Date of Award

Spring 11-22-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Dejan Filipovic

Second Advisor

Gregor Lasser

Third Advisor

Dejan Filipovic

Fourth Advisor

Zoya Popovic

Fifth Advisor

Frank Barnes

Abstract

This thesis introduces several novel antenna systems with extended performance capabilities achieved by either enabling multiple operation bands or by widening the bandwidth. Proposed theoretical concepts are successfully tested through simulations and experiments with excellent agreement are demonstrated. The designs developed in this thesis research are low-profile or flush mountable, enabling simple platform integration.

In the HF/VHF bands, the development of a novel low-profile multiband antenna for vehicular applications is presented. Specifically, an inverted-F antenna is used as a driven element, to operate at the lowest frequency of 27 MHz, whereas two parasitic elements are built as inverted-L monopoles to enable resonances at 49 and 53 MHz. To eliminate the need for an external matching network, an offset feeding technique is used. When the antenna is mounted on a vehicle and bent to follow its profile, a very low-profile is achieved (λ/44) while good impedance and far-field performance are maintained across all three bands. The developed antenna system is not only electrically smallest among others found in the literature, but it is easily modified for other band selections and tuning of each band can be readily achieved.

Vehicular antennas are often used for high power applications, which may cause exposure of nearby individuals to possibly dangerous electromagnetic fields. To assess this hazard, the RF exposure of a vehicle's crew is discussed and an original and fast modeling approach for prediction thereof is demonstrated. The modeling approach is based on eigenmode analysis for acquiring a range of frequencies where the shielding effectiveness of a vehicle cabin is expected to be lower than average. This approach is typically much faster and requires less computational resources as compared to classical full-wave analyses. This analysis also shows that the position of an antenna system is critical and must be considered when high-power RF emissions are planned.

Following the same trend of antenna system size reduction with extension of capabilities in a congested spectral environment, the millimeter wave spectrum is explored next. Specifically, antenna systems for wideband amplitude only (AO) direction finding (DF) are thoroughly considered. Theory and design considerations are developed to fill gaps in open literature. Typical sources of errors are theoretically analyzed, and a discussion on limitations and advantages of different AO DF architectures is given.

Practical millimeter wave realizations of AO DF antenna front-ends in the K/Ka/Q bands (18-45 GHz) are developed using two different architectures: a passive phased-array and a squinted antenna system. For the former, a tightly coupled two-element tapered slot antenna (TSA) array with a stacked arrangement is developed. A novel enclosure of the array inside an absorbing cavity is proposed and improved system performance with flush mounted configuration is demonstrated. The squinted antenna system avoids the use of a beamformer, therefore reducing insertion loss and amplitude/phase imbalances to reduce DF errors. For design robustness, the same TSA element used in the phased-array configuration is used. A novel tapered cavity is also developed to stabilize H-plane radiation patterns and suppress sidelobes. It is seen that the squinted antenna AO DF front-end has better performance than the phased-array antenna system at the expense of larger size.

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