. Mandelbrot in the late 1970's, in an attempt

to mathematically explain the many geometries that occur in nature and cannot be

characterized using Euclidean Geometry. Since then, through extensive research and

experimentation, the fractal theory has been developed to the point that it has now

shown a wonderful flexibility to define natural objects as complex as the branching of

trees and the surface roughness of tree bark to as large as the clouds or coastlines. With

the development of sophisticated computational techniques and equipment, principles

of Fractal Theory has also been applied to the modeling of complex natural

phenomena like weather prediction, population models and other biological and

ecological systems. Fractal theory has been extensively applied to different fields in

science as well, including, but not limited to, mathematics, physics, biology and

disciplines of engineering. In the field of engineering, it has been successfully applied

to signal processing and antenna design problems. There is now a wealth of

information available regarding the application of fractals in different fields of science

and engineering.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

7

Figures 2-1 to 2-3 show examples of a fractal occurring in nature and mathematical

rendition of two more natural fractals. It can clearly be seen that mathematically

generated fractals are extremely close to the actual objects, thus showing the ability of

fractal theory to model natural objects.

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8

2.1.2 Definition

The term fractal literally means "broken". It was coined by Mandelbrot during his

study of various seemingly irregular natural objects which cannot be easily and

completely defined by conventional Euclidean geometry. Before the advent of fractal

geometry or the "geometry of nature", such shapes were generally described as

"formless" and studying them was considered impossible. It was Mandelbrot who

found an underlying order and solid definition of form in all such objects.

Since the pioneering work by Mandelbrot, fractals have been defined in numerous

ways. Most of these definitions are abstract and purely mathematical and require a

sound mathematical background to be understood. However, for all practical purposes,

a flexible definition has been proposed which encompasses all mathematical

definitions in a very simple way. It states that:

scale, the resulting pieces are reduced copies of the whole (original

unbroken) shape. Any such object will have the following properties:

Cannot be completely defined by Euclidean Geometry.

Self-similar, and

Simple and recursive definition.

The fractal dimension can be described in many ways. Some common ways in which it

defined are the Topological-, Hausdorf-, Hausdorf-Besicovich- and Self-similarity-

fractal dimensions. The simplest is the self-similarity dimension and is defined as

follows:

arbitrary scale. Suppose an object is made up of N-copies of the whole

object, each scaled down by a factor r, then the fractal dimension D is

defined as:

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

9

Fractals are classified broadly into two types, depending upon the process of their

generation:

random order.

Deterministic Fractals, which follow a certain set of mathematical rules

for their creation in a preset, deterministic manner.

Random fractals are generated as a result of random selection of one out of multiple

rules in a rule-set. This determines each subsequent iteration of the fractal. Naturally

occurring fractals are almost all random fractals. Deterministic fractals, on the other

hand, are the result of a preset pattern or a set of rules with no randomness. The same

rules will be repeated again and again to generate each iteration of the fractal.

Fractals can also be categorized into two other classes, depending upon their physical

appearance.

curves, like the Koch and the Minkowski Islands.

Mass Fractals: Those geometries whose surface/body is shaped as a fractal, like

the Sierpinski Gasket, the Menger Sponge etc.

generation.

Multiple Reduced Copy Machine (MRCM), the non-mathematical, easy to

understand explanation.

Random fractals can also be explained in these two ways, the only difference being the

introduction of probability in choosing one of the multiple rules, to complete an

iteration.

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10

simplest definition of IFS would be that it is a simple feedback system.

Its own output is fed back into the input hence an IFS represents

repetitive application of a single function to an initial input signal.

is a transformation that preserves lines and parallelism, i.e. it preserves

collinearity and ratios of distances. It is a combination of scalings,

rotations and translations or shifting. However, most simple affine

transformations are combinations of scalings and translations only.

the required translation. For a 2-D object, such a simple affine

transformation would be given by:

[ ] = [ ] [] + []

() = +

= + +

= + +

IFS. An IFS will contain as many affine transformations as the required

number of copies of the original object in the first iteration. This is

shown as follows:

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

11

() = 1 () 2 () 3 () ()

transformation, required to generate the nth copy of the original object.

required scaled and shifted versions of the original object. If we apply

the affine transformation to our original input, reapply the

transformation to the output and repeat this process indefinitely, we

obtain the required fractal geometry.

generating fractals. We suppose a copying machine which is capable of

producing multiple shifted images of the original object in the same

copy, using multiple lenses, and can use its own output as the input i.e.

it is a feedback machine. We have the choice of setting the number of

lenses which produce the reduced copies, their location and the

reduction factor. Thus by selecting a suitable number and location of

the lenses and the reduction factors, we can generate any fractal object.

Fig. 2.4 shows the concept of MRCMs using a simple 3-lens system.

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12

classified as:

Mass fractals: objects whose surface area or volume is fractal in nature.

A few examples of these two types of fractals will now be described briefly.

Koch Island

the Koch-snowflake because this geometry has been observed in

snowflakes and thus has been successfully used to model them. The

Koch Curve, three of which combine to form the Snowflake, was

suggested as an example of a curve that is nowhere differentiable, since

on the ideal Curve, it is impossible to define a unique tangent at any

given point.

The generation process for the Koch Fractal starts from an equilateral

triangle. Each side replaced with the generator. The generator has been

divided into three segments and the middle segment is replaced with an

equilateral triangle, pointing outward. This means that the distance

between the vertices of the original triangle remains constant but length

of each side increases with each iteration. Each iteration involves

modification of the sides of every triangle formed in the previous

iteration as described before.

Fig. 2.5 shows the generation process up to the fourth iteration. For a

true fractal, however, this process will have to be repeated indefinitely.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

13

Minkowski Island

Julia Set and many others.

Sierpinski Gasket

well known mass fractal. Since it has been examined in this work, its

construction will be discussed in detail. As the name indicates, the basic

shape for this fractal is a triangle. To generate this fractal, we take an

equilateral triangle. If we join the mid-points of the three sides and

remove the middle, inverted triangle, we get three congruent triangles

of exactly the same shape as the parent triangle, but exactly half the

size. This completes the first iteration. The process is repeated on the

three resulting triangles, producing 3, 9, 27, 81...triangles. If we repeat

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14

shows these steps up to the fifth iteration.

