This thesis focuses on the design, modeling, fabrication, and testing a planar dielectric elastomer. The planar elastomer is used as an actuator for a novel pattern reconfigurable antenna. The antenna system consists of a monopole, ground plane, and a pair of counter-rotating V-shaped parasitic elements. A simplified mechanical analytical model, validated by simulation performed with software based on the finite element method, is developed to design the actuator. The dielectric elastomer is fabricated by using a three-component silicone, commercially available as TC-5005. Two carbon fiber-reinforced plastic hinges are used to fix the two V-shaped parasitic elements to the dielectric elastomer. The planar movement of the elastomer results on counter-rotating the parasitic elements. Mechanical tests are performed to validate the design and modeling of the actuator. Preliminary tests are carried out to assess potential performance of the proposed pattern reconfigurable antenna.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Menon, Carlo
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