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Small antennas

EurAAP Working Group on Small Antennas

proposed by Anja Skrivervik and Cyril Luxey

Wireless communications have become an essential part of our daily life. Their presence started with the development of mobile phones services in the early nineties and has been constantly increased ever since with the addition of new services and applications, such as GPS, RFID, data transmission, health monitoring, etc... This trend has been enabled by the rapid development in the field of electronics. Indeed, the impressive and continuous miniaturisation of integrated circuits has allowed for more and more complex systems to be designed on a shrinking space. Unfortunately, the antennas, a key element in wireless communications, have not been able to follow this miniaturisation trend as the antenna size is dictated by the laws of physics. Moreover, as the number of wireless services implemented in one single handheld device increases, more antennas compete for a volume within the handset that becomes smaller and smaller. In response to this challenge, antenna engineers have developed ways to make antennas smaller and enabled them to cohabite in a small volume, by studying the fundamental limits of antenna miniaturisation, proposing design strategies leading to the best compromise between performance and space, developing adequate characterisation methods and looking to multiband solutions. Due to the strength of the European mobile phone industry, the European antenna community has always been a leader in research topic related to terminal antennas as demonstrated by the dynamism of the terminal antenna working group in ACE for instance. It is however of paramount importance to maintain and foster this dynamism, as new challenges, like near field transmission or transmission through lossy media, may open new fields of research. An EuRAAP working group will be an efficient tool to continue networking on this important topic, and therefore keep an edge in small antenna development from 450 MHz up to the mm wave band.
  • Maintain and strengthen the networking in the field of terminal antennas in Europe
  • Help the exchange of researcher and students on short missions dedicated to a specific aim (perform measurements, or simulations were the equipment and associated competencies are available for instance)
  • Gather new knowledge and results on terminal antennas in new editions of the terminal antenna book produced in the frame of ACE
  • Develop design methodologies
  • Follow-up emerging applications, technologies and materials
  • Provide a set of small antenna experts within EuRAAP activities (special issue in conferences, in journals, review activities, lectures, etc..)
The working group will have a dynamic organisation, able to adapt to the demand of circumstances. It will be directed by a management committee made of the following institutions. The founding institutions are the participants of the WG2.2 of ACE: EPFL, LEAT, IMST, TKK, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, IST, UPV, UPC, IETR, U. Zagreb, U. Praha, U. Darmstad, U. Karlsruhe, Bluetest SE, Satimo plus other institutions that contributed to this working group: Nokia Research Center, SAGEM, Sony-Ericsson, Dublin Institute of Technology. High flexibility will allow accommodating new members that are willing to participate in the work. The Management Committee will meet at least once a year, if possible during antenna workshops or European conferences to minimise travel expenses (EuCAP, LAPC, COST IC0603 ASSIST), and use other means such as e-mail or teleconferences to keep a continuous communication.

The WG on terminal antenna will be divided in a small number of sub-working groups or tasks, each of them addressing a different topic of terminal antennas. These SWGs will be defined by the management committee, but potential areas of interest could be:
  • Physical limitations in new applications, like transmission in the near field or in lossy media (in body applications)
  • Wireless on chip
  • MIMO and its limitations for small antennas
  • New fast test techniques
  • Multi-band, Multi-function small antenna
  • Etc...
The implementation of these tasks will need a very small amount of funding. However, dealing with the achievements of ACE, it could be sponsored by the book on small antennas, courses in conference and the fees of renting the benchmarking suitcase. After the initial work, it should be possible to get some institutional sponsors (public and private) to support the work of the different SWGs.

Focus On

Coordinating the Antenna Research in Europe

Antenna research and Technology for the Intelligent Car

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