Sierpinski Carpet

3-D Sierpinski Carpet, the Paranay Gasket, the Crown-Square etc.

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A study of High-directivity Fractal Antennas

15

and sustain localized surface vibrations throughout their physical structure. Due to

their unique physical structure and properties, fractals have been a subject of thorough

study in Physics. Physicists have studied fractals as standalone objects as well as the

application of fractal theory to different problems encountered in physics.

imaginary drum is created such that the shape being studied is fixed over a cavity in

the form of a membrane, thus forming a drum. When this drum is beaten i.e. when

the membrane is excited, it vibrates as standing waves are set up. Then the resonance

behavior of the membrane and other physical properties are studied.

When the above stated concept is applied to a fractal membrane, either boundary or

mass fractal, we get what is called a fractal drum. It is now assumed that the cavity is

now covered by a fractal membrane. As before, when this drum is excited, standing

waves are set up in the membrane. This is where fractal membranes differ from

Euclidean membranes in resonant behavior. Due to their highly convoluted boundary/

structure, waves incident on the boundary undergo multiple reflections. The

interference of these incident and reflected waves give rise to certain small regions of

localized vibrations throughout the surface/ boundary of the membrane. These regions

support vibrations whose amplitude is much larger than the vibrations spread over the

major portion of the membrane surface. The result is that sound waves only resonate in

select small areas of a fractal drum's surface.

This concept has not only provided insight into the macroscopic and microscopic

behavior of fractal geometries but also made possible the applications of fractal

geometries where this behavior may be used to achieve a specific result.

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16

mathematical works have been published in this field. In fact, most of the well-known

fractal geometries have been named after the mathematicians who proposed them.

During this work, two books were consulted for the study of the concepts and theory

of the fractal geometry. [4] introduces the theory of fractals using simple mathematics,

with many mathematical and real-life examples. It uses numerous basic mathematical

concepts along with graphical examples and brief historical background to discuss the

concept of fractals. [5] gives a simple introduction to fractals and how certain common

fractal geometries are generated, before advancing towards the deeper mathematical

concepts related to fractals. The aim of the book is to provide an elementary

introduction to fractal geometry and chaotic dynamics.

A very large number of books is available on the subject of antenna theory and design

of different antennas. Such books range from the books covering the basics of

antennas in a generalized manner to books which address specific issues associated

with the design of different types of antenna structures, in great detail.

[6] has been consulted regarding the basics of microstrip antennas. It is a very well

known textbook on antenna theory. It covers different concepts related to antennas and

describes the various major types of antennas, their design formulae and design

procedures.

types of antennas that have been researched to date can be found in the shape of [7]. A

chapter is dedicated to each type of antennas, covering the basic theory, design

procedure, applications and merits and demerits of the antenna. An entire chapter has

been dedicated to fractal antennas. It covers basic concepts regarding fractals, a brief

description of the history of fractals in antenna designing and the desirable

characteristics of different fractal geometries as antennas. Different geometries which

have been implemented as antennas have also been presented.

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[1] is a very detailed book dedicated to the analysis and design of microstrip antennas.

Thorough mathematical analyses have been presented. Different basic geometries of

microstrip antennas have been discussed in detail.

A large volume of research is now available in the field of fractal antenna engineering

but it wasn't so until the '90s when fractal geometries were recognized as a practical

candidate for antenna applications, through the seminal work published by Nathan

Cohen. The nature of fractal geometries had caught the attention of Cohen, a

prominent antenna researcher, who took up this study primarily as a pastime, due to

his fascination with these interesting and beautiful geometries. He published his work

in 1995 and then 1996, which became the first documented works on fractal antennas.

[8] is his 1997 work, outlining his research in the field of fractal antennas. Since then,

a large amount of research has been carried out in this direction. What was started as a

simple hobby in the late 80's soon opened up a whole new dimension of research in the

field of antenna engineering.

physical features of fractals and antenna performance parameters have been inter-

linked through experimentation. Through experimentation, the benefits offered by

fractal antennas have been recognized as:

Multiband Behavior and

Improved gain and bandwidth.

In fractal antennas, the self similarity property at multiple scales, gives rise to the

multiband behavior whereas their property of having an infinite boundary within a

finite length or area due to their recursive and space-filling nature, enables us to create

antennas that are electrically long and physically miniaturized. Also, it is known that

radiation from an antenna is caused by a time variation in current or the

acceleration/deceleration of electric charge. Since fractal boundary antennas have

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18

constantly varying shapes with sharp edges and bends, this results in improved

radiation and gain for the fractal antennas.

Ideally, fractals have infinite detail and complexity which can be used to design

extremely miniaturized and low-profile antennas. But due to the constraints of

fabrication processes, we are compelled to use truncated fractal shapes or prefractals

in antenna design. These are fractals objects which have been iterated through only a

finite number of iterations.

Specific to antennas, [8] provides a brief and broad overview about the properties and

applications of fractal antennas. The basic advantages offered by fractal antennas i.e.

miniaturization, multiband behavior and cost-effectiveness have been discussed. Their

limitations have also been mentioned.

fractal loop and patch antennas and conformal antennas. It also describes wideband

fractal element arrays.

[10] discusses many aspects of fractal antennas like the most common fractal

geometries encountered in antenna design, their generation using the IFS approach,

types of fractal antennas like the monopole, dipoles, loops, patch and volume antennas

and finally the integration of fractal geometries and Genetic Algorithms. The paper

also touches the concept of antenna arrays, with simple conventionally spaced arrays

of fractal elements and arrays of conventional antenna elements with spacing

determined using fractal theory. It also provides a brief discussion of the fractal

frequency selective surfaces.

[11] is the first Masters thesis on fractal antennas, carried out at UCLA,. It presents an

overview of many boundary fractal geometries implemented and tested as antennas, in

both wire and patch configurations.

[12] is another basic paper on the topic, describing fractals in antenna engineering in

general. It also discusses the use of fractal geometries in antenna array design, which

has led to physically smaller arrays with wider scan angles, while avoiding grating

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lobes. Along with arrays of fractal elements being implemented, arrays of elements

with inter-element-spacing based on fractal distributions have also been suggested in

literature [13].

