Background: Generally, the functionality of reconfigurable antennas is
achieved by changing the topological structure controlled by RF switches. Compared
with traditional antennas, reconfigurable antennas have many advantages, such as
multi-function, small size, light weight, good diversity. Therefore, reconfigurable
antennas will be an important part in MIMO systems, cognitive radio systems and
future communication systems.
Objective: This paper mainly focuses on the reconfigurable antennas based on RF
MEMS switches. In this paper, various recent patents are also presented and discussed.
Method: Firstly, the working principle and classification of reconfigurable antennas based on RF switches
are introduced. Reconfigurable antennas can be grouped into four categories: frequency reconfigurable
antennas, pattern reconfigurable antennas, polarization reconfigurable antennas and compound reconfigurable
antennas. Secondly, the research status of RF MEMS switches is presented and the advantages
of the RF MEMS switches are summed up. Moreover, the applications of RF MEMS switches in the related
four kinds of reconfigurable antennas are introduced, respectively.
Results: At last, the current and future developments of patents and academic papers in reconfigurable
antennas are discussed.