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An Electrically-Small, 3-D Cube Antenna Fabricated with Additive Manufacturing
Keywords: Electrically small antennas, 3-D antennas, Stereolithography
This paper presents the design of an electrically small, 3-D cube antenna using laser-based layer-by-layer stereolithography processing. The antenna was first designed using the printed circuit board (PCB) method and manually assembled. It consists of a half-wave dipole patterned on the surface of a cube which makes available the cube interior for sensor electronics placement. The antenna operational frequency is 2.4 GHz and its 10 dB return loss bandwidth is 2%. Ka of the proposed design is 0.55 and its measured gain is 1.69 dBi with 78% measured radiation efficiency. Experimental results shows that the design compares well with high efficiency, electrically small antennas that have been described in the open literature. Using the stereolithography method that provides the capability to create arbitrary 3-D structures, the fabrication complexity was reduced and the design reliability improved. A comparison of the experimental results of the two approaches is given in this paper.
Ibrahim T. Nassar, Graduate Student Research Assistant
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL

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