The most common geometry studied in fractal antenna design is most probably the

Sierpinski Triangle. The Sierpinski Triangle has been exhaustively researched as a

multiband antenna. Puente et. al have produced multiple works on this topic. Thorough

description and experimentation has been documented in [14]. Its performance has

been compared to a triangular bowtie antenna and it has been proved that the self-

similarity of the geometry translates directly into the EM behavior of the antenna.

[15] discusses perturbations in the basic Sierpinski Gasket to produce various desirable

changes in the antenna, like the control of the frequency-band and better impedance

matching. Variation of the scale factor has been employed in [16] to achieve improved

impedance matching for the planar Sierpinski Monopole antenna. It also documents

the use of planar monopole configuration and variation in the angle between the

conventional monopole and ground plane.

The surface current distributions for the Sierpinski Gasket antenna have been

experimentally verified using infrared imaging in [17]. It has thus been proved that the

scaling properties of the gasket are translated to its current distributions and EM

behavior in general. Antennas were fabricated to previously examined specifications

and then tested.

Puente et. al. have also presented an iterative model for the Sierpinski gasket to predict

the input impedance behavior of the antenna [18]. Results have been compared with

experimental data to good agreement.

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Antenna

Sierpinski Geometry with favorable results. Puente et. al. have demonstrated

broadband dualband triple-band antennas in [19] and [20]. The multiband behavior is

obtained by using a modified Sierpinski fractal and bandwidth-improvement has been

achieved using stacked parasitic patches.

The Koch Curve has also received much attention as an antenna. Puente et. al. have

numerically and experimentally analyzed the Koch Curve in monopole configuration

[21] and have proved it to be a good candidate of antenna miniaturization.

The basic Koch Island patch antenna provides a reduced surface area compared to a

corresponding circular patch antenna. A technique to further reduce the size of the

Koch snowflake and to improve its bandwidth has also been implemented in [22].

Apart from these commonly implemented geometries, numerous other fractals have

also been applied to antenna design. Shapes like the Crown Square [23] for multiband

operation, the Trident shaped fractal [24] for miniaturization, the Modified Koch and

Minkowski Islands [11], space-filling curves like the Hilbert Curve [25] and [26] etc.

have been successfully examined through simulations and experimentation.

Two fractal geometries which have been experimentally proven to show a high-

directivity behavior are the Sierpinski and the Koch patch antennas. Borja et. al. at

UPC, Spain, have worked on both the Sierpinski Gasket and the Koch Snowflake to

design high-directivity antennas.

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The high-directivity behavior in fractal antennas was first documented in [27] by Borja

et. al. It was observed that in certain modified geometric configurations, fractal patch

antennas displayed enhanced directivity behavior. This modification is simply an

airgap introduced between the substrate and the ground plane of the patch antenna.

The airgap height is optimized to yield the maximum directivity at a certain frequency.

The idea was then extended into a fractal bowtie antenna [28] and finally into an array

of fractal elements [29] which was shown to require a much smaller number of

elements to achieve the required directivity compared to an array of circular patch

elements.

Microstrip patch antennas with Koch Curve as the boundary, i.e. A Koch snowflake

patch, have also been analyzed [30]. They have been demonstrated to provide high

directivity operation in modified microstrip patch configuration.

Through experimental results, the high-directivity behavior of these antennas has been

attributed to the concentration of the surface current density in small parts of the patch

surface area. The corresponding frequencies are considered to be special higher-order

modes of the antenna, and have been termed Fracton Modes [27] for mass fractals

like the Sierpinski Gasket and Fractino Modes [30] for boundary fractals like the

Koch Snowflake. The phenomenon has been explained on the basis of the theory of

vibrations in complex fractal membranes described in Art. 2.2. It has been

experimentally established that when a fractal patch antenna with the same membrane

size is energized, at precisely the same frequencies and locations, localized regions of

high current density are set up, with peak values much larger than those over the major

part of patch surface. [27], [30]

Using this phenomenon, directivities as high as 13dBs have been recorded in [27] and

[30] with a single-element microstrip patch antenna, while the typical directivity

values for typical single-element patch antennas of comparable size do not exceed a

maximum of 7-8dBs. This has made possible the implementation of patch antenna

arrays meeting a given gain/ directivity requirement with a smaller number of patches

compared to arrays of Euclidean patch elements of comparable size.

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CHAPTER 3

FRACTAL ANTENNA

3.1 Introduction

This chapter provides a description of the design and simulation for the High

Directivity Sierpinski Fractal Antenna. The generation of the fractal in the simulation

environment is first described. The simulated antenna model and its simulated results

are then presented.

The design sequence followed during the design of the Sierpinski antenna is as

follows. Since the Sierpinski Gasket is based on an equilateral triangle, the simulation

sequence started from the design and simulation of an equilateral triangular patch

antenna. Then fractal iterations were applied to this patch to obtain a Sierpinski

prefractal of the desired order. This fractal patch was then studied. Finally, the

Sierpinski patch geometry was modified by introducing an air gap between the ground

plane and the substrate. The height of this air gap was varied and its effect on the

antennas simulated radiation behavior was studied. The final model was then

simulated.

The equilateral triangle patch antenna has been designed using the following equation:

2

= 2 + + 2

3

Where c is the speed of EM waves in free space, a is the side-length of the triangle, fr

is the resonant frequency and is the substrate dielectric constant. Using a height of

89mm for the triangle, we obtain a side-length of 102.76mm [27]. For this length,

using FR4 substrate, the calculated resonant frequency is 0.93GHz.

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The following figures show the simulation model and simulated results for the

triangular patch antenna.

Figure 3-1: The Equilateral Triangle Antenna and its simulated return loss.

Figure 3-2: Simulated directivity and surface current density for the triangular

antenna.

It is clear that the at the resonant frequency of 0.9GHz, the antenna has very low

directivity and the surface current density is spread over a large portion of the patch

surface.

Fractal iterations have now been introduced to study the effect of Sierpinski geometry

on the behavior of the triangular patch antenna.

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As described in Section 2.1.5, the simulation model for the Sierpinski Patch antenna is

generated using the IFS approach. The process is started from a single equilateral

triangle A with the desired side-length. In each iteration, three affine transformations

are applied to this triangle, resulting in three scaled-down and shifted copies of the

original triangle. The three triangles are then united, thus completing one iteration of

the generation process. Again, three copies of this object are generated and treated as

before, completing the second iteration. The process is repeated for the third time to

obtain a 3rd- order Sierpinski Gasket prefractal. Ideally, this process would have to be

carried out an infinite number of times to obtain the perfect Sierpinski Gasket fractal.

