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A parasitic layer-based multifunctional reconfigurable antenna (MRA) design based on multi-objective genetic algorithm optimization used in conjunction with full-wave EM analysis is presented. The MRA is capable of steering its beam into three different directions (θi = -30°, 0°, 30°) simultaneously with polarization reconfigurability (Pj = Linear, Circular) having six different modes of operation. The MRA consists of a driven microstrip-fed patch element and a reconfigurable parasitic layer, and is designed to be compatible with IEEE-802.11 WLAN standards (5-6 GHz range). The parasitic layer is placed on top of the driven patch. The upper surface of the parasitic layer has a grid of 5 5 electrically small rectangular-shaped metallic pixels, i.e., reconfigurable parasitic pixel surface. The EM energy from the driven patch element couples to the reconfigurable parasitic pixel surface by mutual coupling. The adjacent pixels are connected/disconnected by means of switching, thereby changing the geometry of pixel surface, which in turn changes the current distribution over the parasitic layer, results in the desired mode of operation in beam direction and polarization. A prototype of the designed MRA has been fabricated on quartz substrate. The results from simulations and measurements agree well indicating ~8 dB gain in all modes of operation.