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Linearly polarized dipole antennas are commonly employed in communication and radar applications. Used individually or as elements in an array antenna, they are often fed using a microstrip feed line and a tuning circuit known as a balun. Microstrip feed lines are utilized in many applications because the devices connected to the dipole are often printed on microstrip boards. The balun matches the antenna to the dipole but adds to the size and weight of the circuit component.
A new design by Navy scientists utilizes a linearly polarized dipole antenna with an unbalanced microstrip feed line which eliminates the need for a balun circuit thereby reducing the size, complexity, and feed loss of the feed circuit. Important civilian and military applications are for powering small UAVs, satellite station keeping, and wireless battery charging. Prior rectenna structures have only been able to provide half wave rectification, but this new design can easily be extended to provide full-wave rectification with resultant efficiencies.
- Easily integrated into microstrip structures
- US patent 8,878,742 available for license