Qstream

There exists an increasing interest for using the 60 GHz frequency band for short-range multi-Gbps wireless communication. One consequence of using this high frequency is that radio signals have to be transmitted in concentrated pencil-shaped beams produced by high-gain antennas. If a person walks through such beam it becomes blocked and has to be redirected to establish a new connection via a reflection against a nearby wall or so. This requires sophisticated beam-steering in the sense that antennas should be capable to direct their beams in every possible direction. This cannot be achieved by traditional planar array antennas since these can only scan within a limited angle. Instead, sufficient scan angle can be provided by conformal (three-dimensional) antenna structures. One option is to use a bent antenna configuration. Our group investigated the application of Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) for the use as substrate material for such antenna. LCP can be readily bent and has favorable high-frequency characteristics. The figure below shows a bent two element array as designed in the context of the Medea+ project Q-stream in which the group participated. Goal of this project was to demonstrate Multi-Gbps operation by CMOS-based 60 GHz radio-units.