Title

Ultra wideband surface wave communications

Date of Completion

January 2010

Keywords

Engineering, Electronics and Electrical|Physics, Optics

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Ultra Wideband (UWB), an impulse carrier waveform, was applied at HF-VHF frequencies to utilize surface wave propagation. UWB involves the propagation of transient pulses rather than continuous waves which makes the system easier to implement, inexpensive, low power and small. Commercial UWB for wireless personal area networks is 3.1 to 10.6 GHz band as approved by the FCC with ranges up to 12 ft. The use of surface wave propagation (instead of commercial SHF UWB) extends the communication range. Surface wave is a means of propagation where the wave is guided by the surface of the Earth. Surface wave is efficient at low frequencies, VLF to HF. The UWB HF channel was modeled and also experimentally characterized. ^ The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines UWB as a signal with either a fractional bandwidth of 20% of the center frequency or a bandwidth of 500MHz. Designing an antenna to operate over the 20% bandwidth requirement of UWB is one of the greatest challenges. Two different antenna designs are presented, a spoke top antenna and a traveling wave antenna with photonic bandgap. These designs were implemented at the commercial UWB frequencies (3.1–10.6 GHz) due to availability of modeling tools for the higher frequencies, the reduced antenna size and the availability of measurement facilities. The spoke top was optimum for replication of the time domain input signal. The traveling wave antenna with photonic bandgap demonstrated increased impedance bandwidth of the antenna. ^