Active, reconfigurable, and passive antennas
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.