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GPR Vivaldi Antenna with DGS for archeological

Diego Pealoza-Aponte, Juan Alvarez-Montoya and Mark Clemente-Arenas
Grupo Radio Frecuencia y Microondas G-RFM, DIDT
Instituto Nacional de Investigacin y Capacitacin, Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera INICTEL-UNI
Av. San Luis 1771, San Borja, Lima 41

Abstract In this paper, three Vivaldi antenna are other authors to achieve an antenna for its requirements, this
introduced to compare their performance. As base for our study work gives a general outlook of Vivaldis features and a
an ordinary Vivaldi antenna is designed. Then defected ground method to design Vivaldi antennas which in this work was
structures (DGS) are employed to extend the low-end bandwidth
limitation and improve the radiation characteristics at lower followed. Rajamarahm [4] develops a thesis about an array of
frequencies. A prototypes with 4 pairs of DGS placed in the Vivaldi antennas for a snow radar, it also gives a general
antennas is fabricated and experimentally compared with the outlook of Vivaldi antennas from 2GHz to 8GHz. Then,
ordinary Vivaldi antenna. Reflection coefficient is measured Nevrly [5] and Erdogan [6] in 2007 and 2009 respectively
indicating a reasonable agreement with simulations. These results performed a study about Vivaldi Antennas, which gives a
validate the benefits of DGS in Vivaldi antennas to its application
good guideline for Vivaldi antennas design. Finally, Elsheakh
for a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).
[7] design a Vivaldi antenna for water detection using a GPR,
Keywords Vivaldi Antennas, defected ground structures which works from 50MHz to 300MHz, the design use
(DGS), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). defected ground structures (DGS) for improve radiation
characteristics and reduce the electrical length of the antenna,
I. INTRODUCTION this antenna has a good reflection coefficient at -10 dB for
lower frequencies but low gain and directivity. A first design
Caral is the oldest city of Peru where the first Andean
inspired in [7] is presented trying to reply the simulation with
civilization was stablished and as the same as Mesopotamia,
some changes to improve the gain. Then, antennas were
Egypt, India, China and Mesoamerica are the cultural focus in
the world. The great relevance of research of this fabricated and their reflection coefficient was measured to
validate the bandwidth needed for this application.
archeological remains motivated INICTEL-UNI and the
The simulations were made with the software HFSS (High
Archeological site of Caral to collaborate in a project related
Frequencies Structures Simulation) version 18.1. The project
to find the old graveyard that is supposed to be buried more was sponsored by General Institute of Research (IGI) of
than 12 m. To realize this work, the use of a GPR was National University of Engineering and the fabrication and
proposed to be able to penetrate beyond 12m, but a radar with measurement were implemented at INICTEL-UNI.
this features is not commercially accessible because is
necessary to work at half frequencies of typical commercial II. ANTENNA DESIGN
radars (approximately at 220MHz). Then, to develop a GPR
As it was mentioned, the design of Elsheak was taken as
for lower frequencies mainly involve design an antenna with
inspiration for our first simulation. The dimensions of the
good radiation characteristics, small enough, portable and
antenna are set to be 525mm x 750mm, which is
compact. It is also needed to use double polarization to have
approximately 0.35 x 0.5, where is the wavelength of
two signals for the same sampled trajectory followed by the
200MHz. The antenna is feed through a microstrip/slotline
radar, to minimize the effects of decreasing frequency in
transition that works as Balun. An experimental investigation
resolution [1]. Then, a Vivaldi Antenna was chosen because of
about modeling this transition was studied by Schuppert [8]
its numerous advantages such as low profile, light weight, low
and it was used as a guide to optimize this section of the
fabrication cost, good radiation, etc.
antenna and to match it to a 50 coaxial-line. The FR4 is
The Vivaldi Antenna was first proposed by Gibson in 1979 [2]
used as substrate (thickness=1.6mm, dielectric constant=4.4,
and it was mainly used in applications as radars, remote
loss tangent=0.02). The original Vivaldis dimensions are
sensing, satellite communications, Radio telescopes, etc.
show in Fig. 1 (a) and values are show in Table I. The
Therefore, GPR applications are focused for that, the work of
exponential profile curve employed in two sections are
Ben Panzer in 2007 [3] can be highlighted where a statistic
described with the next equations:
recompilation of Vivaldi antennas design is summarized from

978-1-5090-6363-5/17/$31.00 2017 IEEE

z = C1e RY + C2 (1)
z z
C1 = RY2 1 RY (2)
e 2 e 1
z e 2 z2 e RY1
C2 = 1 RY (3)
e 2 e RY1
z1 z z 2 y1 y y2 (4)
R corresponds to the exponential growth factor. In Fig. 2 (a)
are show the coordinates for (y1,z1) and (y2,z2) that define two
sections with different rate R, this was made to bender the
exponential taper profile.

