MICROSTRIP ANTENNA ARRAY FOR SATELLITE COMMUNICATION OPERATING AT 12GHZ MIMI FAISYALINI BINTI RAMLI

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1 i MICROSTRIP ANTENNA ARRAY FOR SATELLITE COMMUNICATION OPERATING AT 12GHZ MIMI FAISYALINI BINTI RAMLI A project report submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Engineering (Electrical-Electronics & Telecommunication) Faculty of Electrical Engineering Universiti Teknologi Malaysia NOVEMBER 2009

2 iii With love to my parents, Haji Ramli Hambali and Hajjah Rosemini Joji, Angah, Achik and Adik Haji

3 iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENT In the name of Allah S.W.T, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful in giving us strength and patience in accomplishing this project successfully. This work was written in faith, support, advice and help from many people. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to my supervisor, Associate Prof. Dr. Mohamad Kamal A. Rahim, for his support, guidance and encouragement in the duration of the work preparation until its completion. A special thanks to a number of people, who for one reason or another, helped to make this happen: Azreen, Wan Mustafa, Saiful, Rina, Faezah, coursemates, researchers, neighbours and friends. I am also very thankful to Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA and STRIDE for the technical support Last but not least, my deepest appreciation and love goes to my parents and brothers who have always be with me during my sorrow and happiness. Thank you.

4 v ABSTRACT Studies on the microstrip antenna array has been conducted with the objective to design, simulate and fabricate the microstrip antenna array operating at 12GHz, Ku band downlink. Microstrip antenna is well known for its low cost, compact and mechanically robust. This project explores the capability of the microstrip antenna array at a higher frequency for the satellite communication. Specification is defined and the designed antenna should be able to operate with minimum gain of 20dBi, <- 10 return loss, 3 to 5 percent bandwith with circular polarization. Simulation started with the basic single element antenna in getting the correct geometrical parameters and feeding technique. Simulation was done step by step prior obtaining the final design of antenna. The final design which complies to the specification was selected for fabrication and measurement, whereby in this case (16x16) array was selected. Fabrication was done successfully, however the performance comparison shows some variation between simulation and antenna measurement. There are many factors contributing to the variation which has been discussed in Chapter 5 of this writings. This project work has shown a big potential of microstrip antenna array in satellite communication, at a higher frequency. Further effort and follow ups will enhance the performance of the microstrip antenna and lessen the impact of the shortcomings.

5 vi ABSTRAK Objektif projek adalah untuk merekabentuk, melakukan simulasi dan fabrikasi antenna yang berfungsi dalam jalur Ku (Ku band downlink) pada frekuensi 12GHz. Microstrip Antenna telah diketahui umum melibatkan kos yang rendah, kompak dan kurang dipengaruhi gangguan mekanikal. Projek ini adalah eksplorasi kebolehan microstrip antenna pada frekuensi tinggi. Spefikasi yang ditentukan adalah melibatkan gain, return loss, bandwidth dan polar. Gain minimum hendaklah mencapai 20dBi, return loss minimum pada -10dB, bandwidth 3 hingga 5 peratus dan antenna hendaklah beroperasi secara circular. Simulasi bermula dengan antenna yang mempunyai satu elemen sahaja, bertujuan untuk memperolehi ukuran patch dan feeding teknik yang betul. Simulasi berperingkat dijalankan sebelum mendapatkan rekabentuk terakhir antenna. Rekabentuk terbaik yang memenuhi spesifikasi akan dipilih untuk fabrikasi dan pengukuran. Bagi projek ini rekabentuk terbaik ialah (16x16) array. Fabrikasi telah berjaya dijalankan, walaubagaimanapun terdapat perbezaan pada keputusan pengukuran berbanding simulasi. Perbezaan ini disebabkan banyak faktor yang akan diperbincangkan dalam Bab 5. Projek ini telah membuktikan bahawa microstrip antenna array mempunyai potensi yang tinggi dalam aplikasi komunikasi satelit pada frekuensi tinggi. Kajian yang lebih terperinci diperlukan untuk memperbaiki mutu dan kebolehan microstrip antena dan sekaligus mengurangkan kelemahan antena ini.

6 vii TABLE OF CONTENT CHAPTER TITLE PAGE STUDENT DECLARATION ii DEDICATION iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iv ABSTRACT v ABSTRAK vi TABLE OF CONTENT vii LIST OF TABLES x LIST OF FIGURES xi LIST OF SYMBOLS xv 1 INTRODUCTION Project Background Research Objective Scope of Project Thesis Outline Summary 5 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Basic Concept of Microstrip Patch Antenna Feeding Technique Polarization 16

7 viii 2.4 Design Procedure Summary MICROSTRIP ANTENNA DESIGN METHODOLOGY Introduction Antenna Specification Antenna Design Equation Antenna Design Parameters Summary ANTENNA SIMULATION AND FABRICATION Introduction Simulation Progress Fabrication Process Summary RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION Introduction Simulated Results and Analysis Single Element Antenna Microstrip Antenna Array (2x2) Microstrip Antenna Array (4x4) Microstrip Antenna Array (8x8) Microstrip Antenna Array (16x16) Discussion on the Simulation Result Measurement 60

