20 April 2016 Analysis and characterization of structurally embedded vascular antennas using liquid metals
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Over the past decade, a large body of research associated with the addition of microvascular networks to structural composites has been generated. The engineering goal is most often the extension of structural utility to include extended functionalities such as self-healing or improved thermal management and resilience. More recently, efforts to design reconfigurable embedded electronics via the incorporation of non-toxic liquid metals have been initiated. A wide range of planar antenna configurations are possible, and the trade-offs between structural effects, other system costs, and increased flexibility in transmitting and receiving frequencies are being explored via the structurally embedded vascular antenna (SEVA) concept. This work describes for the first time the design of a bowtie-like tunable liquid metal-based antenna for integration into a structural composite for electromagnetic use. The design of both the solid/fluid feed structure and fluid transmission lines are described and analysis results regarding the RF performance of the antenna are provided. Fabrication methods for the SEVA are explained in detail and as-fabricated components are described. Challenges associated with both fabrication and system implementation and testing are elucidated. Results from preliminary RF testing indicate that in situ response tuning is feasible in these novel multifunctional composites.
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Darren J. Hartl, Darren J. Hartl, Gregory H. Huff, Gregory H. Huff, Hong Pan, Hong Pan, Lisa Smith, Lisa Smith, Robyn L. Bradford, Robyn L. Bradford, Geoffrey J. Frank, Geoffrey J. Frank, Jeffrey W. Baur, Jeffrey W. Baur, "Analysis and characterization of structurally embedded vascular antennas using liquid metals", Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 980333 (20 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219258; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219258

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