Virtual Antenna™ for easy design of IoT devices with embedded antennas: Page 4 of 8

September 20, 2019 //By J. Anguera, A. Andújar, C. Puente, Fractus Antennas, Barcelona, Spain
Anechoic chamber for testing Virtual Antenna™
Virtual Antenna™ technology enables one antenna component to cover all IoT frequency bands. This article describes the main features of Virtual Antenna™ technology and shows a simple design flow comprising only three simple steps.

It is important to emphasize that antenna location should be determined at the very beginning of a device design project in order to optimize performance of the antenna within the device. Otherwise, performance can be poor and difficult to improve in more advanced phases of a project. This means that the antenna performance should not consider the antenna only: the performance depends on the antenna in combination with the device. Therefore, a correct selection of the antenna booster location will optimize radiofrequency performance in terms of transmitted and received power.

#Step 2: The next step, step 2, is to design a matching network. Since the input impedance of an antenna booster is mainly reactive across the frequency bands of operation, a matching network is needed to maximize the radiated power into space and maximize the received power from space (Figure 4). This design flow differs from the traditional antenna design where the antenna geometry is customized depending on the frequency bands of operation [8]. For Virtual Antenna™ instead, the only customization needed is for the matching network, resulting in a faster and easier design flow. In effect, the design of a matching network can be fully automatized by using network synthesis tools available in most of microwave circuit simulators used in the wireless industry such as the following synthesis network tools: the NI AWR software offered by National Instruments and the Optenni-Lab offered by Optenni [9]-[10].

Figure 4: A matching network is designed and located between a radiofrequency module (represented by the source Vs and impedance Zg) and the antenna booster.

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