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Electrically-small antennas present high-Q impedances characterized by large reactances and small radiation resistances. For such antennas, the effectiveness of passive matching is severely limited by gain-bandwidth theory, which predicts narrow bandwidths and/or poor gain. With receivers, the inability to resolve this impedance mismatch results in poor signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, as compared to using a full-size antenna. With transmitters, the consequence is poor power efficiency. However, in many applications full-size antennas are impractical, and a means is required to effectively match their electrically-small counterparts. This paper presents the technique of non-Foster impedance matching, which employs active networks of negative inductors and capacitors to bypass the restrictions of gain-bandwidth theory. We first review the origins and development of non-Foster impedance matching, and then present experimental results for the non-Foster impedance matching of electrically-small dipoles and monopoles. For receivers, our best measurements on the antenna range demonstrate up to 20 dB improvement in S/N over 20-120 MHz; for transmitters, we show a power efficiency improvement which exceeds a factor of two over an 5% bandwidth about 20 MHz with an average signal power of 1 W to the radiation resistance.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2009