Reflective Panel for Wireless Applications

A reflective panel for reflecting electromagnetic waves comprised of a material with varying resistivity across the panel

The Need

Wireless systems are linked together through an electromagnetic field that propagates from the transmitter to the receiver, and as a result engineers must be concerned with the transmitting and receiving antennas and the propogation path to improve service. Modern wireless systems have been developed to illuminate properly an assigned sector with a wide shape width and a narrow shape elevation. This causes wireless systems to perform very well in an open field, but performance quickly deteriorates in an urban setting with large buildings that block or damage both vertical and horizontal signals. Companies use complex duel polarized antennas, multiple space-diversity antennas, and smart antennas to bypass this problem . While these methods have had success, they are expensive and overly complex. This has created an opportunity for the market to create a more effective wireless product that is based not on the antenna, but instead propagation path.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Walter Burnside, have created a resistive-card panel that allows a user to create a strong reflected wireless field without significant diffraction. These panels reflect energy into poorly illuminated areas to modify the propagation path of the wireless signal, leading to a higher quality of service. A panel can be flat or curved to create a focused signal on one location or terminal, or a more unfocused reflected field to cover a larger area of space. Thanks to the versatility of these panels they can also be used anywhere along the link from the transmitter to the receiver.

Commercial Applications

  • Wireless telecommunications
  • Antennas
  • Wireless sensors


  • Creates strong, selective fields without significant distractions
  • Geometry can be manipulated to achieve desired field and optimize performance
  • Integrates into any dielectric structure

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