This invention is a class of low-power smart antennas, operating at millimeter and microwave frequencies, which are controlled by electronically manipulating the direction of an antenna's signal using solid-state technology. These smart antennas are fully compatible with the existing wireless technology, as well as next generation wireless antenna arrays.
This class of reconfigurable antennas consists of three similar antenna designs, each with its own benefits. The antenna types benefit from compact size and low power consumption, the main difference between the antennas being the geometry of the parasitic array and the method for switching microstrip polarity. How it works The three variations each have three equal spaced parallel strips printed on a grounded dielectric substrate. The center strip is driven with an SMA probe feed, and the linerally polarized antenna is matched by moving the probe location along the x-axis of the center strip. The two outer strips are parasitic and each of them contains one load in the center. When the switches are activated, or the varactors tuned, the effective electrical length of the parasitic strip changes and it alters the induced current on the parasitic strip, changing the antenna's effective radiation pattern up to +35.
- Home/Office networking and Wi-Fi: Wireless LANs and WANs will benefit from increased range with fewer dropped connections and faster connection speeds, while users of related technologies like wireless voice over internet protocol (VoIP) would enjoy greater mobility and signal clarity.
- Bluetooth and other M2M systems: MIMO antenna arrays will be the backbone of countless machine-to-machine devices that rely on intercommunication in order to function. This algorithm would decrease the size of such devices while ensuring continued reliability.
- Handheld devices: The market demands connectivity in handheld electronics. Portable gaming devices, for instance, require access to community forums, and pocket PCs are equipped with internet browsers and multimedia software to communicate with desktop computers and wireless routers.
- GPS systems: A constant signal is imperative for high-accuracy GPS devices. This suite of improved antenna technologies could provide for the incorporation of GPS systems into a range of portable devices, which are currently inhibited by size, power, or portability.
- Cellular communications: These technologies will boost cell phone signal and range, while simultaneously minimizing power consumption and miniaturizing device size.
- Large or phased arrays of smart antennas: Antennas can be constructed on a large scale to improve long distance communication in cell phone broadcast towers and government/military base stations.
- Increase Signal to Noise Ratio: By scanning and switching the antenna's radiation pattern, the antenna system can both circumvent noise and suppress multiple path interference while maintaining communication over a single frequency.
- Compact size: Typically, pattern reconfigurability is achieved by using phased arrays. Phased arrays are too large for use in size-sensitive applications such as consumer electronics devices. This antenna's conformal/ planar design is ideally suited for use in these small applications.
- Elegant Control System: Employing a design of two or four switches, this out-of-phase antenna array consumes minimal power and has negligible computing requirements.