Infoscience

Thesis

Analysis and Design of Ultra-Wideband Antennas in the Spectral and Temporal Domains

Formal research on Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology started in the U.S. in 2002; where its definition was formulated and the frequency allocation in that country established. However, the first ultra-wideband transmission was done during the confirmation of Maxwell's equations by Heinrich Hertz in 1886, the first ever reported radio transmission. Sparks or very short pulses were sent and received at a distance away from its source. UWB antennas have existed since those times, but technology has been mostly focused on the transmission of continuous wave narrowband signals. The largest problematic encountered in today's UWB antennas is that characterization methods were, since the beginning, meant to describe narrowband antennas. The frequency characteristics of these antennas are constant over their operational bandwidth, hence they can be fully characterized in the frequency domain. UWB antennas, on the other hand, are meant to transmit pulsed signals. Analyzing them only in the frequency domain is not enough to fully evaluate their performance, as pulse distortion is an important parameter that should be controlled. An extended literature review is included in the first part of this thesis, where the available UWB antenna characterization methods are evaluated. Many limitations were encountered, showing that the available techniques do not analyze simultaneously the most important parameters of an UWB antenna. A new characterization method is proposed: the System Fidelity Factor (SFF). Its main purpose is to incorporate frequency, time and space characteristics of a two-antennas system to compare UWB antennas in an efficient way. This is achieved with the correlation between the received and the input pulses, quantifying the distortion produced by the system. The SFF is an interesting tool because both simulations and measurements can be done in a simple and straight-forward manner, using tools that are commonly available in any antenna lab. Any combination of antennas can be analyzed and the free-space channel can be easily replaced with any other environment. Several UWB antennas were designed and used to prove the efficiency of the SFF. A good agreement between the proposed simulation techniques and the measurements was achieved. The antennas are novel designs specially developed for UWB applications under the American or European regulations. The last part of the thesis presents these antennas and analyzes them using the SFF to compare their performance.

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