Frequency, radiation pattern and polarization reconfigurable antenna using a parasitic pixel layer
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The ultimate goal of antenna reconfigurability is the development of antenna structures that can independently adjust their operation frequency, radiation pattern and polarization. This paper presents a significant advancement towards this objective. A switched grid of small metallic patches, known as pixel surface, is used as a parasitic layer that can provide reconfiguration capabilities to existing antennas acting as driven element. A fully operational prototype has been designed, fabricated and its compound reconfiguration capabilities have been thoroughly characterized. The prototype combines a patch antenna operating at 2.5 GHz and a parasitic pixel surface consisting of 6x6 pixels, with an overall size of 0.6 x 0.6, and 60 PIN-diode switches interconnecting adjacent pixels. The antenna can simultaneously tune its operation frequency over a 25% frequency range, steer the radiation beam over 30 in both E and H-planes, and switch its polarization among four different polarizations. The average partial realized gain of the antenna among the different reconfigurable parameter combinations is 4 dB, reaching 6-7 dB for the most advantageous combinations. It is shown that the distance between the driven antenna and the parasitic pixel layer plays an important role on the tradeoff between frequency and radiation reconfigurability.