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    Project Abstract

    The project is for the investigation into electrotextiles for antenna applications in the low GHz frequency range. The research focuses on the creation of a broadband antenna integrated in various articles of clothing which will cover the common frequency ranges of cellular communications. In addition, multiple antennas can be implemented into clothing to enhance the wireless link for a wearable communication system.

    Fig. 1. Multiple radiators receiving and transmitting energy from distinct directions. The redundancy in the radiators allows for the optimal radiation path to be chosen. The increase area between the radiators enabled by the electrotextiles increases the diversity between the two antennas as compared to an "on component" antenna which is limited by the form factor of the communication device.

    There are three stages in this project. The first stage is to evaluate the ability of the electrotextile materials to act as high-quality conductors, including material characterization. Second is the design of the antennas to utilize the increased area by using the clothing as the antenna designer's "canvas". Third is to design optimum antenna deployment to adapt to an environment varying as much as that of fabric on an active human body.
    Fig. 2. Patch antenna made with electro-textile fabric.

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