Skip to Main Content
A reconfigurable aperture (RECAP) antenna is described in which a planar array of electrically small, metallic patches are interconnected by switches. The antenna can be reconfigured to meet different performance goals by changing the switches that are open and closed. The switch configuration for a particular goal is determined using an optimizer, such as the genetic algorithm. First, the basic concept for the RECAP antenna is verified by comparing theoretical results with measurements for configurations in which the switches are simply wires connecting the patches. Next, details are given for a prototype antenna in which field-effect transistor based electronic switches are used with optical control. Theoretical results for the prototype antenna are then compared with measurements for cases in which electronic reconfiguration is used to change the bandwidth of operation or steer the pattern of the antenna. Finally, an overview of alternate switch/control strategies, some of which were tested, is given along with suggestions for improving the next generation of this antenna.