Modeling, Design and Development of Micrometer Wave Energy Harvester Using Rectenna Arrays
Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
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7101 Poplar Avenue, Takoma Park, MD, 20912
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AbstractWe propose to directly harvest energy from infrared (3-14microns) radiation sources using micro-antennas coupled to rectifying diodes and storage capacitors. The antenna receives infrared electromagnetic radiation and the rectifier converts it to direct current which is then stored. Large numbers of these rectennas connected in a conformal, light-weight array should be able to harvest energy sufficient to help power complete systems such as UAVs. In the Phase I effort, we will model, design and begin fabricating a single rectenna, as well as model an entire group of these rectennas integrated into an infrared focal plane array. Modeling will include solving Maxwell’s equations for micro-antenna design and simulating electron transport in tunneling diodes through numerical solution of the Schrodinger and Poisson equations. We will develop compact rectenna models for input into circuit simulators to analyze rectenna based sub-circuits and the entire energy harvester array. The developed design tools will be used to maximize energy absorption and facilitate impedance transformation to extract higher antenna voltages and thereby optimize rectification. We will also prototype scaled models of the rectenna array and fabricate experimental rectenna test structures. This will lead to more robust rectenna designs and fabrication techniques for implementation in Phase II.
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