Dimension Value

Lsub 750
Wsub 525
Lr0 50
Lr1 600
Wr1 82
Ds 88
Rsub 69
Dfeed 50
Ls 94
W1 6
Wstripline 3
theta 110

Theta represents the angle (degrees) of circumferences

section for the microstrip.
Then defected ground structures (DGS) with T form were (b)
add to the original Vivaldi design as Elsheak proposed, Fig. 1
(b) shows dimensions for 6 pairs of this slots and Table II Fig. 1 Vivaldi Antennas dimensions. (a) Original Vivaldi Antenna. (b)
shows their values. The 4 pair of DGS modification is Because the Vivaldi antenna is symmetric, the section over the red line is
the geometry for the Antenna Vivaldi with 6 DGS, meanwhile the section
therefore proposed expecting to further improve the under the red line is the geometry for the Vivaldi with 4 DGS
performance of the antenna, as shown Fig. 1 (b) under the red Therefore, three matched bands exist for this original Vivaldi
line. The only main change in parameters for this model was antenna, however it is needed to cover the band from 260MHz
dgs=236mm. to 340MHz with 80MHz of bandwidth. This band has its
lower reflection coefficient about -18.7 dB at 295MHz. The
radiation pattern was simulated for that frequency, Fig. 3 (a)
shown the E- and H-plane, while Fig. 3 (b) shows a 3D plot.
Dimension Value The results indicate that the gain for this frequency is 4.2 dB,
Ldgs 100 and as we can see the antenna radiation present two side lobes
Wdgs 90 and a short back lobe compared with the others, this make us
Gdgs 30 note the lower directivity of this antenna. Then the Vivaldi
G_dgs 32
Dgs 10
antenna with 6 pairs of DGS proposed by Elsheak was
P 113 simulated. In Fig. 2 it is possible to see that the band shift
down into the spectrum, being now from 220MHz to 280MHz,
the bandwidth is reduced to 60MHz and the lowest reflection
coefficient is -13.2dB at 250MHz. It means that this antenna is
As presented in section II, three different models of Vivaldi not well matched but as is demonstrated in Fig. 3 (d) the side
antenna were designed and simulated. In Fig. 2 S11 parameter lobes decrease and gain is 1.6dB. Then noticing the low gain
is shown. Bandwidth is defined with a -10dB criterions. of these designs, it was necessary to found a geometry that
improves the characteristics of the antennas. Therefore, some
changes were made to the second design as curve corners of
the DGS, eliminate some of them, increase or reduce their
size, etc. However always maintaining the DGS because they
had achieved shifting the operating band to lower frequencies,
then finally a design was realized as show in Fig. 1(c). Two
DGS were eliminated from the section near to the Balun.
Doing this the bandwidth was reduced to 40MHz and the
lowest value of S11 also reduced to -24dB which meant a
better matching for the antenna. On the other hand the gain for
the antenna was increase to 4.2dB being about 3dB higher (a) (b)
than previous design and the directivity show a slight improve
and an increase of the back lobe, Fig. 3 (e) and (d) illustrates
these results. Therefore, Table III shows the main data from
radiation pattern and S11 parameters of the previous designs
in order to compare and understand their differences.
Must be mentioned that the reason because the radiation
pattern of the original Vivaldi is simulated at 300MHz is
because is not matched at 225MHz where the other designs
were simulated, but data corresponding to this frequency was
added to Table III to be able to compare radiation patterns of
different designs in a matched frequency. (c) (d)

Later the design with four pairs of DGS was fabricated as

shown in, with the purpose to validate the simulations.
However, when the Vivaldi antennas would be mounted in the
GPR, they will need a structure to support them. Then a PVC
frame was proposed for this job due to the low dielectric loss
of this material. A simple design was made as shown in Fig. 4
where HFSS results and the fabricated model measurements
are illustrated, it was necessary to put the antenna 3 meters
over ground for avoid the ground-antenna coupling. That is
why it appears a big pipe of PVC as support. Having said all (e) (f)
this, measurements were carried out, Fig. 5 illustrates the Fig. 2 Radiation pattern, solid plot represents E-plane and dashed plot H-
results. First it is possible to see the difference between the plane. (a) Original Vivaldi Antenna (OVA) E- and H-plane of radiation pattern
antenna with frame and without it. The bandwidth was shifted at 300MHz. (b) 3D plot of OVA at 300MHz. (c) OVA with 6 pairs of DGS E-
and H-plane of radiation pattern at 225MHz. (d) 3D plot of OVA with 6 pairs
to lower frequencies, roughly to 8MHz and the lowest DGS at 225MHz. (e) OVA with 4 pairs of DGS E- and H-plane of radiation
reflection coefficient has reduced to -25dB. Hence it is noticed pattern at 225MHz. (f) 3D plot of OVA with 4 pairs DGS at 225MHz.
that the S11 parameters are affected adding the PVC structure,
nevertheless when the radiation pattern was compared, there was not a meaning difference between them, so as conclusion
can be said that the PVC structure just affect the antennas
Therefore, the reflection coefficient of the Vivaldi antenna
with four DGS mounted on a PVC frame shown in Fig. 4 was
measured using an Anritsu spectrum analyzer that works from
9KHz to 6GHz. Fig. 5 illustrates a good agreement between
simulation and measurement results, especially in the
bandwidth for -10db criterion, however the lowest reflection
coefficient for the measurements has reduced to -50dB and
displaced to lower frequencies. This result can be beneficial
for our interest because the antenna fabricated has a better
matching keeping the bandwidth, in general the measurement
shows a better matching that was expecting, but not identical
this could be because the dielectric constant of the substrate
was assumed as the fabricant mention but, for lower
Fig. 3 S11 parameters simulated of the proposed antennas
frequencies this value could change, so for next steps will be
necessary characterize the substrate for the operation band of
the antennas for improve the accuracy in the design. TABLE
IV illustrates a comparison between results of measurements
and simulations.