8 ix 5.10 Summary CONCLUSION Conclusion Proposed Future Work 65 REFERENCES 66

9 x LIST OF TABLES TABLE NO. TITLE PAGE 3.1 Defined Antenna Specification Single Patch Antenna Geometrical Parameters Antenna Parameterization for Single Patch (1x1) Summary of the Antenna Simulation Results 60

10 xi LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE NO. TITLE PAGE 2.1 Basic Structure of Microstrip Patch Antenna Common Patch Shape Schematic Diagram of Edge-Fed Microstrip Patch Antenna Coaxial Line Feed Schematic Diagram of Probe-Fed Microstrip Patch Antenna Schematic Diagram of Aperture-Coupled Microstrip Patch Antenna Schematic Diagram of Proximity-Coupled Microstrip Patch Antenna Orthogonal/Trimmed Square Patch Antenna 17

11 xii 2.9 Basic Top View of Microstrip Patch Antenna Flowchart of the Microstrip Antenna Development Circular Polarization with Thin Slot on Patch Circular Polarization by Trimming Opposite Corners Of the Square Patch (L=W) Elliptical With Tab Single Patch Antenna Dimension Description Single Patch Antenna with Dimension Simulation Flow Chart Fabrication Flow Chart Antenna Template Washing Machine UV Exposure Process Rinsing 37

12 xiii 4.8 Etching Rinsing After Etching Stripping The Backside View of the Port The (16x16) Microstrip Antenna Antenna Parameterization for Single Patch (1x1) S11 Analysis for Single Element Antenna (1x1) Farfield Analysis for Single Element Antenna E-field Analysis for Single Element Antenna (2x2) Microstrip Antenna Array S11 Analysis for (2x2) Array Farfield Analysis for (2x2) Array (4x4) Microstrip Antenna Array S11 Analysis for (4x4) Array 51

13 xiv 5.10 E-field Analysis for (4x4) Array (8x8) Microstrip Antenna Array S11 Analysis for (8x8) Array Farfield Analysis for (8x8) Array (16x16) Microstrip Antenna Array S11 Analysis for (16x16) Array Farfield Analysis for (16x16) Array E-field Analysis for (16x16) Array Network Analyzer Measurement Result 61

14 xv LIST OF SYMBOLS f - Operating frequency f c Cut off frequency Z o - Characteristic impedance r - Dielectric constant eff - Effective dielectric constant o - Dielectric constant in free space o - Permeability in free space h - Thickness of the substrate - Loss tangent o - Wavelength in space c - Velocity of light in free space W f - Feed Width L - Patch length W - Patch width

15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Project Background An antenna serves as the transition between the RF front-end circuitry and the radiation and propagation of electromagnetic waves in free space. Antennas play a critical role in microwave and other wireless applications systems. Planar oriented antennas, such as microstrip patch and printed dipole have attracted significant attention among antenna engineers due to the tremendous benefits they bring to modern wireless systems in comparison to more conventional designs. Microstrip patch antennas were first proposed in the early 1970s and since then, a lot of activity in this area of antenna engineering has occurred, probably more than in any other field of antenna research and development. The microstrip antenna is probably the simplest yet most popular planar antenna. In its simplest form, the patch antenna can be realized by etching a rectangular metal pattern on a dielectric substrate. It has several well-known advantages over other antenna structures, including their low profile and hence conformal nature, light weight, low cost of production, robust nature, and

16 compatibility with microwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMICs) and optoelectronic integrated circuits (OEICs) technologies. Because of these merits, forms of the microstrip patch antenna have been utilized in many applications such as in satellite communication, mobile communication base stations, and even mobile communication handset terminals. Microstrip antenna is one of the common antenna elements in telecommunications and radar applications. Microstrip antenna has the advantage of light weight, low volume, low profile, low fabrication cost (can be made of FR4 board), supports multiple polarization, easy integration with microwave integrated circuits (MICs), capable of multi - frequency operations and mechanically robust. Besides the advantages, microstrip patch antenna has its own disadvantages in bandwidth limitation (i.e narrow bandwidth), has low radiation efficiency, low gain, suffer from spurious radiation of feeds and junctions, poor end fire radiator, low power handling capability and vulnerable to surface wave excitation. The aim of the project is to explore the capability of the microstrip antenna in satellite communication with concern of its advantages and disadvantages.

17 1.2 Objectives This research is concentrating on the concept and application of microstrip antenna in satellite communication. The studies will include the single element as the fundamental and continue with the antenna array design. The bottom line is to design, simulate and fabricate the microstrip antenna array for satellite communication operating at 12GHz, Ku band downlink respected to the specification. It is expected that the design should lessen the drawback effects of the antenna in satellite communication application 1.3 Scope of Project This research mainly concentrates on the design, simulation and fabrication of the microstrip antenna array at 12 GHz Ku band downlink with <-10 db return loss, gain better than 20dBi and linear polarization. There are nine elements in the scope to be carried out as per below details: Literature on the concept of microstrip patch antenna. Review on previous work related to microstrip patch antenna Single element antenna design and simulation Design and simulation of patch microstrip antenna array operating at frequencies 12GHz

18 Analysis of the properties and performance of the patch microstrip antenna (single unit and antenna arrays) based on the simulation result for benchmarking. Optimization of the antenna design to fulfill antenna specification or performance requirements. Fabrication of the selected antenna design Test and measurement of the fabricated antenna Analysis, discussion and assessment on the antenna array properties and performance according to specification and performance requirement. Final report and presentation 1.4 Thesis Outline This thesis is organized into six chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview on the background of the project, the objective, scope of project and motivation. Chapter 2 covers the literature review on the research works conducted on the design and implementation of various microstrip antenna designs. The focus is on the current work on the proximity coupled feeding techniques. This chapter highlights the advantages and disadvantages of proximity coupled microstrip antenna. Chapter 3 focuses on the antenna design methodology which covers the calculation of antenna parameters and step by step design procedures.

