Geometry Tuning of an Electrically Small Antenna for Ionospheric Heating

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A modification of a previously introduced electrically small antenna is presented with tuning methods for continuous band coverage for ionospheric heating (~3–10 MHz). Consisting of a small loop antenna inductively coupled to a capacitively loaded loop (CLL), the design may be tuned ±50% of the center of the band by simply adjusting the capacitance of the CLL. Abandoning the use of lossy materials for tuning such as solid dielectrics or ferrites, the antenna is greater than 80% efficient across its tuning range. A tenth scale prototype with electromechanical geometry tuning is tested for frequency range and tuning capability especially at the low-frequency end where port reflection losses tend to dominate. Tuning of the small loop antenna-CLL coupling is used to mitigate this matching issue, which was demonstrated on the physical antenna model. Experimentally, a tuning range of 33.5–117.5 MHz is achieved with low reflection achievable across the range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-502
Number of pages9
JournalRadio Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


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