Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Nicholas J Kirsch

Second Advisor

Kent A Chamberlin

Third Advisor

Michael J Carter


As wireless communications infiltrates our daily lives, there is a growing need for unobtrusive antennas. Utilizing optically transparent and electrically conductive material for antenna fabrication satisfies this demand. Optically transparent antennas have infiltrated applications in wireless communications where it is desired to reduce an antenna's visual or spatial impact. Their use in automotive applications preserves car aesthetics, while their integration onto solar cells of small satellites reduces size and thus weight. This work presents the development of a coplanar edge-fed optically transparent microstrip patch antenna, composed of highly conductive thin mesh wires designed to operate in the 5 to 6 GHz band, to be used in a phased array for beamforming and beamsteering applications. A simulation-based analysis of two edge-fed feeding mechanisms showed an inset feed outperforms a quarter-wavelength impedance transformer under optically transparent mesh material design limitations. From the results of the simulation, an optically transparent microstrip patch antenna was fabricated, and its performance was shown to be comparable to an antenna composed of solid copper.