The IFS and () for this generation is:

0.5 0 0

1 [] = [ ] [ ] + [ ]

0 0.5 0

0.5 0 0.5

2 [] = [ ] [] + [ ]

0 0.5 0

0.5 0 0.25

3 [] = [ ][ ] + [ ]

0 0.5 0.433

And,

() = 1 () 2 () 3 ()

The effect of the above operation can be shown graphically, as in Figure 31.

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The origin lies at the bottom-left corner of the triangle and that the x-axis is

along the base and the y-axis is along the height of the triangle.

The triangle has unit side-length.

Also, since we create three shifted and half-scaled copies of the original triangle to

create the first iteration of the Sierpinski fractal, the surface area of the patch is

reduced to (3/4) of the original value and we have:

log log 3

= = = 1.585

log log 2

The fractal dimension thus calculated remains constant throughout the generation

process. At the same time, it should be noted that the scale factor is 2 in the ideal

Sierpinski Gasket, where:

=

+1

In eq. 3.6, is the height of the triangle in the nth iteration and +1 is the height in

the next iteration.

It is to be mentioned again that the fractal has been generated up to three iterations,

because it has been experimentally established that further iterations do not have a

sizable effect on the antenna behavior and due to the exceedingly small feature

dimensions in the succeeding iterations, fabrication becomes difficult and the antenna

surface may be broken at the very small vertex points.

For the simulation setup, the dimensions for the patch were taken from the structure

studied in [27]. The simulation sequence started from the modeling and simulation of a

simple Sierpinski Fractal antenna in the typical microstrip configuration, i.e. no airgap

between the substrate and the ground plane of the patch model. Once this simulation

was complete, an airgap between the substrate and the ground plane was gradually

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26

increased, so that its effect on the antenna behavior may be observed. Airgap heights

up to 4mm were simulated in 1mm steps.

The following figures show the simulation model and its results for the Sierpinski

fractal patch antenna without the airgap.

Figure 3-4: Sierpinski patch antenna without airgap and simulated return loss.

Figure 3-5: Simulated radiation patterns at (a) 1.8GHz, (b) 3.6GHz and (c)

7.2GHz for = 0, 90.

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Figure 3-6: Simulated radiation patterns at (a) 1.8GHz, (b) 3.6GHz and (c)

7.2GHz

The simulated return loss clearly shows the multiband behavior, typical to an antenna

based on the Sierpinski gasket. It can also be seen from the simulated radiation

patterns that although an improved directivity is available in the first two bands, due to

poor gain, the first band may not be usable. The gain in the 3rd band is better but the

simulated pattern is not smooth with much back-radiations and variations.

The surface current density plots show that at each frequency, the current density is

spread over the surface of triangular parts of the patch not showing any localization

behavior.

The reason for modifying the patch structure using an air gap stems from the

application of the concept of fractal drums to microstrip antenna structure. It has been

proved that the amplitude of vibrations of a drum increases with the increase in the

depth of its cavity. This helps in facilitating the set up of fracton mode resonances.

In [27] and [30], it has been stated that due to the similarity between the fractal drum

structure and the cavity model for MSAs, the fractal drum model can be used to

estimate the fracton resonance behavior of fractal antennas. Introducing an air gap

between the substrate and ground plane corresponds to increasing the depth of the

cavity of the fractal drum. It can also be achieved by increasing the substrate thickness

but will lead to increase in losses which may cause it to be simply not realizable.

Simulations were carried out using four different values of air gap; from 0mm to 3mm.

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28

in the no-gap configuration. This was observed from the return-loss curve.

The no-gap configuration showed low values of gain for the three resonance

frequencies. These may be attributed to poor matching between the patch and

the probe-feed in microstrip-patch configuration.

Once the gap was introduced, the gain and directivity for the first two

resonances started showing improvement, thus indicating that fracton modes

were being set up.

The maximum values of directivity and gain were obtained for the 3mm airgap.

With the introduction of airgap, the effective dielectric constant of the substrate

decreases, thus causing an increase in the resonant frequencies for the antenna.

Resonant frequencies for a triangular patch antenna can be calculated from:

2c

f r ,mn (n2 nm m2 )1/2

3seff r ,eff

2 3s (1 hgap hsub )

Where seff a (1 q ) , a and r (eff ) r [31]. The

3 2 (1 r . hgap hsub )

The following tables record the variation in the calculated and simulated

resonant frequencies and antenna directivity with the changing airgap.

Gap height () ()

(mm) (GHz) (GHz)

0 1.77 3.38 6.28

1 2.63 4.9 8.74

2 2.85 5.2 8.95

3 2.92 5.23 8.71

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Directivity

Gap height

(dB)

(mm)

1 2 3

0 6.01 11.09 7.6

1 6.7 12.3 6.6

2 9.3 12.3 5.04

3 9.2 12.93 5.59

Fig. 3-7 shows the complete simulation model of the fabrication prototype, created in

Ansoft HFSS V.10, prior to simulation. HFSS is a popular FEM-based EM

simulation software simulation. This model is the structure with a 3mm airgap between

the substrate and the ground plane. It has been chosen for fabrication because it

provides the maximum directivity while maintaining the multiband behavior of the

Sierpinski fractal antenna.

The patch dimensions used to create the model have been taken from [27], the

height of the equilateral triangle being 89mm.

A scale factor slightly less than 2 (1.98 2) has been used, since using scale

factor of 2 results in zero overlap of triangle vertices which is invalid in the

simulation model.

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The antenna and the ground plane have been modeled as zero-thickness sheets

of PEC-material. These settings slightly reduce the simulation time, as

compared to using finite-thickness copper sheet in the model, with negligible

difference in simulation results.

To minimize back-radiation, HFSS offers the Infinite-Ground boundary

condition. Since this not realizable physically, a large 400cm2 ground plane

was used in the simulations. This eliminates the back-radiation, but not as

effectively as the Infinite Ground Plane.

To excite the model, a 50 coaxial-line has been modeled using two concentric

cylinders of PEC-material and Teflon, representing the inner conductor and the

dielectric sheath in an actual coaxial-line. The particulars of the feed-model are

given in Table 3.1. The dimensions can also be calculated using the equation

3.8.

