Design actuation and control of active patch antennas

Edward Kiely, Gregory N. Washington, Jennifer Bernhard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The major drawback of a microstrip patch antenna is it's narrow bandwidth characteristics. One method that has been investigated to increase bandwidth is the addition of a parasitic element to the microstrip patch antenna. In an active microstrip patch antenna, variable bandwidth can be achieved by varying the spacing between the antenna and the parasitic element, which is fixed to a dielectric plate. In this study, an actuator is developed, tested and employed on an actual microstrip patch antenna and it's parasite. Since a relatively large displacement (1 cm) is needed, this mesoscale actuator is comprised of stacked Rainbow actuators. This study takes advantage of the fact that, for antennas operating at higher frequencies, smaller absolute displacements will result in significant percentage changes in antenna bandwidth. The use of the parasite and the active system accounted for up to a factor of five increase in antenna bandwidth. Various control techniques were employed to counteract the effects of hysteresis and creep on the actuator. Because the use of metal components can degrade antenna performance, emphasis was placed on synergy in the design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventSmart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Electronics and MEMS - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 2 1998Mar 2 1998


  • CLAS
  • Microstrip patch antenna
  • Piezoceramic
  • Rainbow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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