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A STUDY OF HIGH-DIRECTIVITY FRACTAL ANTENNAS

By

Abbas Bin Younas Awan

2007-NUST-MS PhD-Elec-16

M.Sc-51 (E)

Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering


in Partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of

Master of Science
in
Electrical Engineering

Thesis Advisor
Dr. Mojeeb Bin Ihsan

College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering


National University of Sciences & Technology
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
2010
To my parents,

who taught me to persevere


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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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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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................................... III

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................... V

LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................... VIII

LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................................................................... X

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. BASIC CONCEPTS AND LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................ 6

2.1 Fractals ....................................................................................................................................... 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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3.2.1 Design of the Equilateral Triangular patch antenna ............................................................. 22


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

4.1 Generation of the Koch Fractal Patch 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. VARIATION IN THE KOCH FRACTAL GEOMETRY ......................................................................... 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. FABRICATION AND MEASUREMENTS ................................................................................................... 55

6.1 Fabrication ............................................................................................................................... 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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CHAPTER 7 ........................................................................................................................................ 62

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

5.1 Sierpinski Fractal Antenna ....................................................................................................................62


5.2 Koch Fractal Antenna ...........................................................................................................................63
5.4 Conclusions ..........................................................................................................................................64
5.5 Future Suggestions ...............................................................................................................................64

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

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2-1: An ornamental cauliflower showing fractal structure. ................................. 7


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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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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Figure 6-7: Simulated and measured radiation patterns of the Koch2 antenna at
3.3GHz for: (a) = , (b) = ........................................................................... 61

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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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CHAPTER 1

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Overview

Antennas form an integral part of any wireless communication system. Their


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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Two conventional techniques employed for the gain-improvement of microstrip


antennas are:

1. To increase the volume of the microstrip antennas.


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

1.1.1 Volume enhancement of microstrip antennas

To increase the volume of microstrip antennas, stacking of microstrip elements is the


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.

Figure 1-1: Stacked microstrip elements with a dielectric superstrate and


electromagnetically-coupled feeding.

Stacking of microstrip elements serves two important purposes. It can be used to


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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application requires the use of high-performance substrate elements, stacked


microstrip antennas may also become prohibitively expensive.

1.1.2 Area enhancement of microstrip antennas

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.

In wireless communication systems, a sought-after attribute in antennas is


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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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:

Design single-element antennas with improved directivity compared 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

The objectives in this thesis are:

To gain an understanding of the concept of fractal antennas.


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.

1.4 Design Process

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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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.

1.5 Document Layout

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.

Chapter 2 provides a primer on fractal theory. It also gives a description of the


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.

Chapter 5 describes the fabrication and measurements of the antenna prototypes.


Measured results have also been presented.

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Chapter 6 contains the discussion and comparison of simulated and measured results
for the antennas.

CHAPTER 2

2. BASIC CONCEPTS AND LITERATURE REVIEW

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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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.

Figure 2-1: An ornamental cauliflower showing fractal structure.

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

Figure 2-3: Mathematical rendition of a tree.

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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:

A fractal is an object that when split or broken at an arbitrarily small


scale, the resulting pieces are reduced copies of the whole (original
unbroken) shape. Any such object will have the following properties:

Fine structure at any arbitrary scale.


Cannot be completely defined by Euclidean Geometry.
Self-similar, and
Simple and recursive definition.

2.1.3 Fractal Dimension

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:

An object is called self-similar if it looks (more or less) the same at any


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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2.1.4 Types of Fractals and their Generation

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

Random Fractals, which follow a certain set of mathematical rules in a


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.

Boundary Fractals: Those geometries whose boundaries are shaped as fractal


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.

The generation of deterministic fractals can be explained in two ways:

Iterative Function Systems (IFS), the mathematical definition of fractal


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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Both methods of generation are now described briefly.

Iterative Function System (IFS)

This is the mathematical explanation of generation of fractals. The


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.

An IFS is made up of Affine Transformations. An affine transformation


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.

