A spatially adaptive antenna array for mm-wave wireless channel control with microfluidics based reconfiguration

Mendoza J., Karabacak M., Arslan H., Mumcu G.

IEEE Access, vol.8, pp.182898-182907, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/access.2020.3028795
  • Journal Name: IEEE Access
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Compendex, INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.182898-182907
  • Keywords: Beam steering, channel capacity, diversity methods, microfluidics, millimeter wave communication, phased arrays
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Spatially adaptive antenna array (SAA) is an electronically scanned antenna array with capability of changing its physical location. This new capability allows SAA to control the wireless channel environment to increase link capacity without employing an increased number of antenna elements. Compact and cost-effective implementation of SAA requires a strategically designed RF feed network that can allow the radiating antenna elements to be repositioned while other RF and digital electronics remain stationary. This manuscript introduces a novel RF feed network and demonstrates the first experimental verification of SAA by using microfluidic based reconfiguration. The presented microfluidically reconfigurable SAA (MRSA) exhibits the best possible compact form - a total footprint that is approximately equal to the spatial adaptation range. MRSA operates at 28 GHz with 45 mm (4.2 λ0) spatial adaptation capability. Evaluating MRSA in communication systems using its measured realized gain patterns show that link level performance of the wireless channel is improved by 24% from 8.5 bps/Hz to 10.5 bps/Hz. Additionally, spectral efficiency is improved by 100% with 5 dB improvement in average signal to interference ratio.