19 Chapter 4 discusses on antenna simulation software (Microwave Office) and antenna fabrication process, antenna measurement setup and measured results. Chapter 5 focuses on the presentation of the simulated and measured results together with antenna performance analysis. Lastly, Chapter 6 summarizes the all the works that has been performed during the project execution. Conclusion is rolled to inclusive of achievements, shortcomings and future work recommendation. 1.5 Summary The motivation of this project is to explore and enhance the operational capability of the microstrip antenna array specifically for operation in the Ku band, operating at 12 GHz downlink. By applying the microstrip design and considering the advantages, it is expected to have better gain with lower costs, light, less mechanical limitation distraction, more innovative and compatible antenna in satellite communication.

20 6 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Basic Concept of Microstrip Patch Antenna Figure 2.1 Basic structure of microstrip patch antenna Structure of microstrip patch antenna consists of radiating patch on top side,ground plane on bottom side, dielectric substrate in between the patch and ground

21 7 plane. The radiating patch can be any possible shape. Although the trends are for rectangular patches, other conductor shapes have similar responses. Figure 2.2 : Common patch shape [2] Figure 2.2 is referred. Rectangular and square patches are the first and probably the most utilized patch conductor geometries. Rectangular patches tend to have the largest impedance bandwidth, simply because they are larger than the other shapes. Square patches can be used to generate circular polarization. In this project, the square patch has been selected for the antenna, concerning on the mentioned advantages. Circular and elliptical patches are probably the second most common shape. These patches are slightly smaller than their rectangular counterpart and as a result have slightly lower gain and bandwidth. One of the primary reasons the circular geometry was quite expensively investigated in the past was because of its inherent symmetry. This

22 8 allowed full-wave analysis tools utilizing a spectral domain technique to be written that were computationally more efficient than their rectangular counterpart. Triangular and disk sector patch geometries are smaller than their rectangular and circular counterparts, although at the expense of further reduction in bandwidth and gain. Triangular patches also tend to generate higher cross-polarization levels, because of their lack of symmetry in the configuration. Annular ring geometries are the smallest conductor shape, once again at the expense of bandwidth and gain. One problem associated with an annular ring is that it is not a simple process to excite the lowest order mode and obtain a good impedance match at resonance. Non-contact forms of excitation are typically required. The symmetry issues mentioned for the circular patch cases also apply here. 2.2 Feeding Techniques Four fundamental techniques to feed or excite a microstrip patch antenna include edge fed, probe fed, aperture coupled, and proximity coupled. These can be further simplified into direct (edge and probe) and non-contact (aperture and proximity-coupled) methods. Some new excitation techniques are being developed, such as the L-shape probe; however, this is really a hybrid representation of the probe and proximity-coupled versions. The properties of each feeding method are summarized below.

23 Edge-Fed Patches One of the original excitation methods for a microstrip patch antenna is the edgefed, or microstrip-line fed technique. A schematic diagram representing this method is shown in Fig Here a microstrip feed line of width W f is in direct contact with a rectangular patch conductor of length L and width W. Figure 2.3: Schematic diagram of edge-fed microstrip patch antenna. Typically the microstrip feed line comes in contact with one of the radiating edges of the patch, as shown in Fig. 2.2, although cases where the contact is located along the width of the patch have also been examined. Edge-fed patches have several advantages over other feeding techniques. One of the key features of this technology is its ease of fabrication, because the feed layout and patches can be etched on one board. For this reason many large planar arrays have been developed using edge-fed patches. It is also very easy to control the level of the input impedance of an edge-fed patch. Simply by inserting the feed into the patch conductor the impedance at resonance can be adjusted from very high 150 to 250 Ω when the contact point of the feed line and the patch at the radiating edge of the patch, down to a couple of ohms if the contact point is near the

24 10 center of the patch. Edge-fed patches in their simplest form are relatively easy to model, if electrically thin material is used. Simple transmission line models can be utilized to give estimations of the input impedance performance of the antenna. For cases when thicker materials are used, the modeling of the performance is not too straightforward. This is because of the current distribution of the discontinuities associated with the contact point between the microstrip line and the patch antenna. Also this form of feeding technique suffers from relatively high spurious feed radiation. This is simply because the feed network is not separated from the antenna and thus material suitable for efficient radiation for the antenna also causes the feed network to radiate, too Coaxial Line Feed Coaxial Line Feed is whereby the inner conductor of the coax is connected to the radiation patch. The outer connector is conducted to the ground plane. Coaxial line feed is widely used as it is easy to fabricate and match with low spurious radiation. Coaxial line feed is chosen for the array design in this project.

