Reconfigurable antennas have been proposed for mitigating multipath interference and increasing channel capacity in wireless networks. The majority of studies which have investigated these claims do so either in simulation or through the use of software defined radios in lab or office environments. There has been little work in quantifying experimentally the performance gains of a reconfigurable antenna in highly metallic environments representative of military and industrial applications. This letter quantifies the performance gains provided by the use of electrically reconfigurable antennas in the place of omnidirectional antennas given varying environmental and system configurations. Wireless measurements for various 802.11-like physical layers were performed in a set of multideck, coupled compartments aboard Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), a decommissioned Ticonderoga-class U.S. Navy cruiser. The reconfigurable antennas were observed to provide higher channel capacities than omnidirectional antennas. When the bulkhead doors connecting the coupled compartments were left open, the postprocessing signal to noise ratio (PP-SNRs) of signals received from reconfigurable antennas were up to 4 dB higher than what was observed when using omnidirectional antennas. As the compartments became less electrically coupled (i.e., bulkhead doors were closed), the benefit provided via the antenna pattern diversity of the reconfigurable antennas diminished.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Electromagnetically reflective spaces
- reconfigurable antennas
- shipboard propagation