- Active, reconfigurable, and passive antennas
- Wireless communications
- Embedded and smart wireless sensor systems
- Electromagnetic measurements and packaging
Prof. Bernhard's research addresses applications-oriented electromagnetic
problems with an emphasis on theoretical analysis and experimental investigation.
Her research group focuses on two areas: Electromagnetics for Wireless
Communication and Reconfigurable Active and Passive Antennas.
Electromagnetics for Wireless Communication: This work centers on cutting-edge
technology development and design techniques that will enable high data-rate
wireless communication and wireless parallel computation. Prof. Bernhard's
research group investigates the effects of packaging on antenna performance
and uses these results to develop design-oriented models for internal antennas,
embedded antennas, and diversity schemes. The research also creates synthesis
approaches for internal portable antenna systems that produce desired performance
while reducing user exposure and battery usage.
Reconfigurable Active and Passive Antennas: Prof. Bernhard's research implements
reconfigurability in antenna structures to provide flexibility in operating
frequency, bandwidth, and radiation pattern performance. Reconfigurability is
accomplished using MEMS (microelectromechanical system) or traditional microwave
switches, ferroelectric materials, or mechanical actuation of antenna components.
The new multi-function antennas developed in this research will reduce
dramatically the number and size of large array-based antenna systems, improve
system efficiency, and decrease system cost and weight.
The research group is supported by a specialized fabrication facility,
a new anechoic chamber, Agilent vector network analyzers, a unique bit error rate measurement system for antennas, and opportunities for
collaborations with the UIUC Center for Computational Electromagnetics.