25 11 Figure 2.4: Coaxial feed [2] Probe-Fed Patches Probe feeding a microstrip patch antenna is another form of the original excitation methods proposed in the mid-1970s. A schematic diagram representing this configuration is shown in Fig. 2.3, in which a probe of radius r 0 extends through the ground plane and is connected to the patch conductor, typically soldered to it. The probe or feeding pin is usually the inner conductor of a coaxial line; hence, probe feeding is often referred to as a coaxial feed. The probe position provides the impedance control in a similar manner to inserting the feed for an edge-fed patch. Because of the direct contact between the feed transmission line and the patch antenna, probe feeding is referred to as a direct contact excitation mechanism.

26 12 Figure 2.5: Schematic diagram of probe-fed microstrip patch antenna [2] The probe-fed patch has several key advantages. First, the feed network, where phase shifters and filters may be located, is isolated from the radiating elements via a ground plane. This feature allows independent optimization of each layer. Second, of all the excitation methods, probe feeding is probably the most efficient because the feed mechanism is in direct contact with the antenna and most of the feed network is isolated from the patch, minimizing spurious radiation. The high efficiency of this printed antenna has seen a renaissance of the probe-fed-styled patch, despite the added complexity of developing a connection. Probe-fed microstrip patches have similar issues to edge-fed patches; namely, their bandwidth is somewhat small and these printed antennas are somewhat difficult to accurately analyze. The probe used to couple power to the patch can generate somewhat high cross-polarized fields if electrically thick substrates are used. Also because this antenna is no longer a single-layer geometry, as a result of the location of the feed network, it is more complicated to manufacture.

27 Aperture-Coupled Patches Because of the shortcomings of the direct contract feeding techniques, namely, the small inherent bandwidth and the detrimental effect of surface waves, non-contact excitation mechanisms were introduced. The first of these is the aperture-coupled patch. A schematic diagram of this printed antenna, as given in Fig. 2.4, shows how separate laminates are used for the feed network and the patch antenna. Figure 2.6: Schematic diagram of aperture-coupled microstrip patch antenna.[2] The laminates are separated by a ground plane and coupling between the feed, in this case a microstrip line, and the patch antenna is achieved via a small slot in the ground plane. The configuration shown in Fig. 2.4 has advantages over its direct contact counterparts. Unlike the edge-fed patch antenna, independent optimization of the feed and antenna substrates can be achieved. Unlike the probe-fed configuration, no vertical interconnects are required, simplifying the fabrication processes and also adhering to the conformal nature of printed circuit technology. However, alignment issues can be important and also multilevel fabrication processes are typically required. A multilayered

28 14 antenna can create other problems. The presence of small gaps between the layers of dielectric can significantly alter the input impedance nature of the antenna, especially at high frequencies, where these gaps appear larger electrically. Also, the material required to bond the layers could play a significant role in the performance of the antenna. If the bonding material is lossy and is located near, for example, the slot, the efficiency of the antenna is reduced. The aperture-coupled patch has more design parameters than the direct contact fed patches and therefore has more flexibility or degrees of freedom for the antenna designer. Despite its somewhat complex appearance, the aperture-coupled microstrip patch antenna is relatively easy to accurately model, even when using full-wave analyses. The reason for this is that unlike for the direct contact fed patches, there are no abrupt current discontinuities. Thus, relatively simple, accurate, computationally fast, fullwave analysis are easy to develop. In its original form the aperture-coupled patch has similar bandwidth and gain responses as the direct fed patches; however, it is very easy to significantly enhance the impedance bandwidth of the antenna Proximity-Coupled Patches The second form of non-contact fed patches created to overcome the shortcomings of the direct contact fed patches is the proximity-coupled patch. A schematic diagram of this printed antenna is shown in Fig The microstrip antenna consists of a grounded substrate where a microstrip feed line is located. Above this material is another dielectric laminate with a microstrip patch etched on its top surface. No ground plane separating the two dielectric layers. The power from the feed network

29 15 is coupled to the patch electromagnetically, as opposed to a direct contact. This is why this form of microstrip patch is sometimes referred to as an electromagnetically coupled patch antenna. Figure 2.7 : Schematic diagram of proximity-coupled microstrip patch antenna.[2] A key attribute of the proximity-coupled patch is that its coupling mechanism is capacitative in nature. This is in contrast to the direct contact methods, which are predominantly inductive. The difference in coupling significantly affects the obtainable impedance bandwidth, because the inductive coupling of the edge- and probe-fed geometries limits the thickness of the material useable. Thus, bandwidth of a proximitycoupled patch is inherently greater than the direct contact feed patches. As with the aperture-coupled patch, full-wave analyses are not too difficult to develop for the proximity- coupled patch because of the lack of a current discontinuity between the feed network and the radiating element. The proximity-coupled microstrip patch has some shortcomings. The feed and antenna layers are not fully independent, because power must be coupled efficiently to the antenna. Therefore, these printed antennas can

30 16 have relatively high spurious feed radiation, although not as high as for an edge-fed case. The antenna is a multilevel structure and thus alignment procedures are important. Small air gaps between the feed substrate and the laminate for the antenna can affect the coupling to the patch and, therefore, care must be taken when fabricating these antennas. 2.3 Polarization Polarization of an antenna is defined as the polarization of the wave transmitted or radiated by the antenna. Whenever the direction is not stated, the polarization of the antenna will be following the direction of the maximum gain. It is known that a rectangular or square patch with a conventional feeding will radiate linearly. However, with some modifications on the feeding techniques or the patch itself can turns to a circular polarization. In this project, as the antenna is on satellite communication, the most practical polarization is circular polarization. Circular polarization can be obtained with by adjusting the design of the square patch. The patch is trimmed both orthogonal so that it will radiate energy in both horizontal and vertical planes and all planes in between.