A simple affine transformation is given by:

Where is a matrix with entries producing the required scaling and b is


the required translation. For a 2-D object, such a simple affine
transformation would be given by:


[ ] = [ ] [] + []

Equation XX can also be written in the form:

() = +

If we separate the above system into individual equations, we get:

= + +

= + +

By combining multiple affine transformations, we obtain the required


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

Where () is the Hutchinsons Operator and is the nth affine


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

By adjusting the values in the A- and B-matrices, we can obtain the


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.

Multiple Reduced Copy Machine (MRCM)

This is a simpler and more intuitive definition for the process of


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.

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

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2.1.5 Examples of fractals

As stated previously, depending on their physical characteristics, fractals are basically


classified as:

Boundary fractals: objects whose boundaries/ outlines are fractal in nature.


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.

2.1.5.1 Boundary fractals

Koch Island

This fractal, named after its discoverer, is more commonly known as


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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Figure 2-5: Generation of the Koch Snowflake.

Minkowski Island

Figure 2-6: Generation of the Minkowski Fractal.

Other examples of boundary fractals include the Mandelbrot Set, the


Julia Set and many others.

2.1.5.2 Mass Fractals

Sierpinski Gasket

The Sierpinski Gasket or Triangle is arguably the most common and


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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this process indefinitely, we get the Sierpinski Triangle. Figure 2.7


shows these steps up to the fifth iteration.

Figure 2-7: Generation of the Sierpinski Triangle.

Sierpinski Carpet

Figure 2-8: Generation of the Sierpinski Carpet.

Other examples of mass fractals include the Menger Sponge, which is a


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

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2.2 Localized resonance behavior in fractals

A very important physical phenomenon, exclusive to fractals is their ability to set up


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.

To study the resonance behavior of a membrane having a certain geometrical shape, an


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.

2.2.1 The fractal drum

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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2.3 Fractals in Literature: Basic Concepts

Since the Fractal Theory is considered to be a branch of mathematics, numerous


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.

2.4 Antennas: Basic Concepts

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.

A comprehensive resource on the design, properties and applications of the numerous


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.

2.5 Fractals in Antenna Engineering

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.

With the deepening of understanding of antennas based on fractal geometry, several


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:

Miniaturization: smaller physical size,


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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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.

2.5.1 Overview of fractal Antennas

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.

[9] describes fractal antennas in a more application-oriented manner. It describes


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].

2.5.2 Fractal Antenna Geometries and their Applications

2.5.2.1 Sierpinski Triangle as a Multiband Antenna

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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2.5.2.2 Sierpinski triangle as a Multiband, Improved-bandwidth


Antenna

Traditional bandwidth enhancement techniques have also been applied to the


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.

2.5.2.3 Koch Curve as a Miniaturized Monopole and Patch Antenna

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].

2.5.2.4 Other Geometries

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.

2.5.3 Fractal Antenna Geometries with High Directivity Behavior

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

3. DESIGN AND SIMULATION OF THE SIERPINSKI


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.

3.2 Design and simulation sequence

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.

3.2.1 Design of the Equilateral Triangular patch antenna

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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3.2 Generation of the Sierpinski Fractal Patch

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.

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

While writing the above equations, it has been assumed that:

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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.

3.3 Simulation of Sierpinski fractal Antenna in Ansoft HFSS

3.3.1 Sierpinski fractal antenna without air gap

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.

(a) (b) (c)

Figure 3-5: Simulated radiation patterns at (a) 1.8GHz, (b) 3.6GHz and (c)
7.2GHz for = 0, 90.

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(a) (b) (c)

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.

3.3.2 Sierpinski fractal antenna with air gap

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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Upon comparison of the simulations, it was observed that:

The antenna maintained its natural multi-resonance behavior which it depicted


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 )

value of q can be calculated from Eq. (4)-(17) from [32]

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

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

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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

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

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.

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

Different features of the model will now be described briefly.

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

The above equation gives the calculation of the characteristic impedance of a


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.

Inner conductor dia. 1.27mm


Outer conductor dia. 4.11mm
Dielectric material Teflon

Table 3-3: SMA-model properties.

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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31

A simulation range of 0-12GHz has been used. The solution frequency has
been set at the center value of 6GHz.

3.4 Simulated results in HFSS

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.

3.4.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance Curves

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 3-8: Simulated return-loss for the Sierpinski 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

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

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

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.

