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Recent efforts by several researchers around the world to combine fractal geometry with electromagnetic theory have led to a plethora of new and innovative antenna designs. In this report, we provide a comprehensive overview of recent developments in the rapidly growing field of fractal antenna engineering. Fractal antenna engineering research has been primarily focused in two areas: the first deals with the analysis and design of fractal antenna elements, and the second concerns the application of fractal concepts to the design of antenna arrays. Fractals have no characteristic size, and are generally composed of many copies of themselves at different scales. These unique properties of fractals have been exploited in order to develop a new class of antenna-element designs that are multi-band and/or compact in size. On the other hand, fractal arrays are a subset of thinned arrays, and have been shown to possess several highly desirable properties, including multi-band performance, low sidelobe levels, and the ability to develop rapid beamforming algorithms based on the recursive nature of fractals. Fractal elements and arrays are also ideal candidates for use in reconfigurable systems. Finally, we provide a brief summary of recent work in the related area of fractal frequency-selective surfaces.
Date of Publication: Feb 2003