Florida International University researchers are taking principles from the traditional Japanese art of origami to create powerful, yet compact antennas and electronics.
Stavros Georgakopoulos, assistant professor in FIU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says the geometries of origami have allowed them to reconfigure antennas to whatever shape they need. The collapsible antennas may only be a couple of centimeters when folded flat but have ultra-broadband capabilities.
Georgakopoulos says applications are wide ranging, including for technology that needs to be launched in space or used on the battlefield. For example, a soldier could carry a powerful antenna into combat folded neatly in his back pocket.
Researchers use sophisticated inkjet printing techniques to deposit conductive materials such as copper or silver onto paper to create antenna elements with novel signal reception.