60 D

Zo ln

r d

coaxial line of inner and outer diameters and , respectively, with a relative

dielectric constant . The dimensions for the feed-model are those of the

commercially available SMA-connectors. Table 3.1 shows the properties of the

feed model.

Outer conductor dia. 4.11mm

Dielectric material Teflon

As the excitation source, a wave-port has been assigned at the far-end of the

feed-model.

Finally, to model a boundary surface at which the far-field radiation may be

observed, an air-box has been constructed, which encloses the entire antenna

structure. It has been assigned the Radiation-Boundary. A rule-of-thumb for the

air-box dimensions is to keep its height equal to /4, the length and width

being equal to that of the enclosed structure.

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A simulation range of 0-12GHz has been used. The solution frequency has

been set at the center value of 6GHz.

Simulated results for the Sierpinski Fractal antenna are presented here. These include

the simulated return-loss, radiation patterns and the simulated surface current density

plots.

The following figure shows the simulated return-loss for the Sierpinski Antenna. The

return loss has been calculated relative to the port impedance of 50ohm. It can be

clearly seen from this curve that the antenna displays the multiple-resonance behavior,

characteristic to a Sierpinski Fractal antenna.

Figure 3-9 and 3-10 show the curves for the real and imaginary parts of the simulated

input impedance for the antenna.

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32

The input-impedance curves show that the antenna impedance is well-matched to the

source impedance in the 2nd and 3rd bands where the real component approaches

50ohms and the imaginary component is close to zero.

The following table contains information obtainable from the return-loss curve of the

antenna.

0 1.3 - -3.65 2.15

1 2.8 - -5.3 1.9

2 5.3 16.5 -12.18 1.87

3 9.9 7.6 -10.9 -

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In Table 3.4, the first column is the number of the resonance for the antenna,

corresponding to a dip in the return-loss curve. The second column notes the frequency

corresponding to each dip. The BW column gives the -10dB bandwidth for each

resonance. The S11 column contains the return-loss value for each resonance and the

column labeled +1 contains the ratio of frequencies of each band and its successive

frequency. It can be seen from this last column that the ratio between the frequencies is very

close to the scale factor of 1.98 used in the creation of the simulation model of the Sierpinski

antenna. So we can see that the self-similarity in the fractal structure has been translated into

its EM-behavior.

Radiation patterns corresponding to the three resonant frequencies are shown in the

following figures. It can be seen that the radiation patterns for the first two frequencies

at which high-directivity behavior is observed, clearly differ from patterns for the third

resonant band which does not display such behavior, in that they possess a well-

defined main beam.

The radiation patterns have been calculated for the elevation planes represented by

= 0, 90. All patterns have been calculated at the frequencies corresponding to the

maximum directivity of the antenna within the respective band.

(a) (b)

Figure 3-11: Simulated radiation patterns at 3GHz for = (a) 0, (b) 90.

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34

(a) (b)

Figure 3-12: Simulated radiation patterns at 5.4GHz for = (a) 0, (b) 90.

(a) (b)

As can be seen from the above figures, there is considerable back-radiation. This is

due to the finite-ground plane used in the simulations. An infinite ground plane would

stop back radiation as indicated in the previous section.

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The following table contains the simulated values of gain and directivity

corresponding to the three resonances of the Sierpinski antenna. The values for the last

non-high-directivity bands have been given for the sake of comparison with the values

for the fracton bands.

1 8.97 9.99 10

2 12.02 12.5

3 3.68 2.63

Table 3-5: Simulated gain and directivity for the Sierpinski antenna (all values

for = ).

The simulated surface current density plots of the Sierpinski antenna are shown in the

following figures.

(a) (b)

Figure 3-14: Simulated current densities for (a) 3GHz, (b) 9.8GHz

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36

(a) (b)

Figure 3-15: Simulated current densities for (a) 5.4GHz, (b) 9.8GHz.

In the preceding two figures, surface current density plots for the fracton modes have

been given, along with the plot for the last, non-high-directivity mode for a

comparison. It can be seen that in the fracton modes, the current density is more

concentrated at the vertex points in the Sierpinski fractal, whereas that for the 3rd mode

is more spread out over a larger surface area. This is more clearly visible in Fig. 3-15,

where the current density is soncentrated over very small area around the vertices and

this results in a higher directivity at the 2nd mode.

The regions of localized current density have been highlighted in the previous figures.

It may also be noted that these regions are symmetrical about the height (x-axis) of the

triangle.

3.5 Observetions

High-directivity behavior has been set up.

The existence of localized regions of high current density and its symmetrical

distribution is evident from the current density plots.

The highest simulated value of directivity achieved is 12.02dB.

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CHAPTER 4

FRACTAL ANTENNA

This chapter will describe the design of the simulation model for the Koch fractal

antenna. A description and different properties of the simulation models in both HFSS

and MWS environments will be provided. Also, simulation results generated from both

simulation environments will be presented.

The Koch fractal is generated using an equilateral triangle as the initiator. The

generator is a line segment divided in 3 equal parts. The middle part is replaced by two

segments of the same length, angled at 60 degrees with respect to each other. This

generator is used to modify the sides of the initiator triangle. This is the 1st iteration

completed. The generator then modifies every straight line segment in the object to

complete the 2nd iteration. The process is repeated again to complete the 3rd iteration.

This is the prefractal object that will be used in the simulation model. The following

figure depicts the generation process of the Koch prefractal to the 3rd iteration.

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As can be seen in Fig. 4.1, (a) is the original triangle. Each of its sides has been

replaced with the generator having four segments, each exactly one-third of the side

length. The removed part of each side is shown colored. This is repeated two more

times as shown in (c) and (d).

The following figure shows the simulation model of the Koch Fractal antenna, created

in HFSS environment.

The patch dimensions for the model have been taken from [30] where the

length of each side of the triangular patch is 118.2mm.

The antenna was first simulated with 0.8mm thick RO4003-substrate as in [30].

Through simulation, it has been observed that the antenna can be simulated

using FR4-substrate, with a sheet thickness of 1.5mm, without degradation in

its high-directivity behavior. The only variation in the antenna behavior

observed were in the resonant frequency for the high-directivity mode, which

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39

was 4.1GHz for the original model and 3.4GHz for the model simulated with

FR4-substrate.

