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A new reconfigurable out-of-plane microstrip patch antenna is presented. Using micromachining processes, a microstrip antenna designed for operation around 26 GHz is covered with a thin layer of magnetic material and released from the substrate. Application of an external DC magnetic field causes plastic deformation of the antenna at the boundary point where it is attached to the microstrip feed line, resulting in a patch positioned at an angle over the substrate. Frequency and pattern reconfigurability are demonstrated with measurements. Results indicate that versions of this structure may be used to expand or enhance the capabilities of traditional planar arrays.
Date of Publication: March 2003