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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 57, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2009

A Microstrip Antenna Array for Indoor


Wireless Dynamic Environments
Mohamed Elhefnawy and Widad Ismail

AbstractA planar microstrip antenna array with a Butler matrix


has been implemented to form a microstrip antenna array that has
narrow beamwidth, circular polarization, and polarization diversity. This
microstrip antenna array improves the system performance in indoor
wireless dynamic environments. A circularly polarized microstrip antenna
array is designed such that it consists of four identical linearly polarized
patches. A 2 2 planar microstrip antenna array and a 4 4 Butler
matrix have been designed and simulated using advanced design system
and Matlab software. The measured results show that a combination of a
planar microstrip antenna array and a 4 4 Butler matrix creates four
beams; two of these beams have right-hand circular polarization and the
other two have left-hand circular polarization.
Index TermsAntenna radiation patterns, circular polarization, microstrip antennas.

I. INTRODUCTION
The effect of path loss, interference, polarization mismatch, and multipath on the performance of a radio communications link continues to
present one of the major challenges to wireless systems, especially for
indoor dynamic environments. The implementation of an antenna with
a narrower beamwidth helps combat impairments such as path loss and
interference. The polarization mismatch can degrade the signal by more
than 20 dB in a linearly polarized system. Polarization mismatch will
be eliminated if both the transmitter and the receiver implement a circularly polarized antenna system but it will cause up to 3 dB loss in the
signal strength if a circularly polarized antenna is with a linearly polarized antenna [1]. The implementation of circular polarization is more
suitable for indoor wireless dynamic environments because it does not
require an alignment between the transmitting and receiving antenna,
However, the effect of the reflection in a multipath channel can reflect right-hand circular polarization (RHCP) wave and changes it to
left-hand circular polarization (LHCP) wave and vice versa [2], [3].
The use of an antenna that has circular polarization diversity combats
the effect of the reflection in a multipath channel. In [4], a linear microstrip antenna array, consisting of four linearly polarized identical
elements is fed by a 4 2 4 Butler matrix; four distinct linearly polarized beams are generated in this case without circular polarization. In
[5][7], a 2 2 2 antenna array is fed by a feeding network which produces four orthogonal phases (i.e., 0 , 90 , 180 , and 270 ); the obtained beam has a circular polarization without diversity. Although the
reconfigurable patch antennas can provide a circular polarization diversity, this type of antennas may hardly receive LHCP and RHCP signals
simultaneously [8][10]. In this communication, four beams that have
circular polarization diversity, high gain, good axial ratio, and wide
bandwidth are obtained by implementing the 4 2 4 Butler matrix as a
feeding network to the 2 2 2 antenna array. The circular polarization
diversity is generated by rotating the linearly polarized identical elements of the planar microstrip antenna array so that the E -field in the
Manuscript received June 15, 2008; revised May 05, 2009. First published
July 07, 2009; current version published December 01, 2009.
The authors are with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
(e-mail: hefnawy@yahoo.com; eewidad@eng.usm.my).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this communication are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2009.2026712

Fig. 1. Butler matrix geometry.

x-direction is equal to the E -field in the y -direction. Then, by feeding


the planar array with Butler matrix provides phase delay of 6=2 between those two E -fields. This communication is organized as follows.
A 4 2 4 Butler matrix design is discussed in Section II. A mathematical
representation of a planar microstrip antenna array with Butler matrix
has been explained in Section III. Simulated and measured results are
discussed in Section IV, and Section V concludes.
II. DESIGN OF A 4 2 4 BUTLER MATRIX
The Butler matrix is used as a feeding network to the microstrip antenna array; it works equally well in receive and transmit mode. The
geometry of the Butler matrix is shown in Fig. 1; the 4 2 4 Butler matrix consists of 4 inputs, 4 outputs, 4 hybrids, 1 crossover to isolate
the cross-lines in the planar layout and some phase shifters [11]. Each
input of the 4 2 4 Butler matrix inputs produces a different set of 4 orthogonal phases; each set used as an input for the four element antenna
array creates a beam with a different direction. The switching between
the four Butler inputs changes the direction of the microstrip antenna
array beam. Advanced design system (ADS) has been used for simulating the 4 2 4 Butler matrix. Table I shows a summary of the simulated and the measured phases that are associated with the selected
input of the 4 2 4 Butler matrix.
III. MICROSTRIP ANTENNA ARRAY WITH BUTLER MATRIX
A planar microstrip antenna array consists of four orthogonally oriented inset-fed rectangular patch antennas. As shown in Fig. 2; the circular polarization can be generated with linearly polarized elements
when all the adjacent elements are orthogonally oriented and are fed
by a Butler matrix to form two orthogonally polarized E -fields from
the four linearly polarized E -fields of the planar array elements [5],
[6]. The normalized instantaneous E -fields in x- and y -directions are
represented by (1) and (2), respectively

