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GPS Microstrip Antenna

Matthew Schirmacher and Matthew Clark
Advisors: Dr. James Sennott and Dr. S. Navarro

The project is to design, build, and test a circularly polarized microstrip antenna for use with the Global Positioning System (GPS) here at Bradley. The goals were to make this antenna as small as possible and to be cost effective. The most basic technique used in the past to achieve circular polarization is the use of two linearly polarized antennas, one of them with a 90 degree phase shift. The most basic structure that satisfies this requirement is the combination of two dipoles in quadrature. This solution is not optimal in the aerodynamical sense because low profile antennas must be used in moving vehicles. Other excellent antennas that produce circular polarization are the conical spiral and the corrugated horn but are too bulky and expensive. An antenna that satisfies the electrical and mechanical constraints is the microstrip patch. This antenna can also be fed in such a way that two linearly polarized fields, one with a 90 degree phase shift, are produced using a single patch.

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