31 17 Figure 2.8: Orthogonal/Trimmed Square patch antenna 2.4 Design procedure antenna are: The three essential parameters for the design of a rectangular Microstrip patch Frequency of operation: The resonant frequency of the antenna must be selected appropriately. In this research, the resonant frequency is defined to be at 12GHz Ku band downlink.

32 18 Dielectric constant of the substrate ( r ): The dielectric material selected for the antenna design is. Height of dielectric substrate ( h ) Figure 2.9: Basic top view of microstrip patch antenna [17] The design procedures for the calculation are stated as follows: Step 1 : Calculation of the Width The width of the microstrip patch antenna is given by

33 19 Step 2: Calculation of dielectric constant Step 3: Calculation of effective length ( eff L ): Step 4: Calculation of actual length of patch ( L ) Step 5: Calculation of the ground plane dimensions

34 Summary This chapter consists of some fundamental of the microstrip antenna. The studies of the literature review have been made in beginning of the project. The theories are the basic of the design which where and when the will be modified to suit the specification.

35 CHAPTER 3 MICROSTRIP ANTENNA DESIGN METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction This chapter explains the detail methodology of this project, the defined specification and the initial design. Figure 3.1 below describes the sequence of steps required in designing miscrostrip antenna. The project started with the literature review and problem statement definition during the first phase. Theories and previous research have been the basic reference in order to define the logic specification to achieve for the microstrip antenna. Some of the studies has been visible in Chapter 2. The define specification is as per Table 3.1. The operating frequency is at 12GHz. The define spec is also considering at the application side, which is for the satellite communication.

36 As doing broadcasting is the application concentration, the gain has been the most critical parameters to take into account but not to discriminate the other parameters as well. Figure 3.1: Flowchart Of The Microstrip Antenna Development [3]

37 3.2 Antenna Specification Table 3.1: Defined Antenna Specification Parameters Operating Frequency Gain Return Loss Specification 12GHz >20 db <-10 db -10dB Bandwidth 3% to 5% Polarization Circular Gain is a useful measurement describing the antenna performance. Although the gain of the antenna is closely related to the directivity, it is a measure that takes into account the efficiency of the antenna as well as its directional capabilities [1]. Gain is defined as the ration of the intensity, in a given direction, to the radiation intensity that would be obtained if the power accepted by the antenna were radiated isotropically, The radiation intensity corresponding to the isotropically radiated power is equal to the power accepted(input) by the antenna divided by 4. [1] In this project it is a requirement to obtain more than 10dB as the antenna is expected to transmit the signal in a high operating frequency which is 12GHz, applied to the satellite communication.

38 Less than -10dB of the return loss is required. The reflection could not be exceeding more than 10%. The lesser the value indicates a better losses of the antenna. There is a high chance of getting lesser return loss, provided with a correct geometrical parameters and transmission line system. Bandwidth of 3 to 4 percent is defined as the spec of this antenna. Bigger bandwidth indicates a greater path for the signaling transmission. The antenna needs to have a circular polarization for this application. Circular polarization is more practical compared to the linear polarization, especially is broadcasting application. The signal should be able to transmit and received not only in a single direction. There are many ways of obtaining the circular polarization for example modification on the feed arrangement or on the patches itself. For a square patch, this can be accomplished by cutting very thin slots as shown in Figure 3.2. Another alternative way is to trim the ends of two opposite corners of a square patch as Figure 3.3 or else, circular polarization can also achieved with a circular patch by making it slightly elliptical or adding tabs as per Figure 3.4. In this project, modification on the square patch with the trimmed at the end has been chosen. This method is more simple compared to the rest. This type of antenna has been designed by [3].

39 Figure 3.2: Circular polarization with thin slot on patch [1] Figure 3.3: Circular polarization by trimming opposite corners of the square patch (L=W) [1]

40 s Figure 3.4: Elliptical with tab [1] 3.3 Antenna Design Equations The following design equation are the basic calculation according to the microstrip antenna design procedure. Select frequency of operation and calculate its wavelength ().

41 c λ = (Equation 1) f where speed of light, c = 3 x 10 8 m/s Obtain the substrate information: r - dielectric constant; and; h - substrate thickness In this project, the selected substrate is Gil Gml 100 with the r equals to 3.2 and h equals to This pcb is theoretically more suitable for the high frequency antenna due to its low dielectric constant and loss tangent. Calculate antenna length (L) based on frequency and dielectric constant value. c L = 2Δ (Equation 1) f ε 2 eff As this project is using square patch antenna, the value of the width is the same as the length.

42 Calculate the effective dielectric constant ( ε eff ) based on the substrate thickness (h), r and antenna width (W). ε r + 1 ε r 1 h ε eff = W (Equation 2) 1 2 These calculations are based on the design formula for single layer square patch antenna. The square patch microstrip antenna which can be fed either by coaxial feed or microstrip line feed. Do take note that this calculated antenna parameters (width and length), shall serve as starting values for the purpose of initial antenna simulation The actual values might differ during resonant frequency tuning and antenna parameterization is performed. The actual size will be obtained during the construction and simulation in the software. 3.4 Antenna Design Parameters The table 3.2 highlights the real width of the geometrical parameters of the antenna. The calculated width is 5.8 mm. Take note that the total width and length for the square patch antenna is similar. The graphical circuit is as per Figure 3.5 and 3.6.