Vivaldi Vivaldi Vivaldi with Vivaldi with

Original Original 6 DGS 4 DGS
300MHz 225MHz 225MHz 225MHz
Peak Gain
Main Lobe 4.2 1.5 1.7 4.2
Peak Gain Fig. 4 Parameter S11 of the Vivaldi antenna with 4 DGS. Solid
Side Lobe -0.1 0.8 -9.8 -7.57 lines represent the results of measurement meanwhile dashed lines
(dB) represents the simulations. Dotted line represents the simulation without
Peak Gain PVC frame
Back Lobe -1.75 -7.95 -7.3 -0.65
Front to
5.95 9.45 9 4.85 IV. CONCLUSION
Back (dB)
Operating Vivaldi antennas with DGS are designed and
Range 260-340 260-340 220-282 220-263 experimentally studied in this paper. Simulations shown that
place DGS to original Vivaldi antenna reduce the electrical
80 80 62 43 length of the antenna, what means that the operating band shift
HPBW for
Main 77.3
76.5 72.6
to lower frequencies without having to increase the antennas
E-plane Sides 50.5 size. On the other hand, the radiation performance was
TABLE IV improved increasing the gain for the case of Vivaldi with four
COMPARISON OF S11 PARAMETER BETWEEN SIMULATED AND MEASURED DGS and the directivity had a slight ameliorate. The benefits
ANTENNA given by the DGS were validated measuring the prototypes.
Simulated Measured Results indicates a good agreement in the form of the S11
Vivaldi 4 DGS parameters between simulations and measurements, showing
Vivaldi 4 DGS Vivaldi 4 DGS
without PVC
with PVC frame with PVC frame just a shift to lower frequencies. Then this suggest the
Operating Range proposed antenna with 4 DGS is a good candidate for the GPR
220-263 216-257 216-257
(MHz) application.
43 41 41 As an immediate next step in this work, a Near Zero Index
Lowest NZI Metamaterial is introduced, in order to maximize the total
Reflection -22.15 -25.26 -49.8 gain while decreasing the beam width.
Coefficient (dB)
Frequency for
the Lowest
245 238 230
Reflection [1] David J. Daniels, Ground Penetrating Radar, 2nd edition, The
Coefficient (dB) Institute Of Electrical Engineers, London, United Kingdom, 2004.
[2] P. J. Gibson, The Vivaldi aerial, in Proc. 9th Eur. Microw.
Conf., Brighton, U.K., Jun. 1979, pp. 101105.
[3] Ben Panzer, Development of an Electrically Small Vivaldi
Antenna:The CReSIS Aerial Vivaldi (CAV-A), Center for remote
sensing of ice sheets, Kansas Univ., USA, 2007.
[4] Raviprakash Rajaraman, Design of a Wideband Vivaldi Antenna
Array for the Snow Radar, Dept. Elect. Eng., Kansas Univ.,
Lawrence, KS, USA, 2004.
[5] Josef Nevrly Design of Vivaldi Antenna, Dept. Elect. Eng.,
Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Chequia, Czech
Repubilc, 2007.
[6] Erdogan, Yakup Parametric Study and Design of Vivaldi
Antennas and Arrays, Dept. Elect. Eng., Middle East Technical
Univ., Ankara, Turkey, 2009.
[7] Dalia M. Elsheakh and Esmat A., Novel Shape of Vivaldi Antenna
for Water Detection Using GPR, Abdallah, Cairo, Egypt,
Microstrip Dept., Electronics Research Institute, presented at
Antennas and Propagation (MECAP), 2012 Middle East
Conference on.
Fig. 5 Vivaldi Antenna with 4DGS mounted on a frame of PVC. [8] Bernd Schuppert, Microstrip/Slotline Transitions: Modeling and
Picture on the right is the design developed on HFSS and picture on the experimental Investigation, IEE Transation on Microwave Theory
left is the antenna fabricated on the frame ready for measurements. and Technique, Vol.36, No. 8, August 1988.