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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D053676/1
Title: Feasibility Study: Active Integrated Antennas for Ultra Wideband Systems
Principal Investigator: Hall, Professor PS
Other Investigators:
Gardner, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic, Electrical and Computer Eng
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 08 August 2006 Ends: 07 August 2007 Value (£): 63,833
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ultra wideband (UWB) systems offer the potential of high data rate communications, using signals that are spread over a very wide range of frequency. This wide spectrum is achieved either using pulses with very fast rise and fall times or by combining together a number of modulated signals with a wide range of carrier frequencies. UWB systems offer much in terms of high spatial capacity communications, meaning that many UWB systems can operate simultaneously in close proximity without mutual interference. Other applications include accurate indoor position fixing and short range imaging systems with improved performance. Active integrated antenna technology provides a means of making compact antenna-transceiver modules, suitable for use in a wide range of compact handheld or portable equipment, such as mobile phones, computers, games platforms, personal digital assistants, or scientific and medical instruments. The performance issues for active integrated antennas are now well understood for narrowband systems, but the very different modes of operation of UWB systems introduce a new set of challenges for AIAs. We therefore believe it is now important to bring these two topics together in order to define the challenges and to propose a way forward that could allow the potential benefits of AIA technology to be applied to emerging UWB systems. In this feasibility study we will first aim to: fully establish the system requirements; study the current architectures for UWB transceivers and antennas; determine the suitability of different possible high frequency active device types and configurations, for operation in active integrated UWB transceiver systems. We will then consider in detail the potential for AIAs in UWB systems. Ultra wideband active integrated antennas can be designed for two different types of functionality, both of which will be examined in detail. Firstly, integration of active circuit functions into the antenna can lead to improvements in transceiver operation where noise, gain and linearity are the most important parameters. Inevitably, improvements in some of these aspects involve compromises in others, and these need to be fully understood in the UWB context. Secondly, integration can allow significant alteration of the antenna characteristics, such as radiation pattern, polarization properties, bandwidth and pulse shaping. In principle, the control of these parameters, made possible by an AIA approach, can allow improvements in the overall performance of UWB systems, for example by making a receiver insensitive to signals from a known interferer.The outcome of this one-year study will be a review of requirements, architectures, device options and possible benefits of AIAs in UWB systems, a set of novel configurations for UWB AIAs to be studied in detail in a follow-on study and a set of identified research issues requiring further study.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk