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January 14, 2014

Mtg: Dielectric Resonator Antennas, Transparent Antennas, and Spherical 3D Antennas

by @ 9:54 am. Filed under ALL, Communications, Electronics Design, Optics/Displays

THURSDAY February 13, 2014
SCV Antennas and Propagation Chapter
– design, high-Q, integration, glass substrates …
Speaker: Dr. Kwok Wa (Ben) Leung, City College of Hong Kong, an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer
Time: Networking and refreshments at 6:30 PM; Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: Cogswell College, 1175 Bordeaux Drive, Sunnyvale
RSVP: from website

The fundamentals and development of dielectric resonator antenna will be discussed in this talk.  For many years, dielectric resonators (DRs) have only been used as high-Q elements in microwave circuits until S. A. Long and his collaborators showed that they can also be used as efficient radiators.  As compared to the microstrip antenna, the DRA has a much wider impedance bandwidth (~ 10% for dielectric constant ~ 10).  This is because the microstrip antenna radiates only through two narrow radiation slots, whereas the DRA radiates through the whole DRA surface except the grounded part.  Avoidance of surface waves is another attractive advantage of the DRA over the microstrip antenna.  Although the DRA received attention originally for millimeter-wave applications, it is also widely investigated at microwave or even RF frequencies.  It is because the DRA is a volume device that offers designers more degrees of freedom than 2D-type antennas (e.g., microstrip antennas) or 1D-type antennas (e.g., monopole antennas).  Other advantages of the DRA include its light weight, low cost, low loss, and ease of excitation.
Transparent antennas are very attractive.  They can be integrated with clear substrates such as window glass, or with solar cells to save surface areas of satellites.  Transparent antennas are normally realized using (2D) planar structures based on the theory of patch antenna.  For a long time, transparent antennas have been of planar (2D) structures.  Very recently, 3D transparent antennas have also been developed.  This is a new topic.  The principle of 3D transparent antenna is based on the theory of dielectric resonator antenna; the resonance is caused by the whole 3D structure rather than a confined cavity as found in the patch-antenna case.  Recently, a dielectric constant of ~7 was measured for glass at 2 GHz and this value is sufficient for obtaining a good radiator.  Since crystals are basically glass, they can also be used for antenna designs.  In this talk, the characteristics of glass DRAs will be shown.  In addition, the idea of using a 3D glass antenna as a light cover will be presented.  It has been experimentally found that the lighting and antenna parts do not affect each other because they are operating in totally different frequency regions.  Finally, it will be shown that 3D transparent antennas can be designed as aesthetic glass (or crystal) wares or artworks.  This idea is especially useful when invisible antennas are needed due to psychological reasons.
The spherical antenna is an interesting and useful topic. For example, a spherical helical antenna can radiate circularly polarized fields over a wide beamwidth.  An antenna array with its elements distributed over a spherical surface is able to determine the direction-of-arrival and polarization of an incoming wave.  Further, a spherical antenna array can be used to avoid the scanning problem of a planar array at low elevation.  The spherical antenna is also important from the theoretical point of view.  Since a spherical structure does not have any edge-shaped boundaries as found in cylindrical and rectangular structures, its closed-form Greenâ??s function is obtainable.  As a result, an exact solution of a spherical problem can exist, and the solution can be used as a reference for checking the accuracy of numerical or approximation techniques.  Excellent agreement between theory and experiment is observed and the results will be presented in the talk.  Finally, it will be shown that a spherical solution can be used to solve a planar annular problem.


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