Florida International University (FIU) is seeking a business partner to develop and commercialize a segmented helical antenna (SHA) with reconfigurable polarization.
Axial mode conventional antennas have been well known to have applications in satellite communications and global positioning systems due to their high gain and circular polarization. SHAs, such as cross section helical antennas have also been studied and it is known that the SHAs can provide approximately equivalent performance compared to the conventional helical antenna. The linear segments that make up an SHA can be easily supported on a dielectric structure, which can be manufactured at a low cost. The traditional helical antenna only has one sense; either right-hand circular polarization (RHCP) or left-hand circular polarization (LHCP), which is decided by its rolling direction. Circular polarization antennas have been developed, however they need extra switching circuits and power supply, and their gain is lower than that of the traditional antenna.
FIU inventors have designed novel and advantageous helical antennas including a RHCP state and a LHCP state that can be switched easily by mechanical rotation around its center axis. The antenna can be implemented using either origami folding or skeleton scaffolding. The physical size of helical antennas becomes considerably large at lower frequencies and requires a strong mechanical support. The inventors have developed several methods to reduce the total antenna volume. The inventors have shown with simulations that the origami SHA can change from the RHCP to the LHCP antenna or vice versa and reduce the total bulk by collapsing the origami while retaining the antenna performance.
- Satellites, communications and global positioning systems
- Reconfigurable polarization performance
- Simple mechanical rotation to obtain RHCP and LHCP
- Good gain at operating frequency