Smart and small antennas design

Team : X. Begaud, A.C. Lepage, C. Roblin, A. Sibille

Fundings : 3 European FP7 projects (SACRA, SELECT, LEXNET), EDA project (MIMiCRA),  ANR project (SAFAS), FUI project (PUMA)

Antennas for cognitive radio One of the main challenge of cognitive radio is to improve the efficiency of the system, ie. energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency and also reduction of the number of components. The following topics aim to propose solutions to these needs. In the framework of the European project SACRA, our research is focused on compact dual band dual polarized antennas for the terminal side dedicated to future systems using LTE and having also cognitive radio capabilities in the TVWS band (TV White Space). Diversity performances studies are also performed for different environments. We are also studying co-design between antenna and filters: the objective of this topic is to develop an ultra wideband dual polarized antenna associated to a filter with non standard features in order to suppress any matching circuit between the antenna and the filter and thus to decrease the size. Moreover, to go further in the size reduction, we have developed more advanced solutions in which the filter has been integrated in the antenna element. 


Metamaterial inspired wideband antennas A great part of our antenna design activities is devoted to wideband antennas and arrays. We initially focused our work on UWB (UltraWide-Band) applications and explore now how to push antenna’s limits. In this last decade a new area of research has emerged as a result of our ability to produce materials with entirely novel electromagnetic properties. On one hand, these metamaterials associated with a radiating element can produce innovative antennas. However, most of these materials are inherently narrow band and we are pioneer in the development of innovative solutions to realize wideband reflector used to reduce the size/thickness of wideband antennas. To improve the knowledge of such materials, we have developed analytical model, design strategies and analysis tools. All this experience has opened a new field of application on the design of ultra thin and light absorbers for space applications. On the other hand, the extraordinary properties of Left Handed Materials has been exploited to develop miniaturized filters and directive antennas and Leaky-wave antennas.

Robust antenna design for RFID tags and WBANs Systems associating RFID and localization functionalities (RTLSs) are developed in the SELECT project. Thanks to its potential capabilities such as low power consumption, high ranging resolution and low sensitivity to interferences, UWB technology is a good candidate for RTLSs. Both active or passive tags architectures can be developed: the last, based on backscattering modulation has been considered in SELECT. Collocated UWB/UHF antennas for RFID tags have been developed in this project context. The novelty of the proposed antennas based on the integration of several ’functionalities’ is threefold:

  1. The integration of UWB and UHF radiators on a unique (credit card size) substrate
  2. The antenna robustness against proximity effects of nearby objects (such as metallic supports or human body), integrating a desensitization technique in a planar design, while maintaining a reasonable thickness (10 mm) compatible with use cases
  3. The design of new UWB slot antennas (e.g.based on a pseudo-fractal geometry). This desensitization approach has been also applied to the design of body-worn UWB antennas for on-on WBANs.
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