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Design of single feed circularly polarized microstrip

antenna using truncated corner method

Mohd Aly Rajaie bin Halim and Puan Elfarizanis bt Baharudin

Department of Electronic communication Engineering

Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Kolej Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein Onn
Beg Berkunci 101, 86400 Parit Raja , Batu Pahat, Johor

ABSTRACT antenna for communication systems has directed

Circularly polarized (CP) antennas are often researchers to improve the performance of
used in deep space or satellite communications. circularly polarized microstrip antenna. This
In general, an antenna will radiate an elliptical project is a hardware and software design. It will
polarization, which is defined by axial ratio, tilt involve the planning, designing, simulating,
angle, and sense of rotation. This project was fabricating, and testing process. The simulation
developed to implement the concept of circularly process will be done using software while the
polarized microstrip antenna. A simple design fabrication process will be done using milling
for circularly polarized single feed microstrip machine.
square patch antenna is presented. The design The objectives of this project are to
method consists of pair of truncated corners with design and fabricate the circularly polarized
suitable cutting side length is introduced at the microstrip antenna using truncated square patch
patch corner as perturbation elements or which can operated at 2.4 GHz frequency
perturbation segments. The main objective of resonant. The other objectives are to investigate
this project is to design and investigate the the characteristics of this antenna and analyze the
characteristic of the circularly polarized overall results that get from simulation and
microstrip antenna that operate at 2.4 GHz measurement.
frequency operation.
Keywords-: circular polarization, return loss,
axial ratio, bandwidth, voltage standing wave Polarization is defined as the orientation of the
ratio, left hand circular polarization, right hand electric field of an electromagnetic wave.
polarization. Polarization is in general described by an ellipse.
Two special cases of elliptical polarization are
1. INTRODUCTION linear polarization and circular polarization. The
initial polarization of a radio wave is determined
Microstrip antenna (MA) consists of a patch of by the antenna. In circular polarization, the
metallization on a grounded substrate. These are electric field vector appears to be rotating with
low profile, lightweight antennas, most suitable circular motion about the direction of
for aerospace and mobile application. Because propagation, making one full turn for each RF
of their low-power handling capability, these cycle. This rotation may be right-hand or left-
antennas can be used in low-power transmitting hand. Choice of polarization is one of the design
and receiving application. Microstrip antenna choices available to the RF system designer.
offers over than other type of antennas due to There are several advantages of circular
their advantages and increasingly used in a polarization compare with other polarization
variety applications such as military, industry, such as reflectivity, absorption, phasing issues,
and wireless communication. Increasing multi-path, inclement weather, and line of sight.
demands for circular polarization microstrip

∆s =

Input return loss or S parameter is known as Where, Δs is the areas of the perturbations with x
scattering parameters. S parameter is a set of length and Q is the quality factor for a square
parameters describing the scattering and patch with dimension a. Figure 1 shows the
reflection of traveling waves when a network is geometry of CP antenna.
inserted into transmission line. S parameters are
normally used to characterize high frequency
network, where simple models valid at lower
frequencies cannot be applied.


The bandwidth can be the range of frequencies

on either side of the center frequency where the
antenna characteristics like input impedance,
radiation pattern, beam width, polarization, side
lobe level or gain, are close to those values
which have been obtained at the center
frequency. The bandwidth of a broadband
antenna can be defined as the ratio of the upper
to lower frequencies of acceptable operation


Figure 1: Circularly polarized single fed patch
Various type of circularly polarized antennas
have been reported so far with several feeding
techniques [3]. Two commonly used CP
antennas are a single feed corner truncated
square patch antenna and a dual feed square
patch with 90 degrees phase shift between two There are a few things need to be considered in
feeds [4]. this project. Some important steps must be
In this paper truncated corner square followed to ensure the aim of the project
patch antenna is used. In this configuration, the
orthogonal field components in phase quadrature
are excited by feeding it using coaxial feed. The
signal injected by the feed fields to propagate in
one direction guided transmission line formed by
the patch. The perturbation section scatters the
feed fields into a mode that is partially
orthogonal to the previous mode. In actually,
perturbations create two new modes modifying
the original modes. For circular polarization
these two modes must have equal amplitudes and
differ in phase by 90 degrees which can
controlled by proper setting of feed point and achieved. They are started by planning,
perturbation section [5]. The condition for designing, then simulating, fabricating, and
circular polarization and expressions for the size testing process.
of perturbation and orthogonal modes are related
to antenna unloaded Q. the relations are Figure 2: The methodology of the project.
expressed as follows [7]:
A. Planning

