Low-frequency Antennas, Transparent Ground Planes, and Transponders for Communication Enhancement in Unfavorable Environments
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The communication environment has a major influence on the performance of wireless networks. Unlike antennas, receivers, processors, and other components of a typical wireless system, the designer has almost no control over the communication channel. Therefore, it is imminent that the adverse effects of the communication channel such as path-loss, multi-path, lack of a clear line of sight, and interference are among the most limiting factors in designing and operating wireless networks. Recent investments in infrastructures such as cell-phone towers, communication satellites, routers, and networking devices have been aimed at reducing the aforementioned adverse effects. However, wireless ad hoc networks (WANET) cannot rely on pre-existing infrastructures such as access points or routers.
In this thesis, a number of solutions are presented to enhance communication and navigation in harsh environments. 1) At lower frequencies, the defects of the communication channel are less prominent, which has led militaries to use UHF and VHF frequency bands for communication. A number of optically transparent UHF antennas are developed and embedded in the windows of military vehicles to reduce their visual signature. 2) Direction finding at low frequencies using baseline method results in an exorbitantly large array of sensors. However, a vector sensor consisting of three orthogonal two-port loop antennas can be used. A simple and accurate circuit model for the two-port loop antenna is developed for the first time that can be used for direction of arrival estimation over a wide range of frequencies and angles. 3) Using a conventional radio repeater with ad-hoc systems requires a communication protocol and decreases the throughput by a factor of two for every repeater in the chain. A full-duplex repeater, capable of simultaneously transmitting and receiving at the same frequency, is developed for the 2.4 GHz IMS band.