3D printed utility dielectric core manufacturing process for antenna prototyping

2018-05-01T08:31:46Z (GMT) by John A. Brister Robert Edwards
A prototyping method for dielectrically loaded antennas is presented. Dielectric loading has been used with horn antennas, feeds, and lenses. Dielectrics have also been used for coating antennas submerged in water and biological matter and have led to improvements in bandwidth and efficiency as well as antenna miniaturisation. The authors present a new technique to produce variable dielectrics with permittivity from 6 to 28 using two commonly available powders, titanium dioxide (used in foods) and magnesium silicate (used in talcum powder). An example spherical helical ball antenna is used to demonstrate the process. In this antenna, the mixed powders were encased in a 3D printed shell that achieved a reduction in diameter of the spherical antenna by a factor of 1.85. The technique aids rapid prototyping and optimisation using search algorithms.