Design of an X-band conformal antenna using microstrip patches

This paper presents designing of a conformal antenna using a number of microstrip patches in X band frequency range i.e. 7 GHz to 11.2 GHz. In radar engineering its range is taken from 8 GHz to 12 GHz. A conformal antenna is designed to conform or follow some prescribed shape, example is a flat curving antenna which is mounted on or embedded on a curved surface. The shape can be a part of an aircraft, missiles and other high-speed vehicle. For feeding simple probe feed is used. An antenna is designed that can be integrated within the structure of host and is less visible to human eye, without affecting any of the host characteristics and thus preventing aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drags. Antenna is made to conform on a cylindrical surface. A microstrip patch antenna is designed of desired specifications using transmission line model equations.

The proposed model and is used for forming conformal antenna with 0 phase shift and 0 time delay which differentiates it with standard phased array antennas. This antenna uses 4 elements in forming array. The analysis is done through MATLAB (Phased Array System Toolbox) and the equivalent design also has been verified using the HFSS 3D simulation tool. Conformal antennas with the bandwidths of 0.5 GHz, 0.73 GHz, and 0.75 GHz have been designed with centre frequencies of 9.6 GHz. The conformal antenna shows different bandwidths for different angles and radii with the same micros-trip antenna. Further improvement can result in more bandwidth. Also, this antenna with compact size is capable of providing 3600 coverage due to its ability to conform on curved surface which can be cylinder, sphere or cone.

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