miniature and tunable antenna using nanocomposite magnetoelectric substrate – MISTRAL
The MISTRAL project has for objective the achievement of miniature and frequency agile antennas exploiting the magneto-electric properties of innovative nanocomposites for electromagnetism. It is based on the sharing of competences at several levels of the synthesis of nanomaterials, scale which are accessible unique properties like the combination of the ultra-permeable and electrical insulator characters (contradictory by nature), the design of antennas with complex materials, integrative manufacturing technologies and metrology related. The project is based on technological breakthrough for the manufacture of nanocomposites: sintering of nanopowders (oxides) and molding of polymer loaded with nanoparticles (oxides).
The antennas are designed with commercial software supplemented with electromagnetic models specifically developed for nanocomposites. These tools constitute a co-design toolkit for antenna and material and are used to evaluate the performance of the prototypes. The antenna fabrication is based on complementary integrative technologies consistently with the product specifications (spectral band, environment, thick self-supporting materials ). These technologies enable antennas with high ratios of performance over size (weight) - miniaturization - and functionalization over size (weight) - agility-, and therefore a gain on the cost of production. The project contributes to the evaluation of the use of these technologies on an industrial scale for applications with fast growing market, as for examples sub Gigahertz airborne antennas and in the future large scale wireless sensors networks.
4 demonstrators are carried out during the project with 2 preliminary proofs of concept of functional optimized (low loss) and agile nanocomposites, followed by 1 fixed miniature antenna prototype and 1 tunable one. The common denominator in these demonstrators is the control of the synthesis of composite to a few tens of nanometers wide, this allows to exploit in particular the phenomenon of evanescent anisotropy in magnetic media for permeability enhancement and strong coupling between phases of different nature (magnetostrictive / piezoelectric) for agility.
The aim of the project is the manufacture of antennas using optimally the electromagnetic properties of these nanomaterials and in particular tunable magnetic properties associated with low losses. They are characterized in their spectral band of interest and context of use. Experimental performance is compared with those from numerical simulations with validation of interest for industrial transfer.
The MISTRAL project is based on a consortium of 4 complementary partners: 3 scientific and technological players and 1 industrial who carry the vision of the market. Cobham Antennas is the contractor for the aeronautic sector and ensure the adequacy of the methods and processes for possible industrial transfer. The antenna miniaturization needs for aeronautic applications are strength at VHF, UHF frequencies and consequently, prototypes of antennas and magneto-electric materials will be designed around these sub-Gigahertz frequencies. The other partners are the Lab-STICC in charge of nanocomposites developments, the IETR and CEA LETI for microantenna development and experimental characterization. The project MISTRAL, industrial research type, is the necessary exploratory step before to consider the use of mass production of antennas with magnetic nanocomposites in growing markets (aerospace and wireless communications (IoT)), bringing the first elements of answer (performance, reliability and cost) which are essential for industry decision roadmaps.
Monsieur Christophe Delaveaud (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique - LETI)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
IETR Université de Rennes 1
Lab-STICC UBO UNIVERSITE DE BRETAGNE OCCIDENTALE, Lab-STICC UMR 6285
CEA-LETI Commissariat à l'énergie atomique - LETI
Help of the ANR 668,371 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 36 Months