There has been an ever-growing demand, in both the military as
well as the commercial sectors, for antenna designs that possess
the following highly desirable attributes: 1. Compact size 2.
Low profile 3. Conformal 4. Multi-band or broadband
a variety of approaches that have been developed over the years,
which can be utilized to achieve one or more of these design objectives.
Recently, the possibility of developing antenna designs that exploit
in some way the properties of fractals to achieve these goals,
at least in part, has attracted a lot of attention.
fractal, which means broken or irregular fragments, was originally
coined by Mandelbrot to describe a family of complex shapes that
possess an inherent self-similarity or self- affinity in their
geometrical structure. The original inspiration for the development
of fractal geometry came largely from an in-depth study of the
patterns of nature. For instance, fractals have been successfully
used to model such complex natural objects as galaxies, cloud
boundaries, mountain ranges, coastlines, snowflakes, trees, leaves,
ferns, and much more. Since the pioneering work of Mandelbrot
and others, a wide variety of applications for fractals continue
to be found in many branches of science and engineering. One such
area is fractal electrodynamics, in which fractal geometry is
combined with electromagnetic theory for the purpose of investigating
a new class of radiation, propagation, and scatter problems. One
of the most promising areas of fractal-electrodynamics research
is in its application to antenna theory and design.
approaches to the analysis and design of antenna systems have
their foundation in Euclidean geometry. There have been considerable
amounts of recent interest, however, in the possibility of developing
new types of antennas that employ fractal rather than Euclidean
geometric concepts in their design. We refer to this new and rapidly
growing field of research as fractal antenna engineering. Because
fractal geometry is an extension of classical geometry, its recent
introduction provides engineers with the unprecedented opportunity
to explore a virtually limitless number of previously unavailable
configurations for possible use in the development of new and
innovative antenna designs. There primarily two active areas of
research in fractal antenna engineering. These include: 1.) the
study of fractal-shaped antenna elements, and 2.) the use of fractals
in the design of antenna arrays. The purpose of this article is
to provide an overview of recent developments in the theory and
design of fractal antenna elements, as well as fractal antenna
arrays. The related area of fractal frequency-selective surfaces
will also be considered in this article.
WHAT IS FRACTALS,
WHAT IS FRACTAL GEOMETRY?
The term "Fractal means linguistically "broken" or "fractured"
from the Latin "fractus". Benoit Mandelbrot, a French
mathematician, introduced the term about 20 years ago in his book
"The Fractal Geometry of Nature". However many of the
fractal function go back classic mathematics. Names like G. Cantor
(1872), G. Peano (1890), D. Hilbert (1891), Helge von Koch (1904),
W. Sierprinski (1916) Gaston Julia (1918) and other personalities
played an important role in Mandelbrot's concepts of a new geometry.
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