43 Figure 3.5: Single patch antenna dimension description Figure 3.6: Single patch antenna with dimension

44 Table 3.2: Single patch antenna geometrical parameters NAME WT LT L1 L2 W1 W2 W3 S1 S2 LTX50 WTX50 SIZE (mm) 6.55 mm 6.55 mm 4.71 mm 4.71 mm 4.71 mm 2.36 mm 0.52 mm 2.36 mm 2.36 mm 2.5 mm 1.83 mm /4 Section at 12G L = 4 mm; W = 1 mm 3.5 Summary This chapter highlights flowchart and design equations that can be used to calculate antenna length and width based on the required the resonating frequency. Frequency and return loss fine tuning, detail information on the geometry and relevant dimension parameters shall be modified accordingly for each simulation process to suit specification requirements.

45 CHAPTER 4 ANTENNA SIMULATION AND FABRICATION 4.1 Introduction The antenna design, simulation and development is performed using CST Microwave Studio Version It is also possible to combine the effort by using AWR and CST. CST is a 3D software which able to import the design from AWR and simulate in CST. To the fast, efficient, analysis and design of components including antenna arrays, filters, couplers, transmission line printed circuit board and so forth. The underlying method is a general 3D approach and CST can solve virtually any high frequency field problem. Simulating a single element antenna is fast and simple. However, the challenges arise when it comes to array simulation. The bigger the array, the more complicated it is.

46 It will take longer time depending on the antenna size, complexity and the mesh size.higher mesh size will carry a more accurate result. 4.2 Simulation Progress Simulation was done as per calculation and adjusted (variable parameters) to achieve defined specification. There are five general steps of simulation prior achieving the finalized antenna design. Single Element Antenna (1x2) simulation (2x2) array simulation (4x4) array simulation (8x8) array simulation (16x16) array simulation Below flowchart is explaining in graphical manner. The simulation result is discussed in Chapter 5.

47 Figure 4.1: Simulation Flowchart 4.3 Fabrication Process The antenna fabrication process consists of three main stages which are the UV exposure, developing and etching. Figure 4.2 is explaining the process in details.

48 Figure 4.2: Fabrication Flowchart [4] UV Exposure Prior to the UV exposure process, the template needs to be done first as per Figure 4.3. It is necessary to define whether the process is a positive film or negative

49 film lamination. The Gil Gml 1000 is washed before the UV exposure process to reassure cleanliness as in Figure 4.4. The UV exposure process takes twenty seconds. Figure 4.3: Antenna Template Figure 4.4: Washing machine

50 Figure 4.5: UV Exposure Process Developing In developing process, photo resist developer entails washing away the exposed resist so that the pattern will be fully developed. It takes two minutes to complete the developing process as per Figure 4.6. Rinsing is required after the developing process.

51 Figure 4.6: Developing process Figure 4.7: Rinsing

52 4.3.3 Etching The final stage is the etching process whereby it removes the unwanted copper layer. The process is using the Ferric Chloride and takes about two minutes to complete. Again, rinsing is required after the etching process. Figure 4.8: Etching

53 Figure 4.9: Rinsing after etching The antenna is then gone through the stripping process just to remove all the residues. Figure 4.10: Stripping

54 4.3.4 Assemble the Port The 50ohm port is assembled and solder manually at the centre of the circuit. Figure 4.11: The back side view of the port The final product of the antenna is as per Figure 4.12

55 Figure 4.12: The (16x16) Microstrip Antenna 4.4 Summary Chapter 4 is explaining on the tool of simulation in which this project is using CST Micowave Studio. CST is a 3D software with fully featured package for electromagnetic analysis and design in a high frequency range. Fabrication processes of the antenna are spelled step by step in 4.3.

56 CHAPTER 5 RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 5.1 Introduction This chapter presents the simulated and measurement result of the designed antenna. The simulation results consist of three basic steps prior the final design. The analysis includes single element antenna (1x1), (2x2) array, (4x4), (8x8) array and (16x16) array. Each section will explain the parameterization of the design and single step simulation result. The measurement section is discussing on the measurement result for the final design which is 16x16 antenna array. Last section combines the simulated and measurement results together with overall performance results.

57 5.2 Simulated Results and Analysis In this analysis, scope of antenna performance analysis covers all the defined specification which is the return loss, -10dB bandwidth, gain of the antenna and polarization. The simulation was done at the desired operation frequency which is 12GHz. The CST is capable of providing many useful outputs, but the actual performance criteria need to be omitted due to material limitation, time factor, lack of test equipment and facility to measure the relevant data. This study managed to fabricate (16x16) array which in general comply with the defined spec. By simulations, these selected antennas fulfilled return loss (-10 db) with more than five percent bandwidth, good gain with circular polarization. 5.3 Single element antenna (1x1) Design of the single element involves the fine tuning of antenna physical geometries such that this antenna complies with the 12GHz frequency. Figure 5.1 and Table 5.1 shows the physical parameters that shall be considered in designing single (1x1) element.

