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A Review of Plasma Antennas

Authors:

Abstract

In the era of high speed communication and cognitive radio, Plasma antenna grown for its beam forming, to hide and fast switching properties. Using non thermal plasma sources in glass tubes, containing neutral gases, it is possible to design a Plasma Antenna. This paper shows the status of Plasma Antenna research, basic operation and its scope for the future.
National Conference on Higher Education: Ways Ahead on 15th November, 2014.
Submitted on 1st June 2014.
1
Conducted by CEGR (Centre for Education Growth and Research) Delhi, India.
A Review of Plasma Antennas
Vikram Kumar
Assistant Professor
Instrumentation & Control Department
JSS Academy of Technical Education
Noida-201301, India
vikrameureka@gmail.com
ABSRTACT:
In the era of high speed communication and cognitive radio, Plasma antenna grown for its
beam forming, to hide and fast switching properties. Using non thermal plasma sources in
glass tubes, containing neutral gases, it is possible to design a Plasma Antenna. This
paper shows the status of Plasma Antenna research, basic operation and its scope for the
future.
INTRODUCTION:
A column of ionized gas when use to radiated or receive electro-magnetic
signal, then it is said to be a Plasma antenna. Plasma antennas are the future of
antennas. This article reviews the current status of plasma antennas. Revelation
of plasma as an antenna is done in 1917, by J. Hettinger suggested that long
beam of ionized or ionizing medium can be used to radiate and to receive
wireless signals [1]. Here in after referred to as the “ionized beam Ariel”. In the
1960s, Askar’yan [2] proved this prediction by experiments. Kang W L, Rader M,
and Alexe I in 1996, IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, Boston
demonstrated a construction of an antenna with a glass tube filled with low-
pressure gas [3]. Then after measurements of Efficiency and Radiation patterns
of plasma column antenna had been developed by Gerard G. Borg and Jeffrey
H. Harris in 1999 [4]. Characteristics of the plasma antenna largely
depend on the behavior of an electromagnetic
wave propagating in plasma. In the 21st century
there are so many experiments had done for its
characterization. In between 1999 to 2002 T.R.
Anderson, Igor Alexeff, J. H. Harris, G. G. Borg and
some other eminent scientist patented some of the
plasma antenna. Now Plasma Antenna is capable
of both the transmission and reception.
Figure 1: Picture of proposed ionized beam Aerial[1]
There some important research had been done throughout the past decade.
The length of the plasma column increases as the square root of the applied
power [5]. So by increasing power it is possible to control its effective length as
well as antenna resonant frequency. Different from copper antenna, the
characteristics of a plasma antenna vary simultaneously with plasma frequency
and collision frequency and this property can be used to construct dynamically
National Conference on Higher Education: Ways Ahead on 15th November, 2014.
Submitted on 1st June 2014.
2
Conducted by CEGR (Centre for Education Growth and Research) Delhi, India.
reconfigurable antenna [6]. Array Plasma Antenna, length and number of
elements can be controlled by the operating parameters such as input power,
working pressure [7]. Innovative range of selectable Multi-Beam antenna, Smart
Plasma Antenna, Stacked Plasma Antenna Arrays and High directivity Antenna
are in row of development. They will meet exact demands in today’s wireless
communication sector, defence and security markets.
BASIC OPERATION:
Procedure to operate Plasma antenna is
first fill the neutral gas (e.g. Argon) in the
vacant glass tube. At some fix pressure sealed
the tube; a care for the pressure should be
taken sufficiently less than glass breakdown
pressure. Connect a non thermal plasma
generation power source example RF and
Microwave discharge. At lower frequencies,
the ions accelerated in the field move towards
the electrodes and produce secondary
electrons, similar to what happens in a dc
discharge. As the frequency increases, the
