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Advances in Power Electronics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 960514, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/960514
Research Article

Conformal Patch Antenna Arrays Design for Onboard Ship Deployment Using Genetic Algorithms

1Technologial Educational Institute of Piraeus, Department of Electronics, 250, Petrou Ralli kai Thivon Street, 12244 Aigaleo, Greece
2Hellenic Air Force Academy, Dekeleia Air-Force Base, Dekeleia, Greece
3Department of Aeronautical Sciences, Hellenic Air Force Academy, Dekeleia Air-Force Base, Dekeleia, Greece

Received 17 October 2012; Accepted 17 February 2013

Academic Editor: John Prousalidis

Copyright © 2013 Stelios A. Mitilineos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Conformal antennas and antenna arrays (arrays) have become necessary for vehicular communications where a high degree of aerodynamic drag reduction is needed, like in avionics and ships. However, the necessity to conform to a predefined shape (e.g., of an aircraft’s nose) directly affects antenna performance since it imposes strict constraints to the antenna array’s shape, element spacing, relative signal phase, and so forth. Thereupon, it is necessary to investigate counterintuitive and arbitrary antenna shapes in order to compensate for these constraints. Since there does not exist any available theoretical frame for designing and developing arbitrary-shape antennas in a straightforward manner, we have developed a platform combining a genetic algorithm-based design, optimization suite, and an electromagnetic simulator for designing patch antennas with a shape that is not a priori known (the genetic algorithm optimizes the shape of the patch antenna). The proposed platform is further enhanced by the ability to design and optimize antenna arrays and is intended to be used for the design of a series of antennas including conformal antennas for shipping applications. The flexibility and performance of the proposed platform are demonstrated herein via the design of a high-performance GPS patch antenna.