Ex planar = cos(!t 0 Ko z + A)
+ cos(! t 0 Ko z + C)
Ey planar = cos(! t 0 Ko z + B)
+ cos(! t 0 Ko z + D)

(1)
(2)

where Ko is the propagation constant in free space and ! is the angular


frequency. The values of A, B, C, and D phases in the above equations
are changed according to the selected port of 4 2 4 Butler matrix.

0018-926X/$26.00 2009 IEEE

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 57, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2009

TABLE I
PHASES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SELECTED INPUT OF THE 4

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2 4 BUTLER MATRIX

Fig. 2. Phases associated with each port of the planar microstrip antenna array
with 4 4 Butler matrix.

The instantaneous field of the plane wave traveling in positive z -direction is given by

E(z; t) = Ex planar x^ + Ey planar y^:

(3)

For the planar microstrip antenna array that consisted of identical


patches, the magnitude of Ex planar is equal to Ey planar . As shown
in Fig. 2, when port 1 or port 2 is selected, the phase delay between
Ey planar and Ex planar will be 0(=2) and RHCP is generated. The
LHCP is obtained when port 3 or port 4 is selected because the phase
delay between Ey planar and Ex planar will be +(=2).
IV. SIMULATED AND MEASURED RESULTS
To design the planar microstrip antenna array, the spacing distance
between the patches in x-direction (dx ) has been determined based on
the generated total normalized E -plane radiation pattern of the planar
microstrip antenna array (ET  ) versus the elevation angle () at different values of dx [12], [13]. The fixed beams get narrower as dx is
increased, but to maintain balance between narrower beams and smallsize antenna array, and also to avoid the grating lobes dx = 0:53 (free
space wavelength) has been selected. The spacing distance between

Fig. 3. Fabricated planar microstrip antenna array with 4

2 4 Butler matrix.

the patches in y -direction (dy ) has been determined based on the relationship between dy and the generated total normalized H -plane radiation pattern of the planar microstrip antenna array (HT  ) [13]. The
value of HT  is equal to the value of ET  divided by the intrinsic
impedance of the free space; so HT  is not sensitive to the change
in the separation distance dy because its value is much smaller than
the value of ET  , but dy = 0:53 (free space wavelength) has been
selected to maintain a balance between the avoidance of mutual coupling and the small-size antenna array. The planar microstrip antenna
array with 4 2 4 Butler matrix has been fabricated using Rogerss substrate of thickness h = 0:85 mm, loss tangent = 0:0021, and dielectric constant "r = 3:38, as shown in Fig. 3. The inset-fed rectangular
microstrip patch antenna has been designed at a resonant frequency
equal to 2.437 GHz using Matlab, and then simulated using ADS [14].
The measured and the simulated values of the reflection coefficient at
each port of the planar microstrip antenna array with 4 2 4 Butler matrix versus the frequency band of 1.43 GHz are shown in Fig. 4. The
phases associated with the ports of the Butler matrix result in the existence of different voltages and different input impedances at the ports
of the Butler matrix; so the reflection coefficient at these ports will not

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 57, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2009

Fig. 4. Reflection coefficient versus frequency for the planar microstrip antenna array with 4

Fig. 5. Measured axial ratio versus frequency for the planar microstrip antenna array with 4

be the same owing to the relationship between the reflection coefficient and input impedance. The mutual coupling between the patches
induces modes matched to 50
impedance at frequency ranges outside the required bandwidth, which centered at 2.437 GHz (i.e., for
port 1, the measured reflection coefficient is less than 010 dB at ranges
18641885 MHz, 20142073 MHz, and 21452237 MHz owing to the
effect of the mutual coupling between the patches). The mutual coupling impedances between the patches are different because of the effect of the phases associated with the ports of the Butler matrix. Due
to the dissimilarity of the mutual coupling impedances, each port will
have reflection coefficient less than 010 dB over different frequency
ranges outside the required bandwidth [15]. Although the Butler matrix

2 4 Butler matrix.

