Analysis of ground plane size, topography and location on a monopole antenna's performance utilizing 3-D printing
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KeywordResearch Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY::Electrical engineering, electronics and photonics::Electrical engineering
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AbstractThe monopole antenna is widely used in communication applications and is typically mounted on various surfaces that act as ground planes; a prime example being the roof of a car. The shape of the ground plane can drastically change the patterns of the electromagnetic radiation of a monopole antenna as well as its RF performance. Extensive work [1,12-13] has been done on the numerical modeling of arbitrarily shaped ground planes. However, due to their geometric complexity, there is very little work reported on the practical testing component of physical antennas with these obscure ground plane structures. This thesis illustrates how the additive manufacturing process presented can be used to physically realize arbitrarily shaped ground planes and provides a low-cost process to verify the numerical model. Ground Planes were modified while maintaining the same antenna length to evaluate the impact on antenna performance. The antenna was not optimized or changed to a standard antenna design. Varying radius spherical ground planes are modelled, as well as modified ground plane structures to evaluate the impact of the ground plane on a 1.3GHz monopole antenna's performance and in some cases to modify the antenna's performance in terms of gain, bandwidth, and radiation pattern. Designs such as the planar ground with horn was found to enhance monopole bandwidth by more than 5 times that of a standard planar ground but significantly deteriorate the antenna's radiation pattern. Moreover, complex geometry such as the fin sphere ground plane offered a 25% increase in gain relative to the standard sphere ground. Designs like the edge-mounted sphere can offer directive gain and radiation characteristics simply by altering the antennas' location mount location with respect to its ground plane. The techniques presented in this thesis offer new ways of producing 3-D printed ground planes for RF applications that are easier to manufacture, lighter in weight, and can enhance antenna performance over their conventional counterparts.
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