ions and subsequently also the electrons can
no longer reach the electrode surface during
the acceleration phase of the exciting external
field [8]. Connect a signal source or the receiver
probe with coupling sleeves over the glass tube
of plasma antenna, it is better to use a good
conductor as a coupling sleeves. Take care of the distance between coupling
sleeves and power source arrangement. By controlling applied power vary the
effective length of plasma column, and thus get the desired result.
By changing the operating parameters, as working pressure, source
frequency, input power, radius of glass tube, length of plasma column, and
neutral gas, effective length and efficiency of plasma antenna should be change
[7].
Experiments has also carried out on Fluorescent tube as a Plasma Antenna
[9], and shown the simplest model of plasma antenna. Using this model it has
shown that Frequency above 200Hz are enough to get stable plasma state in
Plasma column, and to use it as a Plasma Antenna.
APPLICATIONS:
Mobile Communication: Fast switching of working frequency is the need of
mobile communication. In plasma antenna fast switching antenna power is
possible, and results in change in effective length and frequency at very high
speed.
Figure 2: Plasma Antenna Model
National Conference on Higher Education: Ways Ahead on 15th November, 2014.
Submitted on 1st June 2014.
3
Conducted by CEGR (Centre for Education Growth and Research) Delhi, India.
Defence: Plasma elements can be energized and de-energized in
microseconds. When de-energized, the Plasma antenna behaves as a
dielectric tube, which has a small radar scattering cross section. So it will be
difficult to detect by hostile radar.
Satellite Communication: Satellites are equipped with Phased array
antenna, and it requires fast beam focusing and steering. The plasma
antenna can steer very fast using power control.
Protection from EMP: Plasma Antenna having lower plasma frequency is
transparent for higher frequencies. In the electronic-warfare, dangerous signal
can pass through the antenna without interfering its transmission and
reception. So this antenna is safe in electronic warfare.
Mechanical Robustness: If the plasma antennas are composed of flexible
fiber tubes and if the fiber tubes will more heat resistive for plasma heat than
it can be used as a portable antenna.
CONCLUSION: Using non thermal plasma source and neutral gas filled tube, it is
possible to make an agile antenna. Plasma antenna can do better in star
exploration where weight of the product has to lift up from the earths surface
should be under limit.
REFERENCES:
1. Hettinger J, 1919, U.S. Patent No. 1309031
2. G A Askaryan, 1965, Sov. Phys. Tech. Phys.
3. W L Kang et al, M Rader, I Alexe, 1996, Proceedings of the IEEE
International Conference on Plasma Science, Boston, 3-5, p 261.
4. G. G. Borg et al, J. H. Harris, N. M. Martin,D. Thorncraft, R. Milliken, D.
G. Miljak, B. Kwan, T. Ng, and J. Kircher, 2000, Plasmas as antennas:
Theory, experiment and applications, Physics Of Plasmas, Volume 7,
Number 5.
5. John Phillip Rayner et al, Adrian Philip Whichello, and Andrew Desmond
Cheetham, 2004, Physical Characteristics of Plasma Antennas, IEEE
Transactions On Plasma Science, VOL. 32, NO. 1.
6. LIANG Chao et al, XU Yue-Min, WANG Zhi-Jiang, 2008, Numerical
Simulation of Plasma Antenna with FDTD Method, Chines Physics Letter,
Vol. 25, No. 10.
7. Rajneesh Kumar, Dhiraj Bora, 2010, A reconfigurable plasma antenna,
Journal Of Applied Physics.
8. H Conrads, M Schmidt, 2000, Plasma generation and plasma sources,
Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 9.
9. V Kumar et al, M Mishra, N K Joshi, 2011, Study of a fluorescent tube as
Plasma antenna, Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 24,
Page 17-26.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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  • G A Askaryan
G A Askaryan, 1965, Sov. Phys. Tech. Phys.
  • G G Borg
G. G. Borg et al, J. H. Harris, N. M. Martin,D. Thorncraft, R. Milliken, D. G. Miljak, B. Kwan, T. Ng, and J. Kircher, 2000, Plasmas as antennas: Theory, experiment and applications, Physics Of Plasmas, Volume 7, Number 5.