2 4 Butler matrix.

reflection coefficients are not the same at all the ports, the reflection coefficients at all ports have good values over the required bandwidth. The
measured impedance bandwidth (for reflection coefficient < 010 dB)
at port 1, port 2, port 3, and port 4 are 18.8%, 12.52%, 12.5%, and
18.5%, respectively. The obtained impedance bandwidth of this planar
array is high when compared with a single microstrip patch antenna
that achieves 1% impedance bandwidth [16].
The measured 3 dB axial ratio bandwidth of port 1, port 2, port 3,
and port 4 are 4.35%, 4.9%, 3.6%, and 3.7%, respectively. The measured axial ratio versus frequency for the planar microstrip antenna
array with 4 2 4 Butler matrix is shown in Fig. 5. The implementation of the Butler matrix gives a wide band due to the absorption of

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 57, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2009

Fig. 6. Measured normalized radiation pattern of the planar microstrip antenna array with 4

Fig. 7. Measured axial ratios of the planar microstrip antenna array with 4

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2 4 Butler matrix at 2.437 GHz.

2 4 Butler matrix at 2.437 GHz.

the reflected power in the matched loads connected to the non-selected


ports of the butler matrix; moreover, the mutual coupling between the
patches enhances the bandwidth [15]. The measured normalized radiation pattern of the planar microstrip antenna array with 4 2 4 Butler
matrix is shown in Fig. 6. The planar microstrip antenna array that is fed
by the 4 2 4 Butler matrix has four beams at four different directions.
These beams have a circular polarization diversity because a beam with
RHCP will be obtained when port 1 or port 2 is selected; but if port 3 or

port 4 is selected a beam with LHCP will be generated. The measured


gains at 2.437 GHz for port 1, port 2, port 3, and port 4 are 9.74 dBi,
8.6 dBi, 9 dBi, and 10.1 dBi, respectively. The measured axial ratios of
the individual ports versus the elevation angle are shown in Fig. 7. A
good axial ratio (axial ratio < 3 dB) of port 1, port 2, port 3, and port
4 are achieved over angular ranges 036 to 61 ; 055 to 09 ; 031
to 81 and 090 to 15 , respectively. Radiation pattern and axial ratio
measurements have been carried out in a near field Satimo chamber.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. 57, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2009

V. CONCLUSION
A circularly polarized microstrip antenna array can be generated
with linearly polarized patches. The separation distance between the
patches in the x-direction has a strong effect on the E -plane of the
planar microstrip antenna array pattern, whereas the separation distance between the patches in the y -direction has a weak affect on the
H -plane of the planar microstrip antenna array pattern. Four narrow
beams at four different directions are obtained caused by the excitation
of a planar microstrip antenna array by a 4 2 4 Butler matrix; these
four beams have circular polarization diversity, good axial ratio, high
gain and wide bandwidth. Hence, a planar microstrip array with Butler
matrix is suitable for use in indoor wireless dynamic environments.

REFERENCES
[1] Air-Stream Wireless website [Online]. Available: http://www.airstream.org.au
[2] D. Manandhar, R. Shibasaki, and H. Torimoto, GPS reflected signal
analysis using software receiver, J. Global Positioning Syst., vol. 15,
pp. 2934, 2006.
[3] T. S. Rappaport, Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.
[4] N. T. Pham, L. Gye-An, and F. De Flaviis, Microstrip antenna array
with beamforming network for WLAN applications, in Proc. IEEE
Antennas Propag. Society Int. Symp., 2005, vol. 3A, pp. 267270.
[5] J. Huang, A technique for an array to generate circular polarization
with linearly polarized elements, IEEE Transactions on Antennas
Propag., vol. 34, pp. 11131124, 1986.
[6] J. Huang, C.P. microstrip array with wide axial ratio bandwidth and
single feed L.P. elements, in Proc. Antennas Propag. Society Int.
Symp., 1985, pp. 705708.
[7] A. A. Kishk, Application of rotated sequential feeding for circular
polarization bandwidth enhancement of planar arrays with single-fed
DRA elements, in Proc. IEEE Antennas Propag. Society Int. Symp.,
2003, vol. 4, pp. 664667.
[8] Y. J. Sung, T. U. Jang, and Y. S. Kim, A reconfigurable microstrip
antenna for switchable polarization, IEEE Microw. Wireless Compon.
Lett., vol. 14, pp. 534536, 2004.
[9] K. Chung, Y. Nam, T. Yun, and J. Choi, Reconfigurable microstrip
patch antenna with switchable polarization, ETRI, vol. 28, pp.
379382, 2006.
[10] Y. Fan and Y. Rahmat-Samii, A reconfigurable patch antenna using
switchable slots for circular polarization diversity, IEEE Microw.
Wireless Compon. Lett., vol. 12, pp. 9698, 2002.
[11] T. A. Denidni and T. E. Libar, Wide band four-port butler matrix for
switched multibeam antenna arrays, in Proc. 14th IEEE Proc. Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Commun., PIMRC, 2003, vol. 3, pp.
24612464.
[12] K. Chang, RF and Microwave Wireless Systems. New York: Wiley,
2000.
[13] L. Johan, Design and analysis of an electrically steerable microstrip
antenna for ground to air use, M.Sc. thesis, Comput. Sci. Elec. Eng.
Dept., Lule Univ. Technol., Lule, Sweden, 2002.
[14] W. Ismail, Active integrated antenna (AIA) with image rejection,
Ph.D. dissertation, Elect. Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. Birmingham,
Birmingham, AL, 2003.
[15] L. RongLin, P. Bo, J. Laskar, and M. M. Tentzeris, A novel low-profile
broadband dual-frequency planar antenna for wireless handsets, IEEE
Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 56, pp. 11551162, 2008.
[16] K. Carver and J. Mink, Microstrip antenna technology, IEEE Trans.
Antennas Propag., vol. 29, pp. 224, 1981.

