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The goal of this research is to develop an unconstrained reconfigurable programmable array antenna. The concept is to build microstrip patch antenna arrays using individual controllable pixels. The aperture of the system is made up of a large array of small (1/10 lambda) pixels. Each pixel is a small piston made up of a metal top, a dielectric shaft, and a metal base. The pistons can be moved up and down under computer control. When all pistons are in the down position, a ground plane is created. When a line of pixels is raised into the up position, a microstrip transmission line (a metal line over a dielectric substrate) is created. A patch antenna is created when multiple pixels are raised into the up position to form a larger rectangle or other shape.
Date of Conference: 1-5 June 2009