Microstrip Patch antennas are metal pieces of various shapes fabricated on a printed circuit board (PCB). The layers of a patch antenna are a metal layer as a ground plane, a dielectric substrate, and a metal trace (patch) on top, as shown in Fig. 1.
Microstrip Patch antennas are commonly used at microwave/mmWave frequencies. Multiple patch antennas on the same substrate can be used to make antenna arrays to increase directivity, gain, efficiency, and better radiation patterns.
Antenna Designer Toolbox
Using this toolbox, we can synthesize antennas to be operated on a band of frequencies and directly get the antenna dimensions without writing any program. We synthesize a patch antenna to be operated in the mmWave Frequency (57-64 GHz). The requirements of the antenna characteristics are as follows,
- The center frequency is 60GHz.
- The antenna should give an omnidirectional radiation pattern
- Polarization needs to be linear.
Open the Antenna Designer Toolbox from the tools in MATLAB. Click on new to enter the design parameters.
Enter the parameters as described above. Under the Antenna gallery, Choose an Inverted Fcoplanar antenna from the patch family.
Click on accept. It will redirect to the synthesis window. The dimension of the inverted F coplanar antenna will be displayed on the side pane.
Click on Impedance and S parameter. Verify your result by checking the real value of Impedance are around 50Ω, and reactance is 0Ω to check its matching condition. Also, verify the S11 parameter to be less than -10dB in the Frequency of operation. Click on the 3D pattern and current for getting the radiation pattern and the current distribution on the patch surface.
The radiation pattern and S parameter at port 1 are plotted as follows.
This can be exported to MATLAB by clicking on Export.
% Generated by MATLAB(R) 9.7 and Antenna Toolbox 4.1.
% Generated on: 12-Jan-2021 14:29:30
%% Antenna Properties
% Design antenna at frequency 60000000000Hz
antennaObject = design(invertedFcoplanar,60000000000);
%% Antenna Analysis
% Define plot frequency
plotFrequency = 60000000000;
% Define frequency range
freqRange = (54:0.6:66) * 1e9;
% show for invertedFcoplanar
% impedance for invertedFcoplanar
% s11 for invertedFcoplanar
s = sparameters(antennaObject, freqRange);
% current for invertedFcoplanar
% pattern for invertedFcoplanar
Designing Antenna Array
To make an array of the above-designed patch antennas to make the radiation directional, we can use an antenna array designer toolbox.
Click on the new (+) button to enter the antenna array dimensions. Choose rectangular from array gallery and choose inverted F coplanar from the antenna gallery. Enter 60GHz as the design frequency and click accept . This will redirect you to the synthesis window. Enter one single antenna dimensions under Inverted Fcoplanar Geometry.
Click on Apply. Click on the 3D pattern to get the radiation pattern. The resultant radiation pattern becomes directional.
Correlation between two antennas can be found by clicking on correlation. Select two antenna elements to see the correlation between them. Less the correlation, less will be the mutual coupling and the leakage.
The design can also be exported to MATLAB as a script. Then you can experiment with different antenna array geometry and the spacing between them.
Designing a microstrip patch antenna that operates in mmWave frequencies can easily be done using the toolbox Antenna designer. Many different shapes of antennas and characteristics can also be designed easily using this toolbox. After designing the antenna or the array of the antennas, it can be exported as a MATLAB script. This script gives the flexibility of changing the array geometry. This is the overview of the toolboxes Antenna designer and antenna array designer.
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