58 Figure 5.1: Antenna parameterization for single patch (1x1) Table 5.1: Antenna parameterization for single patch (1x1)

59 Simulated parameterization results of single (1x1) element Figure 5.2 shows the S11 graph obtained from the single element antenna, by using CST. Return Loss: as per spec (>- 10dB) -10 Bandwidth : 3.4% Figure 5.2: S11 Analysis for Single Element Antenna In terms of frequency, the simulation results indicated that single (1x1) element with geometrical parameters mentioned in Table 5.1 is able to radiate at 12GHz. The return loss value is more than -10dB while the signal bandwidth at -10dB also passes the spec at 3.4%. The S11 simulation result indicates a good sign to proceed with (2x2) array. However there are still two parameters to confirm prior proceeding to the next level of analysis which is determining the gain and antenna polarization.

60 Figure 5.3: Farfield Analysis for Single Element Antenna Figure 5.3 is the Farfield analysis obtained from the CST simulation. The gain is db. The gain is low but it is as expected because this is only a single element microstrip antenna. It is expected that the gain would become better as the size of the arrays increases.

61 Figure 5.4: E-field Analysis for Single Element Antenna Figure 5.4 shows the polarization of the single element antenna. From the CST simulation, it shows that the E-field is moving circularly around the patch. That is the reason why there are two yellow areas at the edge of the patch at the top right most and bottom left most area. In the real simulation, the e-field can be seen clearly moving circularly around the patch. The circular polarization is obtained by modifying the square patch antenna by truncating both orthogonal of the antenna. The S11, Farfield and E-field analysis have shown a good sign of first stage antenna development. Considering all the results obtained from the CST for this single element simulation, the study will proceed to the next stage which is performing the array design and simulation.

62 5.4 Microstrip Antenna Array (2x2) Figure 5.5: (2x2) Microstrip Antenna Array Figure 5.5 shows the (2x2) microstrip antenna array, constructed in CST based on the single element simulation. The patches geometrical parameters are exactly similar to the single element except for the feeding technique. The feeding technique for the arrays is the coaxial feed, which physically the port is mounted at the centre of the circuit. The concept is using the quarter wave length as explained in page 866 in [1].

63 5.4.1 Simulated Parameterization Results for (2x2) Array Figure 5.6: S11 Analysis for (2x2) Microstrip Array S11 Analysis above revealed the dip at 12GHz with return loss -19 db. The - 10dB bandwidth by calculation is 3.09%. The S11 shows that both results are meeting the spec.

64 Figure 5.7: Farfield Analysis for (2x2) Array The next to confirm is the gain whereby from Figure 5.7, the value is The polarization for (2x2) array is following the orientation of the single element antenna which is truncated both orthogonal to obtain circular polarization.

65 5.5 Microstrip Antenna Array (4x4) Figure 5.8: (4x4) Microstrip Antenna Array Simulated Parameterization Results for (4x4) Array Figure 5.9: S11 Analysis for (4x4) Array

66 Figure 5.9 revealed the return loss for (4x4) array is dB. It is noted that the bandwidth has increased to 11%. Figure 5.10: E-field Analysis for (4x4) Array Figure 5.10 revealed the gain of 14.53dB for (4x4) array. It is an increasing trend from single patch to (4x4).

67 5.6 Microstrip Antenna Array (8x8) Figure 5.11: (8x8) Microstrip Antenna Array Simulated Parameterization Results for (8x8) Array Figure 5.12: S11 Analysis for (8x8) Array

68 The S11 analysis for (8x8) array shows that the signal is sifted. The shifting is affecting the return loss where the value drops to Figure 5.13: Farfield Analysis for (8x8) Array Besides the decrement of return loss, the gain has maintained with the increasing trend to db.

69 5.7 Microstrip Antenna Array (16x16) Figure 5.14: (16x16) Microstrip Array

70 5.7.1 Simulated Parameterization Results for (16x16) Array Figure 5.15: S11 Analysis for (16x16) Array Figure 5.15 is representing the S11 analysis of the simulated (16x16) array. Although the dip is shifted to more than 12GHz, the return loss at 12 GHz is still acceptable with dB. The calculated bandwidth is 8% which is better than the defined spec which is 3% to 5%.

71 Gain : as per spec (>=20 db) Figure 5.16: Farfield Analysis for (16x16) array Above farfield analysis describe the radiation and the gain value for the (16x16) array. The again achieved is db. This is the largest gain value of all the designed the antenna, due to the quantity of patch. There are 256 patched in total for this array. This somehow supports the theory of array, whereby the gain value should increase with the increment of quantity of patch, provided with a correct transmission line size.

72 Figure 5.17: E-field analysis for (16x16) Array Figure 5.12 shows the polarization of the antenna. The motion of the e-field is moving circularly around patches. The radiation is concentrating more at the centre of the circuit. This is due to the feeding whereby this project is using the coaxial feed. The power is less at the edge of the circuit as the power line are longer to reach the outer patches. This contributes to the power loss and affecting the strength of the signal radiation.

73 5.8 Discussion on the Simulation Result Table 5.2 is referred. The summary of the results shows an increasing trend of gain value from single to (16x16) microstrip antenna array. This is the most concerned criteria during the design stage of the antenna as the application is concentrating on broadcasting in satellite communication. This characteristic has been taken into account as one of the factor of preceding the design. The return loss is varied due to complexion of the circuit itself. However, only (8x8) arrays were found to have return loss less than -10 db. This may due to the shifted frequency which also affecting the bandwidth percentage. All the antennas bandwidth are meeting the specification between 3 to 5 percent and even better which carries more than defined spec. All the antennas were constructed with circular polarization. The table summary shows that (16x16) microstrip array is complying to the desired specification.