In this paper single fed CP antenna are designed
There are many materials can be used in order to with using FR-4 as substrate layer with εr=4.5,
design a microstrip antenna, for example, dielectric thickness 1.6 mm. The antenna is
RT/DUROID 5880, R3003, R04003, and FR4. fabricated at UTHM Printed Circuit Board
However, FR-4 is decided to be used since the (PCB) Fabrication Laboratory. The SMA
cost is cheaper rather than others. The FR-4 has connector is soldered near the edge of the patch
the dielectric constant 4.5 and thickness 1.6 mm. and a radiation characteristic for this element is
measured. Figure 4 shows the CP antenna after
B. Design parameters fabricated process.

The antenna was aimed to operate at 2.4 GHz

with input impedance 50Ω. Measured resonant
frequency is usually lower than the resonant
frequency obtained by software due to
manufacture tolerance, measurement tolerance
and accuracy of software. To calculate the
perturbation segments, it is necessary to know
the unloaded Q value of the antenna as a
function of substrate thickness and dielectric
constant. Standard equations are given to
calculate the Q in [3] and [5]. After determining
length the square patch, quality factor related to
the substrate thickness is calculated. Then
amount of perturbation is calculated by (1).
Consequently, the dimension of the antenna is: Figure 4: CP truncated corner microstrip antenna
a=29.118mm, x=5.34mm,

E. Testing
There are two types of testing or measurements
involve in this project. One is the return loss,
input impedance, vswr, test using network
analyzer. The other part is the antenna radiation
pattern test which involves the use of equipments
like rotating antenna platform, transmitter, and
using CASSY Lab software. Figure 5 shows the
measurement of CP microstrip antenna.

Figure 3: The truncated corner microstrip


C. Simulation
The simulation process of the antenna is using
CST microwave studio. Using software, the
truncated segments as well as the patch
dimension is adjusted to yield a peak axial ratio
at the desired frequency.
Figure 5: Radiation pattern setup

D. Fabrication

In figures 6 and 7 simulated and measured
results of return loss of antenna have been
represented. In simulation process the antenna
has been considered lossless and therefore
minimum of measured return loss is different
from simulated result. Based on figure 6, the
input return loss of the antenna at 2.4 GHz
operating frequency is -26.81 dB, this value is
larger than -10 db and it’s accepted in order to
fabricate an antenna. Besides that, this value also
shows the feeder point is the optimum feeder
point. In figure 7, the input return loss for this
antenna is -23.785 db at 2.4 GHz. Figure 8 show
the Comparison input return loss (dB) from Figure 6: Simulated input return loss
simulation and measurement. it is clearly seen
that there is a frequency shift between the
measured and simulation of the microstrip
antenna. The exact value is 2.415 GHz which is
the value of return loss is -27.3 dB. This means
that the measured resonant frequency is shifted
15 MHz over the operating frequency. It is
mainly due to the size of the patch especially the
length (L) and the perturbation segments for the
microstrip antenna. Due to inaccuracy in
fabrication process, the size of patch will either
increase or decrease. This will definitely bring to
the shifting in the resonant frequency which the
increase in the length of the patch will decrease
the resonant frequency or vice versa. The
difference in return loss reading between the Figure 7: Measured input return loss
measured and simulated result is mainly caused
by the feed-point location. The effect of the feed-
point location will bring to the condition where
the antenna is either matched or mismatched
with the feed line. If the antenna is mismatch,
not all the available power from the source is
delivered to antenna. This loss is called return
loss (RL). the variation of return loss value
indicates the variation in the reflection
coefficient value. The decrease in return loss
(<negative) also indicates increase in the
mismatch between the antenna and the
transmission line.

Figure 8: Comparison input return loss.

