Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 67: A Novel Manufacturing Process for Compact, Low-Weight and Flexible Ultra-Wideband Cavity Backed Textile Antennas Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010067 Authors: Dries Van Baelen Sam Lemey Jo Verhaevert Hendrik Rogier A novel manufacturing procedure for the fabrication of ultra-wideband cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antennas on textile substrates is proposed. The antenna cavity is constructed using a single laser-cut electrotextile patch, which is folded around the substrate. Electrotextile slabs protruding from the laser-cut patch are then vertically folded and glued to form the antenna cavity instead of rigid metal tubelets to implement the vertical cavity walls. This approach drastically improves mechanical flexibility, decreases the antenna weight to slightly more than 1 g and significantly reduces alignment errors. As a proof of concept, a cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antenna is designed and realized for ultra-wideband operation in the [5.15–5.85] GHz band. Antenna performance is validated in free space as well as in two on body measurement scenarios. Furthermore, the antenna’s figures of merit are characterized when the prototype is bent at different curvature radii, as commonly encountered during deployment on the human body. Also the effect of humidity content on antenna performance is studied. In all scenarios, the realized antenna covers the entire operating frequency band, meanwhile retaining a stable radiation pattern with a broadside gain above 5 dBi, and a radiation efficiency of at least 70%.
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