Circular beam-steering reconfigurable antenna with liquid metal parasitics
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A novel antenna reconfiguration mechanism based on the displacement of liquid metal sections is presented. The liquid nature of the moving parts of the antenna helps avoid the main disadvantage of mechanically-actuated reconfigurable antennas which is the mechanical failure of their solid parts due to material fatigue, creep or wear. Furthermore, the displacement of liquid elements can be more effectively performed than in the case of solid materials by applying precise microfluidic techniques such as continuous-flow pumping or electrowetting. The reconfiguration mechanism is demonstrated through the design, fabrication and measurement of a radiation pattern reconfigurable antenna. This antenna operates at 1800 MHz with 4.0% bandwidth and is capable of performing beam-steering over a 360 range with fine tuning. The antenna is a novel circular Yagi-Uda array, where the movable parasitic director and reflector elements are implemented by liquid metal mercury (Hg). The parasitics are placed and rotated in a circular microfluidic channel around the driven element by means of a flow generated and controlled by a piezoelectric micropump. The measured results demonstrate good performance and the applicability of the microfluidic system.
CitationRodrigo, D.; Jofre, L.; Cetiner, B. Circular beam-steering reconfigurable antenna with liquid metal parasitics. "IEEE transactions on antennas and propagation", Abril 2012, vol. 60, núm. 4, p. 1796-1802.
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