Figure 10: voltage standing wave ratio

Another important measurement for microstrip

antenna is standing wave ratio (SWR). it means
that the indication of the match between input
impedance of antenna and impedance of the
signal source. Figure 9 show the value of VSWR
on this antenna. The VSWR for this antenna is
1.096 and it’s below 2, so, this antenna can
operate at 2.4 GHz frequency operation. Figure
10 show the measurement result of this antenna,
the value of VSWR for this antenna is 1.1371
and its means that this value lowers than 2. So,
this antenna is well match and can operate at 2.4 Figure 11: Comparison value of VSWR
GHz operating frequency. Since the VSWR,
return loss and reflection coefficient are related
to each other which are use to determine the Figure 11 illustrates the impedance locus from
matching between antenna and transmission line. 2.0 GHz to 3 GHz. The simulated input
Therefore, the reason that causes the difference impedance at 2.4 GHZ operating frequency is
in VSWR reading due the improper placement of 54.41 – j 1.807 Ω. This means that the antenna is
feed-point location. not well match to the feed line of 50 Ω, and the
figure 12 show the measurement result of input
impedance, the input impedance at 2.4 GHz for
this antenna is 54.053 + j 5.2129 Ω. This
measured value also not well match to the feed
line of 50Ω.

Figure 9: voltage standing wave ratio (simulated)

Figure 11: Input impedance (simulated)

Figure 14: Right polarization (RHCP)
The antenna gain of this microstrip antenna is
Figure 12: Input impedance (measurement) defined in far-field region. From simulation at
figure 15, the gain of this antenna is 6.293 dB at
operating frequency of 2.4 GHz.
Figure 13 and 14 shows the polarization of this
antenna. This antenna has two type polarizations,
which is left polarization and right polarization.
From figure 4.12, at frequency 2.4 GHz, this
antenna has angular width (3db) about 81.3
degrees and for right polarization, the angular
width (3db) about 92.3 deg.

Figure 15: Simulated gain of microstrip antenna.

The radiation pattern in the ABS, THETA, and

PHI component in 2D for the microstrip antenna
are shown in Figure 16, 17, 18. THETA
component is also can be termed as elevation,
which means the angle varies from -90 degrees
Figure 13: Left polarization (LHCP) (straight down) to +90 degrees (overhead).
Besides, PHI component is also can be termed as
azimuth angle, which mean the angle varies from
0 to 360 degrees. From Figure 16, it can seen
that at 2.4 GHz frequency, the main lobe
magnitude for microstrip antenna is -6.3 dBi, and
the value of main lobe direction and angular
width (3dB) is 5.0 and 158.2 degrees. Besides,
Figure 18 shows the radiation patterns in PHI
component or azimuth angle for microstrip
antenna. At 2.4 GHz frequency, the main lobe
magnitude for microstrip antenna is 6.1 dBi., and
the value of angular width (3dB) is 87.1 degrees.

Figure 18: Radiation pattern for PHI component.

The circularly polarized truncated square
microstrip antenna at 2.4 GHz has been
designed, fabricated and tested. Measured results
of resonant frequency, return loss, radiation
pattern, bandwidth were presented. The objective
of this project not fulfilled reached because the
resonant frequency is shifted 15 MHz over the
2.4 GHz. Since bandwidth is related to quality
factor of the square patch. By comparing the
simulated values obtained from the CST
microwave studio with the measured values of
Figure 16: Radiation pattern for theta component the fabricated microstrip antenna, it ca be seen
that the real antenna actually have better
performance than predicted by the simulation
software. Through this project, much experience
and knowledge about microstrip antenna have
gained. From the design process, the knowledge
of using CST microwave studio to design the
microstrip antenna would be an invaluable tool
for my future career as an engineer. During the
testing process, the experience of using network
analyzer, CASSY Lab, will enhance my hand on

Figure 17: Radiation pattern for ABS component
The author would like to thank to his
supervisor Puan Elfarizanis Bt Baharudin who
throughout the year has been advising, guiding,
supporting and keep motivating him till the
completion of the project and for all companions
and friends for supporting the author till the
completion of the project.


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