UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a compact single-patch antenna with a beam scanning capability that maintains a high radiation efficiency.
Rectangular patch antennas are widely used in wireless communication applications due to their simple design, low cost and compact configuration. However, these antennas typically do not have beam scanning property which is required for many communication applications. One way to maintain a high radiation efficiency in beam-scanning antennas is through phased arrays, which properly tune the phase and amplitude of each element. However, the structure of an array can be bulky and complex. Therefore, an inexpensive and compact beam scanning antenna that maintains high efficiency is desired.
UCLA researchers have developed a single patch antenna with a beam scanning capability. The design shares the simple, compact, and low-cost configuration of patch antennas while maintaining a high radiation efficiency, low profile, and high-power handling. The measured radiation efficiency within the matching band is comparable to a regular-patch antenna. Moreover, the proposed antenna can scan the beam over a large angular range as the frequency changes while maintaining high radiation efficiency. The bandwidth and scanning range is easily tuned by controlling the coupling in the design process. This beam controllable antenna can be easily scaled to meet 5G or terahertz applications. Therefore, the proposed single-patch antenna can be a good alternative to traditional beam steering antennas or arrays.