A large, 400cm2 ground plane has been used in the simulation as an attempt to

minimize back-radiation, since the Infinite Ground Plane boundary condition

cannot be reproduced physically.

In case of a patch antenna being excited at a desired feed point with a probe-

feed, a common impedance-matching technique is to use capacitive matching.

This consists of creating an annular ring or a small circular slot in the

metallization of the patch at the feed-point. This ring behaves as a capacitance

to balance the effect of the probe inductance, thus resulting in an improved

matching between the patch antenna and the feed. The inner and outer radii of

this annular ring are varied to obtain the desired level of matching. The

following figure shows the annular capacitive ring in the surface of the

simulated patch antenna. The left figure shows the annular ring in the patch

surface, while the right figure shows the location of the ring relative to the feed

probe, the patch being shown as a semi-transparent surface and the feed probe

is highlighted.

Patch surface

Feed probe

Annular ring

The simulated results for the Koch fractal antenna are now presented. They have

generated using HFSS simulation. As before, the simulated return-loss and input-

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40

impedance curves will be presented. Radiation patterns for the high-directivity and

non-high-directivity modes will also be presented.

The following curve represents the simulated return-loss of the Koch fractal antenna

model shown previously. The antenna has been simulated through a frequency range

of 0-5GHz.

It can be seen from the return-loss curve in Fig. 4.4 that the antenna has -10dB

bandwidth of 0.5GHz, from 3.0-3.5Ghz, which encompasses the fracton mode

resonance of the antenna. Thus the antenna can efficiently be operated at this

frequency.

The simulated input-impedance curves for the antenna are now given.

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41

Figure 4-5: Real component of the input impedance of Koch fractal antenna.

Fig. 4-4 and Fig. 4-5 show the real- and imaginary-components of the simulated input

impedance of the Koch antenna. It can be seen from these figures that the antenna has

a real input impedance for the most part of the frequency range and the impedance is

close to or less than 50ohm throughout the frequency sweep.

Simulated radiation patterns for the antenna are now presented. Patterns for the

fractino-mode resonance as well as a non-fractino frequency from the resonance band

are included to form a comparison between the high- and regular-directivity behaviors

of the antenna.

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42

(a) (b)

Figure 4-7: Radiation patterns for the Koch antenna at 3.1GHz for: (a) = ,

(b) =

In Fig. 4-7, the radiation pattern of the antenna at 3.1GHz is given. It can be seen that

although the frequency lies with the 3.1-3.5GHz resonance band of the antenna, the

radiation patterns clearly show very low values of directivity. This clearly shows that a

fractino mode has not been set up yet.

(a) (b)

Figure 4-8: Radiation pattern of the Koch antenna at 3.4GHz: (a) = , (b) =

.

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43

It is clear from the comparison of Fig. 4-7 and Fig. 4-8 that the antenna has a low

directivity at frequencies other than the fractino-resonance at which the directivity

increases abruptly to a maximum value of 12.78dB and the radiation pattern becomes

much more focused and sharp at this frequency. Data markers have been added on the

curves to show the maximum values of the curves in the figures. In the fractino-mode,

it can be seen that the = 0 cut shows much larger side-lobes as compared to the

= 90 cut.

To provide a better visualization of the radiation patterns for the antenna, 3D plots for

the directivity of the antenna are also provided in Fig. 4-9 as follows.

(a) (b)

Figure 4-9: 3D radiation patterns for the Koch antenna showing the: (a) = ,

(b) = views.

It has been observed experimentally in [27] and [30] that in the fracton modes, the

surface current density for the antennas is confined in small regions of the patch

surface. In [30], it has been noted that the current density vectors are in-phase for these

surface regions and hence result in an increase in the antenna directivity.

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44

The simulated surface current density at the fracton mode, for the Koch fractal is

shown in Fig. 4-10. The corresponding frequency is 3.4GHz. It can be seen in the

figure that the current density in the circled regions is concentrated in small regions

around the patch boundary and is symmetrical in location. To emphasize this point

visually, the patch and the substrate has been divided into four quadrants using heavy

black lines in Fig. 4-10. Clearly, the surface current density plot in each quadrant is

almost a mirror image of that in other quadrants. The current density in a non-fracton

mode would be more spread over larger regions of the patch surface.

Figure 4-10: Surface current density for the Koch antenna in the fractino mode.

4.4 Observations

Some of the observations that can be made from the simulated results for the Koch

antenna are as follows.

3.5GHz band, directivity is low.

Localized current density exists symmetrically in regions adjacent to the

boundary.

Simulated gain of 12.75dB, HPBW of 25, 32 for = 0, 90 respectively.

SLL of -5.5dB (l), -6.85dB (r), -11.82dB (l) and -11.38dB (r) for = 0, 90

respectively.

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45

CHAPTER 5

GEOMETRY

This chapter deals with the study of the modified Koch fractal patch geometry, with

the target of improving its directivity properties. In the following text, the simulation

model of the modified Koch fractal has been described. As before, simulated results

including the return loss, the input impedance curves and the radiation patterns have

been presented. The effects of changes in the modified geometry of the antenna have

also been described.

5.1.1 Description

The original Koch antenna geometry, presented in the previous chapter, is now

modified. The modification has been carried out as an attempt to:

Reduce the SLL for the antenna.

The following text covers the reasons for the type, geometry, size and location of the

physical modification of the Koch patch.

Approach

As has been documented in [30] and seen from the simulated results presented in the

previous chapter, the surface current density for the Koch fractal antenna is

concentrated in small regions along the boundary of the patch while operating at the

fracton mode. Since these concentration regions are very small, modifying the patch

geometry near its center without much disturbing the fracton-mode current distribution

appears possible.

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46

The iterated structure in a fractal membrane, in this case the boundary of the

Koch fractal, is responsible for the setting up of fracton-mode resonance

behavior. So o maintain the high-directivity behavior, the fractal boundary has

to remain intact.

Satisfying the above condition, the simplest modification that can be made to a

microstrip patch antenna, without altering its perimeter, is the introduction of a

slot i.e. a part of the metallization is simply removed from within the patch

surface.

The introduction of a slot can possibly provide a second radiating boundary

which may help in improving the overall radiation from the patch antenna.

