Document Type

Master's Research

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Engineering

Advisor(s)

Abdullah Eroglu

Date of Award

5-2012

Abstract

There is an ever-increasing demand for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that are passive, long range, and mountable on multiple surfaces. Currently, RFID technology is utilized in numerous applications such as supply chain management, access control, and public transportation. With the combination of sensory systems in recent years, the applications of RFID technology have been extended beyond tracking and identifying. This extension includes applications such as environmental monitoring and healthcare applications. The available sensory systems usually operate in the medium or high frequency bands and have a low read range. However, the range limitations of these systems are being overcome by the development of RFID sensors focused on utilizing tags in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band.

Generally, RFID tags have to be mounted to the object that is being identified. Often the objects requiring identification are metallic. The inherent properties of metallic objects have substantial effects on nearby electromagnetic radiation; therefore, the operation of the tag antenna is affected when mounted on a metallic surface. This outlines one of the most challenging problems for RFID systems today: the optimization of tag antenna performance in a complex environment.

In this research, a novel UHF RFID tag antenna, which has a low profile, long range, and is mountable on metallic surfaces, is designed analytically and simulated using a 3-D electromagnetic simulator, ANSYS HFSS. A microstrip patch antenna is selected as the antenna structure, as patch antennas are low profile and suitable for mounting on metallic surfaces. Matching and theoretical models of the microstrip patch antenna are investigated. Once matching and theory of a microstrip patch antenna is thoroughly understood, a unique design technique using electromagnetic band gap (EBG) structures is explored. This research shows that the utilization of an EBG structure in the patch antenna design yields an improvement in gain, or range, and in the ability to be mounted on multiple metallic surfaces.

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