A Robust Snap-On Button Solution for Reconfigurable Wearable Textile Antennas

TitleA Robust Snap-On Button Solution for Reconfigurable Wearable Textile Antennas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsChen, S. Jammy, D. C. Ranasinghe, and C. Fumeaux
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Date Published2018
KeywordsFlexible antennas, patch antennas, planar inverted-F antenna (PIFA), reconfigurable antennas, textile antennas, wearable antennas.

A robust solution to realize reconfigurable textile antennas for wearable applications is proposed. The main idea is to integrate active components (such as varactors or p-i-n diodes) and their biasing circuit into a compact arrangement of back-to-back commercial snap-on buttons. The resulting module can provide versatile reconfigurabilities for textile antennas, with secure protection for the rigid electronics while maintaining stable and repeatable electrical connection to the flexible metalized textiles. To demonstrate the concept, a dual-band frequencyreconfigurable wearable textile patch antenna with a dedicated varactor-loaded module is designed, fabricated, and experimentally characterized. Good agreement observed between simulation and measurement results validates the concept of the reconfiguration module. The antenna exhibits tuning ranges of 32.8% and 8.8% for its two operation bands designed to include the 2.45 and 5.8 GHz industrial, scientific, and medical radio bands, respectively. In addition, the antenna possesses mechanically secure and reproducible electronics-to-textile connections as observed during the measurement campaign. These findings indicate that the proposed snap-on button concept is a promising practical engineering solution for reconfigurable textile antennas.