It was thus decided that a slot be introduced in the patch geometry and the

modified antenna model be simulated. Microstrip patch antennas with slots

based on Euclidean and Fractal geometries have been studied and achievement

of desirable results has been reported in literature, through varying the slot

geometries and dimensions.

One of the major characteristics of boundary fractals is that due to their boundaries

having a large number of corners and edges, antennas based on these geometries tend

to radiate efficiently. So it is possible that a slot based on a fractal geometry will

radiate, thus improving the antenna radiation. Since the Koch fractal is a boundary

fractal with the above properties, so in order to create an inner slot which can

contribute to the overall patch radiation, the Koch fractal geometry is chosen. The idea

is to keep the radiation efficiency as unaffected by geometry modification as possible.

Once the slot geometry is chosen, the slot size is to be determined which results in an

improvement in the antenna directivity. The two limits on the slot size have been:

The slot may not be so large as to affect the areas which support localized

current density distribution.

The slot may no be so small as to pose difficulty in the fabrication process due

to fine details.

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47

To achieve this, simulations have been carried out with slot sizes of 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and

1/5 of the size of the patch. It was observed that the 1/4-sized slot resulted in the least

degradation in the directivity behavior of the Koch antenna. The following table shows

the effect of slot size on antenna directivity.

(as fraction of patch size) (dB)

No slot (original Koch patch) 12.78

1/2 12.6

1/3 13.78

1/4 14.15

1/5 13.93

It was also observed that the feed-point location also had an effect on the antenna

directivity. So a feed-point that resulted in maximum directivity of the antenna was

chosen.

Since the patch geometry has been modified due to the introduction of the slot, its

input-impedance has also changed, resulting in a change in the return-loss curve.

Specifically, the antenna simulation now displays poor return loss at the fracton

frequency. Clearly, the feed location and the capacitive matching will be changed.

It has been observed that the feed location also affects the antenna directivity so the

feed point corresponding to highest directivity has been chosen. To match the antenna

to the feed, capacitive matching of the antenna to the source, using annular ring

structure has been used again. The annular ring radii have been optimized to provide a

good match at the fracton-mode frequency.

By using a suitably dimensioned annular ring for impedance matching, it has been

observed that the directivity of the antenna in the fracton mode also improves slightly,

along with a marked improvement in the return loss in the required frequency range.

However, at the same time it has been observed that the return loss now shows another

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48

resonance at the frequency of 2.5GHz. At this frequency, the antenna display low

directivity, typical for simple patch antennas.

Figure 5-1: Koch fractal patch with a 0.25 scaled Koch slot.

Fig. 5-1 shows the original Koch patch with a 1/4-scaled Koch slot. The actual

simulation model for the slotted Koch fractal patch antenna and the simulated results

will now be presented.

.The simulation model is exactly similar to the original Koch model, with the only

difference being a slot in the surface of the patch in the present model, as shown in

Fig. 5-1. Simulations have been carried out using HFSS. As before, the antenna has

been simulated on a 1.5mm thick FR4-substrate sheet. A 400 cm2 aluminum ground

plane has been used. Simulated results for the modified Koch-fractal antenna are now

presented

The following figures depict the simulated return loss and the real and complex

components of the antenna input impedance.

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49

The following figures will now show the real and imaginary components of the

simulated antenna input impedance.

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50

It can be seen in Fig. 5-3 that now the return loss has two resonances, one at 2.5GHz

and the other at 3.3GHz which covers the fractino mode. To clarify the difference

between the antenna behaviors at these two resonances, radiation patterns depicting the

antenna directivity at both these frequencies will be presented next. Also, from Figs. 5-

4 and 5-5, it is clear that at the two resonant frequencies, the real part is very close to

50ohm whereas the imaginary part is very small, close to zero, hence resulting in good

match between the feed and the patch.

The following figures show the simulated directivity patterns of the modified Koch

antenna. Radiation patterns for the non-fractino resonance of 2.5GHz and the fractino

mode at 3.3GHz are given to provide a visual comparison between the radiation

behaviors of the antenna at the two frequencies.

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51

(a) (b)

(b) = .

(a) (b)

Figure 5-6: Directivity patterns at 3.3GHz fractino resonance for: (a) = , (b)

= .

A comparison of Figs. 5-6 and 5-7 clearly shows the marked difference in the antenna

radiation behaviors at the two frequencies. Data markers included in the figures show

the antenna having a maximum directivity of 7.7dBs in the Fig. 5-6 which is a typical

value for microstrip patch antennas. On the other hand, data markers in Fig. 5-7 show

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52

beamwidth of the antenna.

3D directivity plots for the previously stated frequencies are now provided to give a

better idea of the shape of the radiation patterns.

(a) (b)

Figure 5-7: 3D radiation pattern for Modified Koch antenna at 2.5GHz resonance

at (a) = , (b) = .

(a) (b)

Figure 5-8: 3D radiation pattern for Modified Koch antenna at 3.3GHz resonance

at (a) = , (b) = .

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53

The following figures show the surface current density distribution for the modified

Koch antenna operating in the high-directivity mode. The current density for the non-

fractino mode is also presented for comparison.

It can be seen in Fig. 5-10 that the surface current density in the modified Koch patch

is distributed almost symmetrically around the patch boundary, as in the case of the

original Koch patch. However, if we compare Figs. 4-10 and 5-10, we can observe two

differences; the concentration and symmetry of the surface current density around the

boundary is less pronounced in the slotted patch compared to the original patch and

that the current density in the slotted patch is now more concentrated with perfect

symmetry around the boundary of the slot. This is shown clearly in Fig. 5-11. Again,

to make this point clear, the slot in Fig. 5-11 has been divided into four quadrants.

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54

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55

CHAPTER 6

This chapter deals with the fabrication and measurements of the High-directivity

Sierpinski- and -Koch antennas and the Modified Koch antenna. The return-loss for

the antennas has been measured using a network analyzer and far-field measurements

have been made using testing setup in an anechoic chamber facility.

6.1 Fabrication

All three microstrip patches have been fabricated using LPKF ProtoMat H60

prototyping platform. This machine employs precision milling process for PCB

fabrication.

A 1.5mm thick FR4-substrate sheet has been used in all fabrications.