74 Table 5.2: Summary of the Antenna Parameterization Result of the Antenna Parameters/ Array Single 2x2 4x4 8x8 16x16 Gain (db) Return Loss dB bandwidth Shifted 8.00 (%) Polarization Circular Circular Circular Circular Circular 5.9 Measurement The fabricated (16x16) array antenna is measured using network analyzer. Due to limitation, the antenna was measured at an external lab at the open space. The measurement was done on the S11 analysis. Figure 5.18 is representing the S11 result during the network analyzer measurement at 12 GHz.

75 Figure 5.18: Network Analyzer Measurement Result The measurement point at 12GHz is giving a return loss of db. There is a potential that the frequency has shifted circulated area above, which is around 22GHz. Observed that there is a similar pattern of signal at this frequency. The shifted frequency is affecting the return loss to be low. There are many factors contributing to the difference between simulation and measurement result. The imperfection of antenna construction for example antenna misalignment, geometrical variation, process influence and variation in substrate thickness can cause in the above mentioned problem.

76 Other than that, the environment while performing the measurement will influence the result as well. This antenna was measured in an open space, whereby the distraction of other signals from other machines, electronics gadgets, and human may affect the measurement result Summary Based o the simulation result by using CST software, the (16x16) microstrip array has proven to meet all the defined specification. Therefore, the (16x16) microstrip antenna array has been finalized to be fabricated and measured. The fabrication of the antenna has been done successfully by using chemical etching method. Measurement was done only for the S1, 1 analysis due to unavoidable limitation. However the measurement result on the signal has indicates frequency shifting and affecting the return loss result to vary from the simulation result in CST. The variation between simulation and measurement result is influenced by many factors as stated in 5.8 Discussion. It is recommended in the future to conduct a more robust fabrication and perform the measurement in a chamber to get a more accurate result.

77 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION 6.1 Conclusion This project has explored the capability of microstrip antenna in satellite communication, concentrating on broadcasting application. The antenna parameters being considered are the gain, return loss, bandwidth, and including the polarization. The material Gil Gml 1000 is used for this project due to its low dielectric constant and suitability for the high frequency antenna. For simulation, CST software is used for the simulation and is proven to be very useful and beneficial in optimizing antenna parameters and performance, thus, minimizing fabrication risks.

78 Initial study and simulation of the single element antenna has been done prior designing the arrays. After optimizing single element performance, the work continued with the designing the arrays. The arrays were simulated step by step starting with (2x2) array, (4x4) array, (8x8) array and lastly the (16x16 array). The (16x16) is fabricated as it complies with all the defined spec. Fabrication has been done at PCB laboratory at Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE), Kajang, Selangor. The challenges of the hardware fabrication are on getting the template and material handling during the process. This is due to non-standard circuit size and the thin substrate. However, the problems were overcome by some creative manual modification. Measurement result of the (16x16) by using the network analyzer indicates frequency shifting which affect the return loss value to differ from the simulation result. There are many factors contributing to this variation, such as the substrate it self, influenced of the fabrication process, geometrical variation of the antenna and also the measurement environment. The objective of to design, simulate and fabricate the microstrip antenna array for satellite communication operating at Ku band has been achieved. As a conclusion from the simulation result, it shows that the microstrip antenna array is capable of getting desired gain and able to meet the required spec. Extended studies should be able to enhance the capability and overcome the shortcomings of the microstrip antenna array.

79 6.2 Proposed Future Work The study on the microstrip antenna array for satellite communication through this project and with the result obtained, are beyond perfect completion. Thus, further improvements are required to enhance the antenna performance. Below are some proposals for the future works: To explore the antenna performance with various type of substrate. The antenna was only designed by using one type of substrate due to material limitation. Further studies on the material and design should be able to define a perfect match for the better antenna performance Measurement result should be obtained is a more appropriate environment to assure the accuracy of measurement value. Different array configurations of these antennas shall be simulated and tested.

80 REFERENCES 1. Balanis, C.A. (1997). Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design. 2 nd Ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 2. Rod Waterhouse (2002). Microstrip Patch Antennas, RMIT University 3. Wan Mustafa Wan Hanafi (2009). Comparative Study Between Proximity Coupled Square And H-Shape Microstrip Patch Antenna, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Master Thesis. 4. Zuraidah Binti Harith. Design Of aa Circular Polarization Microstrip Antenna at 2.4GHz, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Master Thesis. 5. Adel Bedair Abdel Mooty Abdel Rahman (2006). Design and Development of High Gain, Wideband Microstrip Antenna & DGS Filters Using Numerical Experimentatiom Approach, Fakultät Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik der Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg 6. M I Ali K Ehata and S Ohshima (2000). Single-feed superconducting circularly polarized microstrip array antenna for direct-to-home receiving system, Faculty of Engineering, Yamagata University, Jonan , Yonezawa , Japan. 7. Osama Ullah Khan. Design of X-band 4x4 Butler Matrix for Microstrip Patch Antenna Array, IEEE, Electronic Engineering Department, NED University of Engineering & Technology.

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