Diversity Limits of Compact Broadband Multi-Antenna Systems

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In order to support multiple antennas on compact wireless devices, transceivers are often designed with matching networks that compensate for mutual coupling. Some works have suggested that when optimal matching is applied to such a system, performance at the center frequency can be improved at the expense of an apparent reduction in the system bandwidth. This paper addresses the question of how coupling impacts bandwidth in the context of circular arrays. It will be shown that mutual coupling creates eigen-modes (virtual antennas) with diverse frequency responses, using the standard matching techniques. The authors shall also demonstrate how common communications techniques such as Diversity-OFDM would need to be optimized in order to compensate for these effects.