FDTD Modelling For Wireless Communications: Antennas and Materials
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The application of the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method for the numerical analysis of complex electromagnetic problems related to wireless communications is considered. Since exact solutions to many complex electromagnetic problems are difficult, if not impossible, the FDTD method is well suited to modelling a wide range of electromagnetic problems. Structures considered include single and twin-slot antennas for millimetre-wave applications, monopole antennas on mobile handsets and chokes for the suppression of currents on coaxial cables. Memory efficient techniques were implemented for the split-field perfectly matched layer (PML) absorbing boundary condition. The frequency-domain far-field transformations were used for the calculation of far-field radiation patterns. Dipole, slot and mobile handset antenna benchmark problems verified the accuracy of the FDTD implementation. The application of slot antennas for millimetre-wave imaging arrays was investigated. An optimal feed network for an offset-fed single-slot antenna was designed for the X band with numerical and experimental results in excellent agreement. A twin-slot antenna structure reduced surface wave coupling by 7.6 dB in the substrate between coplanar waveguide-fed slot antenna elements in a planar array. The reduction of substrate surface waves for the twin-slot antenna allows for closer element spacings with less radiation pattern degradation in array applications. Suppression techniques for currents flowing on the exterior surface of coaxial cables were investigated. These include the use of ferrite beads and a quarter-wave sleeve balun. The frequency dependent behaviour of ferrite based chokes showed highly resonant effects which resulted in less than 5 dB of isolation at the resonant frequencies of the bead. An analysis of air-gaps between the ferrite bead and cable are shown to be extremely detrimental in the isolation characteristics of ferrite bead chokes. An air-gap of 0.5 mm can reduce the isolation effectiveness of a bead by 20 dB. The first rigorous analysis of a quarter-wave sleeve balun is presented, enabling an optimal choke design for maximum isolation. A standard 0.25[symbols] sleeve balun achieved 10.9 dB isolation with [symbols]=4, whereas a choke of optimal length 0.232[symbols] had an isolation of better than -20 dB. Several techniques for the measurement of antenna characteristics of battery powered handsets were compared and perturbation effects associated with the direct connection of a coaxial cable to a mobile handset was quantified. Significant perturbation in both return loss and radiation pattern can occur depending on cable location on the handset chassis. The effectiveness of ferrite chokes in any location was marginal. However, the application of an optimal quarter-wave sleeve balun in the centre of the largest plane of the handset, orthogonal to the primary polarisation resulted in minimal perturbation of both radiation patterns and return loss.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Microelectronic Engineering
Item Access Status
Finite-difference time-domain method