() (GHz) BW (%) S11 (dB) +1


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 -

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


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33

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.

3.4.2 Radiation Patterns

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)

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

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.

() Gain (dB) Directivity (dB)


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 = ).

3.4.3 Surface Current Density

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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(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

From the simulated results, following observations may be made:

The antenna has maintained its multiband behavior.


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

4. DESIGN AND SIMULATION OF THE KOCH


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.

4.1 Generation of the Koch Fractal Patch Antenna

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.

Figure 4-1: Generation of the Koch fractal.

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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).

4.2 Simulation of the Koch fractal Antenna in Ansoft HFSS

The following figure shows the simulation model of the Koch Fractal antenna, created
in HFSS environment.

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

The main properties of the simulation model are as follows.

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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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

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

4.3 Simulated results in HFSS

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

4.3.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance Curves

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.

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

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

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

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.

4.3.2 Radiation Patterns

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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(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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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.

4.3.3 Surface Current Density

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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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.

High-directivity behavior is set up at 3.4GHz, at other frequencies within the 3-


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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CHAPTER 5

5. VARIATION IN THE KOCH FRACTAL


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 Modified Koch Fractal Geometry

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:

Increase the antenna directivity, and


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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Type of geometry modification


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.

Choosing the slot geometry


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.

Choosing the slot size and location


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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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.

Slot size Simulated 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

Table 5-1: Variation in the simulated directivity with slot size.

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.

Input impedance matching


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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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.

5.2 Simulated Results

.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

5.2.1 Return Loss and Input Impedance

The following figures depict the simulated return loss and the real and complex
components of the antenna input impedance.

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Figure 5-2: Simulated return loss of the Modified Koch antenna.

The following figures will now show the real and imaginary components of the
simulated antenna input impedance.

Figure 5-3: Real component of the simulated input impedance.

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

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.

5.2.2 Radiation Patterns

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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(a) (b)

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


(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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a maximum directivity value of 14.15dBs, along with a marked improvement in the


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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5.2.3 Surface Current Density

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.

Figure 5-9: Simulated surface current density at 3.3GHz.

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Figure 5-10: Simulated surface current density at 3.3GHz (magnified).

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CHAPTER 6

6. FABRICATION AND MEASUREMENTS

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

The main features of the fabricated antennas are as follows:

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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6.2 Sierpinski Fractal Antenna

The following figure shows the complete Sierpinski fractal antenna. Top- and side-
views are shown to give the idea of the actual structure.

SPK PIC HERE

6.2.1 Measured Return Loss

The following figure shows the measured return loss of the Sierpinski fractal antenna.

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

6.2.2 Radiation Patters

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.

The simulated and measured radiation patterns are now presented.

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(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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Frequency Gain (dB) HPBW Side-lobe Level (dB)


Band
(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

I 5.4 11.58 11.65 24.5 28

II 9.9 7.2 7.47 40 37

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

6.3 Koch Fractal Antenna (Koch1)

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

6.3.1 Measured Return Loss

Fig. 6-2 shows the measured return loss for the Koch fractal antenna.

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

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6.3.2 Radiation Patters

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.

Frequency Gain (dB) HPBW (dB, = 0, 90) SLL (dB)


Band
(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

I 3.0 -- --

II 3.4 12.75 11.63 25, 32 25, 29

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

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6.4 Modified Koch Fractal Antenna (Koch2)

The fabricated prototype of the modified Koch fractal antenna is shown in Fig. X.

ANTENNA PIC

6.4.1 Measured Return Loss

The measured return loss curve of the antenna is shown in Fig. 6-6.

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

6.4.2 Radiation Patters

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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(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.

Frequency Gain (dB) HPBW (dB, = 0, 90) SLL (dB)


Band
(GHz) Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas. Sim. Meas.

I 2.5 -- -- --

II 3.4 12.75 11.63 25, 32 25, 29

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

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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.

7.1 Sierpinski Fractal Antenna

7.1.1 Return Loss

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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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.

7.1.2 Radiation Patterns

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.

RAD PATN HERE

7.2 Koch Fractal Antenna

7.2.1 Return Loss

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.

7.2.2 Radiation Patterns

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

7.4 Conclusions

7.5 Future Suggestions

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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