Wireless Communications

Reconfigurable antennas for multi-standard mobile terminals

Future mobile terminals, such as mobile phones will support multiple standards on a SDR (software defined radio) basis. So far an appropriate antenna solution for such mobiles as now been presented.
On a small terminal the most efficient antenna is the terminal chassis itself! Therefore a coupling element is used to excite the chassis as an antenna. The coupling is then optimized in the different frequency bands by multiple configurable matching networks. The networks are included in a compact LTCC (www.LTCC.de) component.

 

It has already been shown that multiple services in the frequency range between 100 MHz and 3 GHz can be supported with the concept.

Part of the research work has been carried out with IMST GmbH (www.imst.com).

 

Publications:
 
  1. Manteuffel, D. and Arnold, M. , "Considerations for Reconfigurable Multi-Standard Antennas for Mobile Terminals", In Antenna Technology: Small Antennas and Novel Metamaterials, 2008. iWAT 2008. International Workshop on., march, 2008. , pp. 231 -234. DOI
    [Abstract]
     
    Tomorrows mobile terminals shall be multi-standard platforms for various kinds of wireless applications. So far, nowadays mobiles consist of a combination of different separated modules e.g. for GSM, for Bluetooth, WLAN, etc.. Along with these different modules typically separated antennas are use, such as one for GSM/UMTS and another one for Bluetooth and yet another one for FM radio. Currently the design is heading towards multi-standard RF modules that combine several standards or operate on the principle of a software defined radio. Hence, an ubiquitous antenna module that can be attached to such a multi-standard module is required. However, different to the software algorithms and the integrated circuitries, an antenna is still bound to its physical size in terms of wavelength in order to operate efficiently. As the operating frequency of the applications under discussion range from approx. 100 MHz to 2.5 GHz standard antenna concepts for mobile terminals cannot be use because of the large bandwidth and the physical antenna size at low frequencies. The research presented in this paper intends to analyze basic requirements for such an antenna module to operate sufficiently and to propose an applicable concept under the typical constraints of consumer electronic applications and mass production issues.
    [BibTeX]
     
    @inproceedings{4511325,
      author = {Manteuffel, D. and Arnold, M.},
      title = {Considerations for Reconfigurable Multi-Standard Antennas for Mobile Terminals},
      booktitle = {Antenna Technology: Small Antennas and Novel Metamaterials, 2008. iWAT 2008. International Workshop on},
      year = {2008},
      pages = {231 -234},
      doi = {10.1109/IWAT.2008.4511325}
    }

  2. Arnold, M. and Manteuffel, D. , "Method to Optimize a Tuning Network for Mobile Terminal Antennas", In Antennas and Propagation Conference, 2008. LAPC 2008. Loughborough., march, 2008. , pp. 237 -240. DOI
    [Abstract]
     
    In this paper we present a method to optimize a tuning circuit for an electrically small antenna with regard to the total efficiency (matching and losses) of the entire system consisting of antenna and tuning network. The method aims on optimizing the throughput through the tuning network rather than optimizing only the matching to the 50 Omega transceiver module. This is especially important for small antennas with a small radiation resistance which might be in the order of the parasitic loss components of the lumped SMA tuning elements. Furthermore, the proposed method is developed in a way that does not require measurements of the radiated power of the antenna after each optimization step in order derive the radiated efficiency of the entire system. The method is validated and tested in designing a FM radio antenna integrated into a mobile terminal. Regarding the fact that this is a paper which is about fundamentals we use a 50 Omega source at FM radio frequencies.
    [BibTeX]
     
    @inproceedings{4516910,
      author = {Arnold, M. and Manteuffel, D.},
      title = {Method to optimize a tuning network for mobile terminal antennas},
      booktitle = {Antennas and Propagation Conference, 2008. LAPC 2008. Loughborough},
      year = {2008},
      pages = {237 -240},
      doi = {10.1109/LAPC.2008.4516910}
    }

  3. Manteuffel, D., Arnold, M., Makris, Y. and Chen, Z.-N. , "Concepts for Future Multistandard and Ultra Wideband Mobile Terminal Antennas Using Multilayer LTCC Technology", In Antenna Technology, 2009. iWAT 2009. IEEE International Workshop on., march, 2009. , pp. 1 -4. DOI
    [Abstract]
     
