The design of a trimodal broadside antenna element for compact massive MIMO arrays: Utilizing the Theory of Characteristic Modes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) arrays are becoming critical elements in cellular base station infrastructure. We utilize the theory of characteristic modes (TCM) to design a novel tri-modal broadside antenna element which is suitable for the construction of compact massive MIMO
arrays. The proposed antenna element consists of three ports which is formed by reviewing an existing compact two-port Y-shaped patch antenna from a TCM perspective. Using this perspective the Y-shaped antenna is modified into a snowflake-shaped patch antenna and excited by three ports via capacitive coupling. The advantage of the design approach is that the size of the three-port antenna is approximately the same as a conventional dual-polarized patch antenna, hence allowing 50% more antenna elements for the same array aperture. By cutting the ground plane into a hexagonal shape, multiple of the proposed three-port canonical antennas are concatenated together to form 21- and 102-port massive MIMO arrays with all radiation patterns pointing in the broadside direction. Key performance characteristics of the massive MIMO arrays, such as
the Hermitian product of the simulated massive MIMO channel and mutual coupling, validate the effectiveness of the compact design.


External organisations
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-61
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine
Issue number6
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec
Publication categoryResearch

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Related research output

Chi-Yuk Chiu, Buon Kiong Lau & Ross Murch, 2020, In: IEEE Open Journal on Antennas and Propagation. 1, p. 524-533 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chi-Yuk Chiu, Ross Murch & Buon Kiong Lau, 2020, Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and North American Radio Science Meeting. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

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