PIFA Antenna simulation using HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS

Article by Nadya Gary created/updated July 14, 2016

HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS helps designers to size their RF and Microwave passive components (Filters, Couplers, Antennas, Wave guides etc) to ensure optimum performance. HFWorks is seamlessly integrated inside SOLIDWORKS, allowing SolidWorks users to run simulations right on their CAD model, without the need for data exchange with each design modification. This way all design modifications can be seamlessly handled.

In this blog post, we run a HFWorks antenna simulation to examine a planar inverted F antenna (PIFA) designed to operate at 0.88GHz and 1.6 GHz.

Typical PIFA antenna

Figure 1: PIFA antenna

How does a PIFA antenna work?

Antenna designers are always looking for creative ways to improve performance. One method used in patch antenna design is to introduce shorting pins (from the patch to the ground plane) at various locations. PIFA works as described above, it is grounded on one side of the patch antenna, either at a single point or along the length of a side.

PIFA antennas are widely used in mobile phone applications. One important requirement is when a cell phone is placed against the ear of the user, radiated power towards the user’s head should be minimized, while maximum radiation should be in opposite direction to ensure better signal reception. PIFA antenna achieves this.

This type of antenna requires a ground point on the patch, decreasing the size of the patch from a half wave antenna to a quarter wave antenna. This decreased size makes PIFAs simpler to conceal in today’s miniature cell phones. Figure 2 shows a typical PIFA antenna in SOLIDWORKS:

Isometric 3D Model

Figure 2: Isometric 3D Model

PIFA Antenna simulated using HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS

HFWorks can accurately calculate the insertion loss, return loss, magnetic field, electric field, the antenna parameters (radiated power, accepted power, Gain, Radiation) for a given antenna design. Figure 3 and 4 shows the simulated result of the electric field and magnetic field at 1.6 GHz.

Antenna simulation using HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS - Electric field distribution

Figure 3: Electric field distribution

Magnetic field distribution

Figure 4: Magnetic field distribution

Figure 5 shows the return loss s11 in dB and figure 6 shows the radiation intensity at 1.6 GHz and phi=225◦.

Return loss S11 in dB

Figure 5: Return loss S11 in dB

Polar chart of radiation intensity at 1.6 GHz

Figure 6: Polar chart of radiation intensity at 1.6 GHz

Learn more about HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS

HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS is the first and only completely embedded Gold Certified software for SOLIDWORKS which helps SOLIDWORKS users study their RF and microwave designs seamlessly. It can utilize the geometry created using SOLIDWORKS directly for simulation. Its user interface emulates the SOLIDWORKS interface so there is no learning curve associated with the HFWorks software. Contact us about trial and pricing for HFWorks for SOLIDWORKS and see how it helps you design better RF and microwave products.

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