Origami Folding Fractal Antennas

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into sculpture-like shapes of art. Any flat material can be used in this manner. Fractal patterns have become useful in antenna design by reducing size and also allowing a wider performance range. Applying origami folding techniques to flexible electronics promises to develop even smaller, more efficient and highly adaptable devices.

Origami-inspired design method merges engineering, art – [purdue.edu]

Researchers have shown how to create morphing mechanisms, robotic forms and shape-shifting sculptures from a single sheet of paper in a method reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

The new method, called Kaleidogami, uses computational algorithms and tools to create precisely folded structures.

Researchers Receive $2 Million Grant to Develop Unique Origami-Shaped Antennas – [gatech.edu]

A Georgia Tech-led research team has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a unique approach to making extremely compact and highly efficient antennas and electronics. The new technology will use principles derived from origami paper-folding techniques to create complex structures that can reconfigure themselves by unfolding, moving and even twisting in response to incoming electromagnetic signals.

These novel structures could be fabricated from a wide variety of materials, including paper, plastics and ceramics. Sophisticated inkjet printing techniques would deposit conductive materials such as copper or silver onto the antenna elements to provide signal receiving and other capabilities.

Why Fractal Shape Antennas ? – [upc.edu]

Antennas are essentially narrowband devices. Their behavior is highly dependent on the antenna size to the Evolution with frequency of the radiation pattern of a classical lineal dipole operating wavelength ratio. This means that for a fixed antenna size, the main antenna parameters (gain, input impedance, pattern shape and secondary lobe level and distribution) will suffer strong variations when changing the operating frequency. For instance, the picture on the right shows the evolution with frequency of the radiation pattern of a classical common antenna (a linear dipole). Each time frequency is doubled, several grating lobes appear, modifying the way the antenna spreads power into space.

Analogously, the frequency dependence also implies that an antenna has to keep a minimum size relative to wavelength to operate efficiently. That is, given a particular frequency, the antenna can not be made arbitrarily small: it usually has to keep a minimum size, typically on the order of a quarter wavelength. These well known results have been constraining for decades the antenna performance in telecommunication systems, and they have been the object of an intensive research with some successful results. However, the size to wavelength dependence is still a problem in many systems where former antenna designs are not particularly suitable. In that sense, the fractal design of antennas and arrays can help in dealing with the problem by contributing with a huge, rich variety of geometrical shapes with some stonishing properties. In this website the reader will find some examples of succesful designs of fractal multiband and small antennas.

Origami Science – [origami-resource-center.com]

Origami Science

You will be surprised to know that paper folding ideas are used in technically advanced science projects. Some projects use bona fide origami folding techniques in the their work. However, in some cases, the term “origami” is used even when their is minimal folding involved.

Fractal Antenna
Flexible Metamaterials

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