This paper presents the novel concept of structuring a planar coil antenna structured into the outermost stainless-steel layer of a fiber metal laminate (FML) and investigating its performance. Furthermore, the antenna is modified to sufficiently work on inhomogeneous conductive substrates such as carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) independent from their application-dependent layer configuration, since the influence on antenna performance was expected to be configuration-dependent. The effects of different stack-ups on antenna characteristics and strategies to cope with these influences are investigated. The purpose was to create a wireless self-sustained sensor node for an embedded structural health monitoring (SHM) system inside the monitored material itself. The requirements of such a system are investigated, and measurements on the amount of wireless power that can be harvested are conducted. Mechanical investigations are performed to identify the antenna shape that produces the least wound to the material, and electrical investigations are executed to prove the on-conductor optimization concept. Furthermore, a suitable process to fabricate such antennas is introduced. First measurements fulfilled the expectations: the measured antenna structure prototype could provide up to 11 mW to a sensor node inside the FML component.
Keywords: FML; SHM; antenna; energy harvesting; ferrite; fiber metal laminates; stainless steel; structural health monitoring.