University of Malta

UWB Antenna
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UltraWideBand Antenna
Project Number: KD01KZA


The Invention 

Optimal end-to-end antenna system design for applications requiring ultrawide bandwidth. The antenna design allows for improved range, resolution and a wider field of view in a low cost solution that can be printed onto flexible materials. The antenna's transmitter/receiver has a fractal design and makes use of a frequency-selective surface to achieve a bandwidth ratio of 1:10. The transmitter/receiver design is printed onto the surface of the object using conductive ink, a low-cost manufacturing process.



  • One antenna to replace many, due to ultrawide bandwidth ratio
  • Low cost and easy to manufacture 
  • Antenna element is planar allowing for compact, low profile and flexible configurations
  • Using antennas to ‘see through walls/fire/smoke’ 



Applications / Industries 

The antenna system can be designed to fit specifically with many needs. Here are some applications which the system can be adapted to:  

  • Space observation: designed with square kilometer array project requirements in mind 
  • Military: tactical communications systems, RADAR, border control, data gathering with drones
  • Industrial: telecommunications - reducing number of antennas needed for different services on base transceiver stations, civilian RADAR and communications, high resolution medical RF imaging, search-and-rescue aids 
  • Consumer Products: wearables, mobile phones, electronic devices, gaming systems

Development Status 

A prototype consisting of a 16x16 element array has been developed and tested as shown in the image below. A project to extend the prototype to a 54x54 element array is currently underway. The team is also in the process of integrating the antenna in drones for border security control applications.



Intellectual Property Status 

Patent allowed for grant. A patent application (application no. GB1314339.1) was submitted by the University of Malta in the United Kingdom in August 2013. A further patent application was filed (application no. 2016/01049) in South Africa in February 2016. The IP is co-owned with the University of Manchester.

Apart from the antenna design, a genetic algorithm design process has been developed which can be used to design antenna systems with various requirements. The team also has know-how in designing the entire system around the antenna for maximum benefit to the user.

Commercial Interest

We are looking for potential licencees of the patents for application in the Square Kilometer Array Project. We are also looking for collaborators interested in developing bespoke systems and products for commercialisation in other applications. 

The team also has a high level of capability in predicting performance of the antennas through simulation by comparing simulations with measurements for reflection coefficients and antenna efficiency. 


Lead Originator & Relevant Publications 

Prof. Kristian Zarb Adami

Institute of Space Sciences & Astronomy 

Conference Proceedings

Design of a Wideband CMOS LNA for Low Frequency Band SKA Application. Farhat E.O., Zarb Adami K., Casha O., Grech I. and Vaate J.G. ICECS 2015 Proceedings, Cairo, Egypt, 2015.

Ultra-Wideband Tightly Coupled Phased Array Antenna for Low-Frequency Radio Telescope. Farhat, E. O., Zarb Adami, K., Zhang, Y., Brown, A. K. and Sammut, C. V. 2013. Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 12-15, 245.


Other Information

Runner up of the Malta Innovation Awards 2014 'Award for Scientific Innovation' [Link]

Supported through the TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award 2014

Supported through the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), 2014  

Supported through the Malta Council for Science & Technology's FUSION Programme 2014, project number VCR-2014-028

White Paper submitted to the U.S. Government National Research Laboratory (NRL) [PDF

Supported through the Malta Council for Science & Technology's FUSION Programme 2016, project number R&I-2016-014-V



Download summary [PDF]

Interested? Contact Andras Havasi or the Knowledge Transfer Office

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Last Updated: 6 July 2017

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