High-Performance Uniformly Excited Linear and Planar


Arrays Based on Linear Semiarrays Composed of
Subarrays With Different Uniform Spacings
Marcos lvarez-Folgueiras, Juan A. Rodrguez-Gonzlez, and
Francisco Ares-Pena

AbstractThe generation of low-sidelobe sum-like patterns or pencil


beams by antenna arrays of minimal complexityin particular, with
uniform excitationsis still a challenging problem for antenna designers.
The novel approach described in the title, which combines the flexibility of
nonuniform element spacing with the constructional and/or computational
advantages of subarrays, is here shown to afford results that match or
surpass those of other published methods for linear, square planar and
circular planar arrays. It may also be used to optimize other parameters
instead of, or in addition to, sidelobe level.
Index TermsSubarrays, unequally spaced antenna arrays, uniformly
excited linear and planar arrays.

I. INTRODUCTION
Unequally spaced antenna arrays can have advantages over uniformly spaced arrays, the element spacing constituting a set of
additional degrees of freedom that can be manipulated to achieve
desired features of the pattern or antenna. Sidelobe levels (SLLs) can
be lowered without excitation amplitude tapering, mutual coupling
between elements can be reduced, grating lobes can be removed, and
a given aperture size can have fewer elements [1]. With regard to
SLL lowering, for example, 100 uniformly excited symmetric linear
arrays with SLLs of 022.1 and 022.4 dB have been synthesized
by thinning the corresponding =2-spaced array using respectively
a genetic algorithm [2] and particle swarm optimization [3], the
filling factor (the number of elements in the thinned array divided
by the number in the =2-spaced array) being 77% in both cases.
If between-element distances are unconstrained, it is even possible
to obtain an SLL of 022.7 dB with just 10 elements, although the
practical value of this theoretical solution is called into question by
its including between-element distances of just 0:2 [4]; and if the
requirement for array symmetry is relinquished, an SLL of 023.70 dB
can be achieved with 139 elements by priming a genetic algorithm
with solutions obtained using cyclic difference sets [5], [6]. For the
older literature on nonuniformly spaced arrays, Steinbergs book [7]
and references mentioned in [5] and [6] may be consulted.
The construction of an array from smaller subarrays has advantages
ranging from the simplification of feed networks to the reduction of
manufacturing costs [8]. For the designer, one advantage of the use
of subarrays is that it can enhance computational efficiency by greatly
reducing the dimensionality of the space in which any optimization
procedure employed in the design process is carried out, especially in
the case of planar arrays.

Manuscript received June 27, 2008; revised May 19, 2009. First published
June 30, 2009; current version published December 01, 2009. This work was
supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science under Project
TEC2008-04485.
The authors are with the Radiating Systems Group, Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela,
15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain (e-mail: fmarcos.alvarez@usc.es;
ja.rodriguez@usc.es; francisco.ares@usc.es).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this communication are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2009.2026497

0018-926X/$26.00 2009 IEEE