Fractal-shaped tiles developed for new broadband antenna class

October 17, 2003

Penn State engineers have developed innovative design methods for a new class of antennas composed of an array of fractal-shaped tiles that offer anywhere from a 4:1 to 8:1 improvement in bandwidth compared to their conventional counterparts.

Many natural objects, such as tree branches and their root systems, peaks and valleys in a landscape and rivers and their tributaries are versions of mathematical fractals which appear pleasingly irregular to the eye but are actually made of self-similar, repeated units.

The new broadband antennas are composed of irregular but self-similar, repeated fractal-shaped unit tiles or "fractiles" which cover an entire plane without any gaps or overlaps. The outer boundary contour of an array built of fractiles follows a fractal distribution.

Dr. Douglas H. Werner, professor of electrical engineering and senior scientist in Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, will describe the new antennas and their generation at the 2003 IEEE AP-S Topical Conference on Wireless Communication Technology, Oct. 16, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His paper is "A New Design Methodology for Modular Broadband Arrays Based on Fractal Tilings." His co-authors are Waroth Kuhirun, graduate student, and Dr. Pingjuan Werner, associate professor of electrical engineering.

While fractal concepts have been used previously in antenna design, Werner and his research team are the first to introduce a design approach for broadband phased array antenna systems that combines aspects of tiling theory with fractal geometry.

Once the specific fractile array has been designed, the Penn State team exploits the fact that fractal arrays are generated recursively or via successive stages of growth starting from a simple initial unit, to develop fast recursive algorithms for calculating radiation patterns. Using the recursive property, they have also developed rapid algorithms for adaptive beam forming, especially for arrays with multiple stages of growth that contain a relatively large number of elements.

Werner says, "The availability of fast beam forming algorithms is especially advantageous for designing smart antenna systems." The Penn State team has also shown that a fractile array made of unit tiles based on the Peano-Gosper curve, for example, offers performance advantages over a similar-sized array with conventional square boundaries. The Peano-Gosper fractile array produces no grating lobes over a much wider frequency band than conventional periodic planar square arrays.

Werner explains that "Grating lobes are sidelobes with the same intensity as the mainbeam. They are undesirable because they take energy away from the main beam and focus it in unintended directions, causing a reduction in the gain of an antenna array." The University is patenting the team's approach to Peano-Gosper and related fractile arrays. The team has also been awarded a grant through the Applied Research Laboratory to build and test a prototype.
-end-


Penn State

Related Antennas Articles from Brightsurf:

Stellar egg hunt with ALMA
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) took a census of stellar eggs in the constellation Taurus and revealed their evolution state.

Cell antennas lacking in Fragile X syndrome, study finds
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found fewer structures called primary cilia in the brains of mice born with Fragile X syndrome.

Researchers employ antennas for angstrom displacement sensing
Micro -- nano Optics and Technology Research Group led by Prof.

Flat-panel technology could transform antennas, wireless and cell phone communications
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are reinventing the mirror, at least for microwaves, potentially replacing the familiar 3-D dishes and microwave horns we see on rooftops and cell towers with flat panels that are compact, versatile, and better adapted for modern communication technologies.

Let the europium shine brighter
A stacked nanocarbon antenna makes a rare earth element shine 5 times more brightly than previous designs, with applications in molecular light-emitting devices.

Nano antennas for data transfer
For the first time, physicists from the University of W├╝rzburg have successfully converted electrical signals into photons and radiated them in specific directions using a low-footprint optical antenna that is only 800 nanometers in size.

Making tiny antennas for wearable electronics
When it comes to electronics, bigger usually isn't better. This is especially true for a new generation of wearable communication systems that promise to connect people, machines and other objects in a wireless 'internet of things.' To make the devices small and comfortable enough to wear, scientists need to miniaturize their components.

Antennas of flexible nanotube films an alternative for electronics
Metal-free antennas made of thin, strong, flexible carbon nanotube films are as efficient as common copper antennas, according to Rice University researchers.

A step closer to future 5G smartphones with the world's first Antenna-on-Display
A University-Industry research consortium lead by Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and joined by industry partners such as Dong-Woo Fine Chem, SK Telecom, LG Electronics, Keysight Technologies, and Y.Tech announced the world's first 'Antenna-on-Display (AoD)' technology.

New study demonstrates radio signal benefits from decades-old theory
Engineering researchers have demonstrated that a longstanding theoretical method called direct antenna modulation has real-world utility for boosting the quality of radio signals when transmitting at high data rates.

Read More: Antennas News and Antennas Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.