Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Based Patch Antenna for Harsh Environment Applications
Md. Samiul Islam Sagar
Praveen Kumar Sekhar
Wireless devices that can operate under harsh environments are of great interest for military, space, and commercial applications such as antennas and radomes for fighter jets, wireless sensor networks for oil drilling and aircraft propulsion, and safety devices for first responders. Since antennas are key components of Radio Frequency (RF) Systems, it is crucial to have the antenna be able to withstand the same environmental hardships for a reliable and efficient communication. Various substrates have been utilized to implement antennas to withstand harsh environments and particularly high temperatures. Existing solutions such as silicon carbide (SiC), alumina, and polymer derived ceramics require complex deposition and patterning techniques, which make them unsuitable for low-cost RF and microwave applications. The main objective of this study is to explore microstrip patch antenna fabrication technology utilizing Zirconia Ribbon Ceramic (ZRC) materials and assess ZRC as a potential dielectric substrate for harsh environment applications. To do so, first, a wideband coplanar waveguide (CPW) fed monopole antenna is presented on ZRC substrate operating within the S band. The proposed design has been manufactured using two separate methods including a clean room sputtering process and inkjet printing. A good agreement has been obtained between the measured results of the inkjet-printed prototype and simulations. Impedance matching and radiation patterns are investigated. The inkjet printing process has been shown to be a viable and cost-effective solution for fabricating ZRC-based patch antennas.