Design of Four Element Patch Array Antenna for IEEE 802.11 at 2.4 GHz
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This is a very exciting time to investigate microstrip (aka. patch or printed) antennas because the world of technology is ready to take a big step towards the Internet of Things (IOT). With IOT almost every device we are involved with will communicate with one another. The only reasonable medium for communication will be wireless communication. Wireless communication involves antennas and antenna design always involves topics like size, flexibility, power consumption, efficiency, cost and weight.
Out of the myriad list of antennas present in today’s world, microstrip antennas are among the most promising when it comes to ease of fabrication and extremely low profiles. They can hide under circuit boards, they can be made super flexible and very light. It is a wise assumption that almost all IOT devices will employ a printed antenna.
In this thesis design, simulation, optimization, fabrication and characterization of a rectangular patch antenna has been done. The designed antenna was compatible with the IEEE 802.11b protocol for Wi-Fi as it was resonating at 2.4 GHz and the other antenna parameters like bandwidth, gain and Half Power Beam Width (HPBW) were also suitable for the protocol. This antenna was then used to design a four element patch array antenna. The performance of the array antenna was then compared with respect to the initially designed single rectangular patch antenna. After characterizing the array antenna in an anechoic chamber it was found that the array antenna has a gain of 12.5 dB which is 5.21 dB higher than the simulated gain of the initially designed single element antenna. The array antenna has a frequency bandwidth of 70 MHz and an efficiency of 80%. Both single element antenna and the array antenna can be used as a radiating element for IEEE 802.11b protocol. However, out of fourteen channels defined under the protocol, the single element antenna can fully support only up to channel number eight and partially support channel number nine. The array can fully support up to channel number ten and partially support channel number eleven.