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Study and design of reconfigurable antennas using plasma medium

  • Jusoh Tajudin, Mohd Taufik
Publication Date
Apr 04, 2014
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Plasma is the 4th state of matter with complex permittivity that can be exploited to give advantages in communication system. Its negative permittivity has been studied in many research papers and it was proven to have similar characteristics as metal material in terms of electrical conductivity. While keeping permeability in the positive region, plasma will respond to electromagnetic waves in the similar manner as metal. Therefore, this thesis aimed to use plasma as an alternative to metal in the construction of reconfigurable antennas. The first part of this thesis is dedicated to characterize a plasma model based on the commercially available plasma source. Since there are many type of plasma source in terms of their electrical properties and physical shapes, it is important to characterize a particular plasma source so that it can be modeled in simulations to construct other types of plasma antennas. The second part presents the realization of plasma reflector antennas. Two types of plasma reflector antennas have been simulated, fabricated and measured at 2.4 GHz. The first one is are round reflector antenna (RRA) and the second one is corner reflector antenna (CRA). The performances of RRA have been validated and it was proven to provide beam shaping and beam scanning capability. The measured radiation patterns are in a good agreement with simulation ones. The capability of RRA is exceptional since it can steer its main beam from 0° up to 360°. Moreover, the scanning gain remains the same as the main beam is being moved from one direction to another. The CRA that has been introduced in this thesis is a novel design since it integrates two corner-reflector antennas on a single ground plane. The CRA offers three beam shapes which are electrically switchable from one shape to another. The CRA was simulated, fabricated and finally its performances were validated throughout a series of agile measurements. The measured reflected radiation patterns are in good agreements with the simulation ones. The measured gains of the RRA and CRA are 5 dB higher than the gain of classical monopole antenna with an identical size of finite ground plane. The fourth part deals with plasma as radio waves radiator. Two plasma antennas using commercially available U-shaped compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) have been fabricated and measured and it was proven that these antennas can be to radiate radio signal. The last part discusses about radar cross section performance of the plasma reflector antennas. The two plasma reflector antennas (RRA and CRA) were tested and measured for their RCS performance.

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