This work presents the design and fabrication of two multi-element structurally embedded vascular antennas (SEVAs). These are achieved through advances in additively manufactured sacrificial materials and demonstrate the ability to embed vascular microchannels in both planar and complex-curved epoxy-filled quartz fiber structural composite panels. Frequency-reconfigura-ble antennas are formed by these structures through the pressure-driven transport of liquid metal through the embedded microchannels. The planar multi-layer topology examines the ability to fab-ricate two co-located radiating structures separated by a single ply of quartz fabric within the composite layup. The multi-element linear array topology composed of microchannels embedded on to a single-layer are used to demonstrate the ability to conformally-integrate these channels into a complex curved surface that mimics an array of antennas on the leading edge of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A parallel-strip antipodal dipole feed structure provides excitation and serves as the interface for fluid displacement within the microchannels to facilitate reconfiguration. The nominal design of the SEVAs achieve over a decade of frequency reconfiguration with respect to the fundamental dipole mode of the antenna. Experimental and predicted results demonstrate the operation for canonical states of the antennas. Additional results for the array topology demonstrate beam steering and contiguous operation of interconnected elements in the multi-element structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering