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Radiofrequency MEMS-enabled polarisation reconfigurable antenna arrays on multilayer liquid crystal polymer

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4 Author(s)
Wang, G. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA ; Bairavasubramanian, R. ; Pan, B. ; Papapolymerou, J.

The development of polarisation-reconfigurable antenna arrays on multilayer liquid crystal polymer (LCP) technology for remote sensing applications is presented for the first time. Two 2×2 antenna arrays operating at 14 and 35 GHz have been designed, fabricated and measured. These arrays use printed patch antenna elements and can operate in two linear orthogonal polarisations, one at a time. Switching between the polarisations is achieved using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that are integrated with the arrays. It is well known that the performance of patch antennas depends strongly on the characteristics of the substrate. In addition, the application under consideration (remote sensing) puts stringent requirements on the underlying material technology. Specifically, the material technology needs to support large area processing, multilayer implementation and easy deployment in space. LCP, with a unique combination of characteristics and good millimeter wave performance, offers an excellent solution. Its flexible properties allow for the material to be rolled up and deployed in space. The array design methodology together with fabrication of radiofrequency MEMS switches on LCP is discussed. Scattering parameter and radiation pattern measurements are included.

Published in:

Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation, IET  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 13 )