A metamaterial-enabled design enhancing decades-old short backfire antenna technology for space applications

J. Daniel Binion, Erik Lier, Thomas H. Hand, Zhi Hao Jiang, Douglas H. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Nearly two decades of intense study have passed since the term metamaterials was first introduced in 1999. In spite of their great promise, however, metamaterials have been slow to find their way into practical devices, and examples of real-world applications remain rare. In this paper, an Advanced Short Backfire Antenna (A-SBFA), augmented with anisotropic metamaterial surfaces (metasurfaces), has been designed to achieve a very high aperture efficiency across two frequency bands. This performance is unprecedented for an antenna that has seen widespread use, but few design changes over its more than 50 year existence. The reduced weight, compact design, hexagonal aperture, high dual-band efficiency, high cross-polarization isolation, as well as low multipaction and passive intermodulation (PIM) risk make the A-SBFA ideal for spaceborne applications. This transformative design demonstrates how practical metamaterials, when applied to conventional antenna technology, can provide significant performance enhancements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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