Single- and Dual- Polarized Slot and Patch Antennas with Wide Tuning Ranges
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Frequency- and polarization-agile antennas are of great interest for multi-function,
software-defined, and cognitive radios. Frequency tuning over an octave is challenging
because the radiation conductance changes as the antennas are tuned. In this work,
single- and dual-polarized antennas are tuned over frequency ranges of up to 2:1 and
1.7:1, respectively, while remaining impedance matched. The impedance match over
tuning is maintained by a properly chosen reactive element in series with the antenna.
Both polarizations of the dual-polarized antennas are tuned independently—enabling
either simultaneous frequency- and polarization-agility, or operation at two independent
frequencies on orthogonal polarizations.
First, the tunability of the slot-ring antenna is demonstrated with fixed-capacitor loading,
and then, single and dual-polarized slot-ring antennas are tuned from 0.95 – 1.8 GHz and
0.93 – 1.6 GHz, respectively, using varactor diodes. Microstrip reactive loads are
developed to maintain >20 dB port-to-port isolation over most of the tuning range of the
dual-polarized antenna. This may be the first dual-polarized tunable antenna with
independent control of both polarizations over a 1.7:1 frequency range.
Single-sided radiation is desirable for many applications, and varactor-tuned cavitybacked
slots are investigated for this purpose. A shallow cavity-backed slot is tuned from
1.0 to 1.9 GHz with <-20 dB return loss. The antenna operates either in free-space or conformally mounted with minimal change in input impedance. Finally, a dual-polarized cavity-backed patch antenna is tuned from 0.6 – 1 GHz. Differential feeds are employed to achieve >30 dB port-to-port isolation (differentialdifferential
mode) over the tuning range, and the measured cross-polarization level at
0.65, 0.8, and 0.95 GHz is <-25 dB. This may be the first demonstration of dualpolarized independent tuning over a 1.7:1 frequency range with single-sided radiation.