Ground planes have been formed by using 200x200 mm2 plates made from

3mm-thick Aluminum sheet.

Holes have been drilled in the ground plates to connect the SMA connectors

used to feed the antennas. The connectors have been screwed into place on the

ground plates.

To achieve the desired clearance between the ground plate and the substrate

sheet, dielectric spacers of 3mm and 7mm heights have been cut out from the

substrate sheet and glued in place between the two surfaces.

The feed probe has finally been soldered to the patch surface at the feed point.

Return-loss measurements have been measured using Agilent Technologies

E8362B network analyzer.

The structures of the individual antennas along with the measured results will now be

shown in the following sections.

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56

The following figure shows the complete Sierpinski fractal antenna. Top- and side-

views are shown to give the idea of the actual structure.

The following figure shows the measured return loss of the Sierpinski fractal antenna.

Figure 6-1: Measured return loss for the Sierpinski fractal antenna

The following figures show the measured radiation patterns for the Sierpinski fractal

antenna. The patterns consist of the two main cuts, obtained at = 0, 90, = 90.

Measured gain values for the Sierpinski antenna are given in Table 6.1. The first

frequency corresponds to the second fracton mode resonance while the second

frequency is the last, non-high-directivity band.

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57

(a) (b)

Figure 6-2: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Sierpinski antenna

at 5.4GHz for: (a) = , (b) = .

(a) (b)

Figure 6-3: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Sierpinski antenna

at 9.9GHz for: (a) = , (b) = .

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58

Band

(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

Table 6-1: Simulated and measured radiation parameters for the Sierpinski

antenna.

The completed Koch fractal antenna is shown in the following figure. As before, top

and side views are shown and different parts of the antenna are labeled.

KOCH PICS

Fig. 6-2 shows the measured return loss for the Koch fractal antenna.

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59

The two main cuts ( = 0, 90, = 90) of the far-field radiation patterns of the

Koch1 antenna at 3.4GHz are given in Fig. 6.5.

(a) (b)

Figure 6-5: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Koch1 antenna at

3.4GHz for: (a) = , (b) = .

Measured gain values of the antenna are given in Table 6-2, for the FM-resonance at

3.4GHz. Only the simulated values are given for the 3GHz resonance, for reference.

Band

(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

I 3.0 -- --

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60

The fabricated prototype of the modified Koch fractal antenna is shown in Fig. X.

ANTENNA PIC

The measured return loss curve of the antenna is shown in Fig. 6-6.

Fig. 6-7 shows the measured far-field patterns for the modified Koch antenna at

3.3GHz. The two main cuts, = 0, 90, = 90 have been shown in the figure.

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61

(a) (b)

Figure 6-7: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Koch2 antenna at

3.3GHz for: (a) = , (b) = .

Table 6-3 contains the measured gain for the Modified Koch antenna. The values

correspond to a non-fractino and a fractino mode respectively. A before, only the

simulated values for the 5.5GHz resonance have been give as a reference.

Band

(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

I 2.5 -- -- --

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62

CHAPTER 7

7. DISCUSSIONS

In the present chapter, simulated and measured results for the antennas will be

discussed. Simulated results presented in Chapters 3 and 4 and measured results

presented in Chapter 6 will be compared and the level of agreement between the

results will be discussed.

The measured return loss of the Sierpinski patch antenna is shown in Fig. 6-1. Three

resonances corresponding to the 3rd iteration fractal structure are evident. The first

resonance shows the highest return loss indicating a poor match between the feed and

the antenna input impedance at this frequency.

Comparing the simulated return loss in Fig. 3-8 and measured return loss in Fig. 6-1,

we can see that overall a good level of agreement exist between both results. The

resonances are log-periodically spaced with a period ~2, which is the scale factor used

in the construction of the Sierpinski triangle. The measured values of the return loss at

all the three resonances are slightly higher than the simulated values. Also the -10dB

bandwidth for the 2nd and 3rd resonances are slightly less compared to the simulated

values. This may be attributed to:

Imperfections in the surface of the ground plate. Initially the holes to receive

the SMA connector were also drilled off the actual feed location. These were

later covered using Aluminum foil tape to complete the surface of the ground

plane. This abnormality may also be responsible for the variation between the

simulated and measured results.

Also, dielectric spacers have been used to separate and support the substrate

over the ground plane while these were not included in simulations.

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63

An imperfection in the soldering of the feed probe to the patch surface can also

be responsible for variations in the return loss of the antenna.

Table 7-1 contains the simulated and measured values of the antenna gain at the three

resonances. Due to the very low simulated gain at the first fracton-mode resonance of

3GHz, it has not been measured at this frequency.

Gain(dB) BW

Freq. (GHz)

Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

3 -- -- --

5.4 11.58 11.65

9.9 7.2 7.47

Table 7-1: Comparison between simulated and measured gains and bandwidth

for the Sierpinski antenna.

The following figures show the simulated and measured gain patterns of the Sierpinski

fractal antenna. Both the patterns have been overlaid for the sake of comparison.

The simulated return loss for the Koch patch antenna is given in Fig. 4-4 whereas the

measured return loss is shown in Fig. 6-4. It can be seen that there is very good

agreement between both the curves. The only deviation between the two curves is in

the return loss value for the 1st resonance at 2.2GHz, the simulated value being a little

higher than -10db while the measured value being -12.2dB. On the other hand, the

band covering the fracton-mode resonance is exactly the same.

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64

BWSim

(GHz) (GHz) (GHz)

3.4 3.0-3.5 3.02-3.53

Table 7-2: Comparison of the simulated and measured bandwidths for the Koch

antenna.

Table 7-3: Comparison between simulated and measured gains for the Koch

antenna.

7.4 Conclusions

A problem identified in the Sierpinski antenna is its poor gain at the first fracton band.

Although at this frequency, the antenna shows improved directivity, due to low gain,

this band is not usable. Effort may be made in this regard to achieve a Dual-band

High- directivity Antenna.

Modification of the Koch geometry has produced desirable improvement in its far-

field behavior. The effect of different slot geometries, feeding techniques and

modification in substrate geometry may be studied in an attempt to further improve the

antennas performance. A comparison between the performance of arrays of the

original Koch patches and the modified Koch patches may be carried out to verify the

improvements in the behavior of the slotted Koch patches.

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65

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