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PIERS Proceedings, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012

A New Compact Size Fractal Based Microstrip Slot Antenna for GPS Applications
Jawad K. Ali1 , Zaid A. Abed AL-Hussain2 , Ammer A. Osman2 , and Ali J. Salim1

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq 2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq

Abstract A circularly polarized single feed microstrip slot antenna has been introduced in
this paper as a candidate for use in GPS applications. The slot structure of the proposed antenna has been created on the radiating patch in two steps. At rst, a 45 degree rotated square has been etched at the center of the patch, and then a Sierpinski gasket type of the 3rd iteration occupies the resulting slot. The presented antenna has been fed with a single 50 Ohm probe. The feed position has been allocated in such away to produce the dual orthogonal modes required to produce the circular polarization radiation. The antenna has been designed to resonate at 1.575 GHz, L1 GPS band. Finite element simulations have been carried out to evaluate the performance of the modeled antenna using the HFSS v.11 EM simulator, from Ansoft. The resulting antenna has a slotted square patch with side length of about 40 mm. Simulation results show that it possesses impedance and axial ratio bandwidths of about 27 MHz and 22 MHz respectively, which meet the GPS L1 band requirement. Furthermore, the proposed antenna possesses satisfactory circular polarization radiation characteristics and gain. The antenna can be used for a wide variety of communication applications adopting circular polarization. 1. INTRODUCTION

Circularly polarized (CP) microstrip antennas with a small size, low prole, and light weight are required in mobile, wireless communication system, global positioning system (GPS), satellite communications, etc.. In these applications, the circular polarization contributes to the high link reliability and spectral eciency [1]. However, microstrip patch antennas, when used for circular polarization application, suer from the poor axial ratio (AR) bandwidths; which are typically less than 1% (AR < 3 dB) [2, 3]. On other hand, the application of fractal geometries on microstrip antennas makes them more attractive for antenna designers. Fractal geometry based antennas are characterized by the compact size and the multiband performance. Several research works, [410], have successfully applied many fractal geometries to produce antennas with good circular polarization radiation. Koch fractal based structures have proposed for CP antennas in [4, 5]. A CP patch antenna based on hi-impedance surface electromagnetic bandgap (EBG) structure has been reported in [6], where Minkowski fractal geometry has been applied to reduce the size of the EBG cells. Fractal structures based on the square and triangular shapes, as generators in fractal generation process, have been also examined to be used for CP antenna applications [710]. Most of the reported research works, an AR bandwidth of more than 1% has been reached, but certainly there are some exceptions [5]. However, the application of fractal geometries to design circularly polarized antennas for GPS applications is still limited to several works, to name a few [11, 12]. The same concept used in [6], has been reproduced to design an antenna for use in GPS applications [11]. Koch fractal structure is employed in the design of a GPS antenna piezoelectric substrate [12]. In this paper, a new compact size, circularly polarized microstrip fractal based slot antenna is presented. This antenna slot structure is based upon the inverted Sierpinski gasket fractal geometry of the 3rd iteration. The presented antenna is fed with a single 50 probe. The antenna is supposed to be used for GPS L1 applications.

The steps of generating the proposed antenna structure are shown in Figure 1. The rst step is to cut a 45 rotated square patch as depicted in Figure 1(a), where it is clear that the resulting slot structure is divided into two similar triangles. The subsequent steps are to make use of inverted Sierpinski gaskets of the rst, second and third iterations to occupy the depicted two triangles slot, as shown in Figures 1(b) to 1(d) respectively. It is clear that the resulting structures have increasing number of sub slot, according to the fractal iteration levels, which consequently increase the equivalent radiating edge lengths. This considerably contributes in the resulting antenna to

Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, KL, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012 701

(a) (b) (c) (d) Figure 1: Steps of the fractal generation process of the proposed slot antenna structure.

Figure 2: Summary of the dimensions (in mm) of the modeled antenna at 1.575 GHz.

