With the ever-increasing demand for wireless communications, there is a great need for efficient designs of electromagnetic systems. Reconfigurable electromagnetic systems are very useful because such designs can provide multi-functionality and support different services. The geometrical topology of an electromagnetic element is very important as it determines the element’s RF performance characteristics. Origami geometries have significant advantages for launch-and-carry electromagnetic devices where devices need to fold in order to miniaturize their size during launch and unfold in order to operate after the platform has reached orbit.
This dissertation demonstrates a practical process for designing reconfigurable electromagnetic devices using origami structures. Four different origami structures are studied and the integrated Mathematical-Computational-Electromagnetic models of origami antennas, origami reflectors and origami antenna arrays are developed and analyzed. These devices provide many unique capabilities compared with the traditional designs, such as band-switching, frequency tuning, polarization adjustment and mode reconfigurability. Prototypes are also manufactured to validate the performances of the designs. These designs change their geometry naturally, and they can be compactly packaged into small volume, which make them very suitable for spaceborne and satellite communication. Origami antennas and origami electromagnetics are expected to impact a variety of applications related to communications, surveillance and sensing.