    Some key aspects of two different concepts of configurable antennas for future mobile terminal have been addressed in this paper. It has been shown that a coupling element in combination with a configurable tuning circuit can be used to excite the chassis of the mobile terminal to act as the entire antenna in many different frequency bands. However, when both the coupling element and the tuneable circuit elements are combined in a compact LTCC antenna component the achievable antenna efficiency is quite weak. A different concept that allows for broadband matching and better efficiency has been designed for UWB. The antenna is capable of retuning the antenna to different platforms of a mobile terminal just by slightly changing the footprint of the antenna component on the PCB. Future work will focus e.g. on evaluating how electronic switching (either pin diodes or MEMS switches) can be used to make the antenna concepts reconfigurable.
    [BibTeX]
     
    @inproceedings{4906972,
      author = {Manteuffel, D. and Arnold, M. and Makris, Y. and Zhi-Ning Chen},
      title = {Concepts for future multistandard and ultra wideband mobile terminal antennas using multilayer LTCC technology},
      booktitle = {Antenna Technology, 2009. iWAT 2009. IEEE International Workshop on},
      year = {2009},
      pages = {1 -4},
      doi = {10.1109/IWAT.2009.4906972}
    }

  4. Manteuffel, D. and Arnold, M. , "Considerations on Configurable Multi-Standard Antennas for Mobile Terminals Realized in LTCC Technology", In Antennas and Propagation, 2009. EuCAP 2009. 3rd European Conference on., march, 2009. , pp. 2541 -2545. DOI
    [Abstract]
     
    In this paper we present part of a long term research project that aims on designing a (re-)configurable multistandard antenna element for 4G (4^th Generation) mobile terminals based on LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) technology. The antenna itself is a coupling element that efficiently excites the chassis of the mobile terminal to radiate as an entire antenna. Coupling is optimized by a reactive tuning circuit. Several of these tuning circuits are realized in a single LTCC component and can be multiplexed to the antenna by a SPnT (single pole n thru) antenna switch integrated into the LTCC component. The coils and capacitor in the LTCC component are configurable on the top-layer of the component. Thus, the component is configurable according to different mobile terminal chassis configurations and multiple bands.
    [BibTeX]
     
    @inproceedings{5068132,
      author = {Manteuffel, D. and Arnold, M.},
      title = {Considerations on configurable multi-standard antennas for mobile terminals realized in LTCC technology},
      booktitle = {Antennas and Propagation, 2009. EuCAP 2009. 3rd European Conference on},
      year = {2009},
      pages = {2541 -2545}
    }

  5. Manteuffel, D. , "Small Terminal Antenna Concepts for Reconfigurable MIMO Handsets", Antennas and Propagation (APCAP), 2012 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on , vol., no., pp.15,16, 27-29 Aug. 2012 DOI
    [Abstract]
     
    This paper presents a concept for reconfigurable MIMO antennas for future mobile handsets. The concept is based on the excitation of characteristic modes on the terminal chassis. Thereby it enables a compact antenna solution that utilizes the entire chassis as the antenna. Two types of coupling structures for either selective or combined excitation of different modes are discussed. Reconfigurable tuning networks enable multi-mode and multi-standard applications.
    [BibTeX]
     
    @INPROCEEDINGS{6333125,
    author={Manteuffel, D.},
    booktitle={Antennas and Propagation (APCAP), 2012 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on},
    title={Small terminal antenna concepts for reconfigurable MIMO handsets},
    year={2012},
    pages={15-16},
    keywords={MIMO communication;antenna arrays;mobile handsets;characteristic excitation mode;compact antenna solution;coupling structure;multimode application;multistandard application;reconfigurable MIMO antenna;reconfigurable MIMO handset;reconfigurable tuning network;small terminal antenna concept;terminal chassis;Couplings;MIMO;Mobile antennas;Mobile handsets;Characteristic Modes;LTE;MIMO;Small terminal antenna},
    doi={10.1109/APCAP.2012.6333125},}