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Steerable antenna design based on liquid metal actuation

Authors
  • Le Goff, Denis
Publication Date
Dec 20, 2017
Source
HAL-UPMC
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

The advent of autonomous connected smart objects we are witnessing since a few years has generated a growing need for low cost and energetically sober reconfigurable antennas. The ability to perform on the fly beam shaping and re-configuration is a particularly interesting property which would allow the smart object to perform task such as area surveillance for example and to optimize its link budget by targeting a specific direction of space. This could also allow the increase of the object’s autonomy, through a diminution of its power consumption, or even to render it fully autonomous if it becomes sober enough to envision the use of energy harvesting systems. It is in this context that we propose here a new reconfigurable antenna architecture, capable of 360° beam steering, based on the use of liquid metal within a microfluidic actuation system.In the first chapter, we will do a quick presentation of today’s two main beam steering technics used for antennas before studying the various used and documented technics of liquid metal displacement used in the literature for RF applications. The objective is to single out the better suited one to our requirements.In the second chapter, we will propose the two antenna designs envisioned for our system, based on the Yagi-Uda architecture. We will discuss the advantages and drawbacks of each in order to select one design which will be more closely investigated on the following chapter.In the third chapter, we will study, with the help of electromagnetic simulations, the performances of this selected antenna design in order to justify our choice. This study will focus on the gradual complexity implementation of the chosen design, from a very theoretical system to one very close to what a final prototype would be. Finally, in the fourth and last chapter we will consider two proofs of concept of the complete system and their various fabrications technics. Given that each proof of concept focus either on the RF or the fluidic aspect of the system, we will investigate their performances. We will also detail the development of some of the specific fabrication processes used for the basic building blocks, especially for the fluidic objects. This chapter allow us to conclude positively this study on the feasibility of this concept which was proposed and developed in this work.

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