Patent Number: 8,797,221

Title: Reconfigurable antennas utilizing liquid metal elements

Abstract: A reconfigurable antenna that utilizes liquid metal to achieve dynamic antenna performance is disclosed. The reconfigurable antenna may utilize one or more liquid metal sections that can be variably displaced. Utilizing liquid metal may reduce certain undesirable effects associated with more conventional mechanical reconfigurable antennas including mechanical failure due to material fatigue, creep, and/or wear. Precise microfluidic techniques may be utilized in the design of a reconfigurable antenna that utilizes liquid metal. The reconfigurable antenna may utilize a circular Yagi-Uda array design and include movable parasitic director and reflector elements implemented using liquid metal (e.g., mercury (Hg)). The parasitic elements may be placed and rotated in a circular microfluidic channel around a driven antenna element utilizing a flow generated and controlled by a piezoelectric micropump. The reconfigurable antenna may operate at 1800 MHz with 4% bandwidth and be capable of performing beam steering over 360.degree. with fine tuning.

Inventors: Cetiner; Bedri A. (Logan, UT), Damgaci; Yasin (Ithaca, NY), Jofre; Luis (Barcelona, ES), Rodrigo; Daniel (Barcelona, ES)

Assignee: Utah State University

International Classification: H01Q 3/12 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/05/12018