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The proliferation of wireless devices has demanded improvements of wireless communication technology. Panel antennas are a type of reflector antenna in which an array of driven elements is mounted in front of a flat, metallic reflector. When designing, optimizing or perhaps just selecting a commercially available antenna, electromagnetic characteristics are generally the most used parameters to judge the efficiency and adequacy of an antenna. However, it has been proven that deformations of the structure holding the antenna from cyclic wind, rain, and ice loading effects and impacts from birds, stones, etc. greatly affect the antenna's electromagnetic characteristics. This is more so for large scale panel antennas; therefore, these effects need to be minimised in order to ensure an overall optimization of its performance. To my knowledge, there has not been any structural/mechanical optimization analysis performed on these antennas. In view of this lack of proper scientific-based analysis, this research aims at utilizing known methods such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics to 1) design and model different antenna configurations based on the Sinclair Technologies' SP304 UHF Panel Antenna series technical constraints, 2) analyze and compare the different configurations based on their capacity to minimize vibration effects, stress-induced and thermal-induced deformations and aerodynamical loading effects, 3) generate conclusive results as of how each design factor affects the electromagnetic performance of the antenna and 4) optimize a final design and demonstrate performance improvements by numerical and experimental simulations. The parameters that will be optimized to ensure minimum deformations and thus optimal performance of the antenna are: 1)structural materials (thermal, electromagnetic and mechanical properties), 2) aerodynamical shape and 3)locking and clamping mechanisms. A M.A.Sc. student will be involved in the project under the supervision of Dr. Jean Zu. Technical support and guidance will be provided by Sinclair Technologies.
Dr. Jean W. Zu
Maby Boado Amador
Sinclair Technologies Inc.
Information and communications technologies
University of Toronto
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