Fractal Antennas

We are the inventors of fractal antennas

The "patent wall" circa 2010

Dr. Cohen, our founder, created the first fractal antennas in 1988. Over the last three decades Dr. Cohen and Fractal Antenna Systems have continued to push the field forward technically and commercially.

Fractal antennas have now been unequivocally validated by academic research, and applied in a broad range of commercial and government applications around the globe.

We hold the source patents for fractal antennas, as well as a broad portfolio of patents covering fractal antenna-related applications. We have leveraged this technology to provide powerful antenna solutions to or commercial and government customers for over 25 years.

Fractal Antennas 101

What are fractal antennas?

Developed over the last 20 years, fractal antennas have proven to be the only fundamentally important breakthrough in antenna technology in the last half century. A "fractal element antenna" is a radiative element shaped using fractal geometry. Fractal geometry is a class of geometry that has been defined and popularized through the efforts of Benoit Mandelbrot and many others. We can produce fractal versions of all existing antenna types, including dipole, monopole, patch, conformal, biconical, discone, spiral, helical and others, as well as compact variants of each only possible through fractal technology.

Why use a fractal antenna?

The inherent qualities of fractals enable the production of high performance antennas that are typically 50 to 75 percent smaller than traditional ones . Typical advantages play out in increased bandwidth/multibandedness and gain in addition to smaller size. Additionally, fractal antennas are more reliable and lower cost than traditional antennas because antenna performance is attained through the geometry of the conductor, rather than with the accumulation of separate components or separate elements that inevitably increase complexity and potential points of failure—and cost. The result is one fractal antenna which is able to replace many traditional antennas.

In addition, fractal antennas afford unique improvements to antenna arrays. These benefits include: increasing their bandwidth, allowing multiband capabilities, decreasing size load, and enabling optimum smart antenna technology. We have a long history of building fractal elements and arrays for demanding commercial and government applications.

How does a fractal antenna work?

In general, the fractal parts produce 'fractal loading' and makes the antenna smaller for a given frequency of use. Practical shrinkage of 2-4 times are realizable for a given performance level. Multiband behavior is manifest at non-harmonic frequencies, while some bands are broadened. At the higher frequencies the FEA is extremely and naturally broad band and can be made frequency independent without a log periodic geometry. Shrunken, very wideband FEA are possible. Arrays naturally benefit as well, as the arrangement of elements must be defined by 'Hohlfeld-Cohen-Rumsey' (HCR) conditions for frequency invariance. Phasing and polarization control are also attainable in FEA

If they are so good why are they not in use?

This is a misconception. Our antennas are widely used in applications across many commercial and government applications. It is unlikely that you will 'see' our antennas, as they tend to be embedded inside products or under radomes. Like many breakthrough technologies, there was a fair amount of inertial resistance from incumbents in the antenna industry when our technology was first published. Such resistance to change has led to residual misconceptions about the limitations of fractals. These negative claims have been definitively disproved, as there are now two decades of academic studies and commercial experience to prove the superior performance of fractal antenna elelements and arrays.

Additional reading and technical validation

At this time there are over 2500 articles published on fractal antenna elements; major technical and scientific symposia have sessions on fractal antennas; and over 100 independent research groups, across the globe, have or are conducting research on fractal antennas. The science of fractal antennas is now well established (see for example, a discussion of the corroboration by a UCLA group) in the mainstream of electromagnetics and engineering.