Figure 3: The simulated return loss response of the modeled antenna over the resonant band.

become smaller and smaller. In addition, the geometric symmetry of the resulting structure makes the possibility of the corresponding antenna more probable.

Many antennas based on the structures, depicted in Figure 1, have been modeled in an attempt to design a compact size circularly polarized antenna meeting the requirements of the GPS L1 applications. The results of the modeled antennas, corresponding to the structures shown in Figures 1(b) and 1(c), are not so encouraging in both size reduction and the performance as well. To save space, only the antenna with slot structure based on the 3rd inverted Sierpinski gasket, Figure 1(d), will be considered here. The slot structure has been supposed to be etched using the Rogers RT/Duriod 5880 substrate, with relative permittivity of 2.2, and thickness of 2.3 mm. A single 50 probe has been used to feed the modeled antenna. The modeled antenna had been located parallel to XY -plane and centered at the origin. Modeling and theoretical performance of the modeled antenna structure have been carried out using the nite element based electromagnetic simulator, HFSS v11, from Ansoft [13].

It has been found that, the proposed antenna oers considerable return loss response with an impedance bandwidth of about 27 MHz, centered at the design frequency, 1.575 GHz. For this, the antenna has an overall size of 40 mm 40 mm. Figure 2 summarizes all the detailed dimensions of the proposed antenna at resonance. Figure 3 demonstrates the simulated return loss (S11 ) response, for the 3rd iteration based slot antenna. It can be noted that at the resonant frequency, 1.576 GHz, the antenna input return loss is of about 15.75 dB, and the realized impedance bandwidth is of about 1.64%. Figure 4 shows the axial ratio response for the proposed antenna. It can be seen that the axial ratio in the broadside direction is below 3 dB throughout a bandwidth of about 21.04 MHz. Minimum value of AR, 0.578 dB, takes place at 1.575 GHz. Computed antenna gain, throughout this bandwidth, is found to be around 3.86 dB. It is clear that this antenna meets the requirements for GPS L1 standard communication applications [14, 15]. The simulated 3D and the RHCP far eld radiation patterns of the modeled antenna have been shown in Figures 5 and 6 respectively at 1.575 GHz. The proposed antenna supports an electric


PIERS Proceedings, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012

Figure 4: The axial ratio response of the antenna over the resonant band.

Figure 5: The simulated 3D E-eld radiation pattern at 1.575 GHz.

Figure 6: The simulated RHCP E-eld radiation pattern at 1.575 GHz.

Figure 7: Surface current distribution on the slot patch of the modeled antenna at 1.575 GHz.

eld radiation pattern that occupies the upper hemispheric shape required for the GPS operation. The simulated current distribution, at the surface of the modeled antenna, has been presented at 1.575 GHz as shown in Figure 7. Largest values of the surface currents have been found to take place along the edges corners of antenna structure. It indicates that, the resonance at 1.575 GHz is mainly attributed by the smaller triangles that constitute the 3rd iteration inverted Sierpinski gasket based fractal slot patch antenna. It is worth to say, here, that symmetrical distribution of these small structures about the feed primarily supports producing the RHCP requirement of the GPS antenna radiation pattern. The fact has been assured from the simulation results (not shown due to limited space) of the previous iterations depicted in Figures 1(b) and 1(c), where the values of the AR become better as the smaller sub structures start to appear.

In this paper, a new fractal based circularly polarized slot microstrip antenna has been presented as a candidate for use in GPS L1 applications. The proposed antenna oers a size reduction of about 61.6% as compared with the conventional square patch. In addition, the proposed antenna has been found to oer reasonable circular polarization performance. It oers a good 3 dB axial ratio bandwidth of about 1.34% and an impedance bandwidth of about 1.63%, covering the bandwidth requirements of the standard GPS L1 application. Furthermore, the antenna has a hemispherical radiation pattern with an average gain of about 3.86 dB throughout the operating bandwidth. This makes the proposed antenna design suitable for use in the GPS L1 applications.

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Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, KL, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012 703

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