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Antenna Types

Antenna Types

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Published by Inam Ullah Khan

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Published by: Inam Ullah Khan on Dec 11, 2012
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Figure 5. The vertical dipole and itselectromagnetic equivalent, the vertical monopole
Antennas can be classified in several ways.One way is the frequency band of operation.Others include physical structure andelectrical/electromagnetic design. Theantennas commonly used for LMR—both atbase stations and mobile units—representonly a very small portion of all the antennatypes.Most simple, nondirectional antennas arebasic dipoles or monopoles. More complex,directional antennas consist of arrays of elements, such as dipoles, or use one activeand several passive elements, as in the Yagiantenna.New antenna technologies are beingdeveloped that allow an antenna to rapidlychange its pattern in response to changes indirection of arrival of the received signal.These antennas and the supportingtechnology are called adaptive or “smart”antennas and may be used for the higher-frequency LMR bands in the future.
5.1Dipoles and Monopoles
The vertical dipole—or its electromagneticequivalent, the monopole—could beconsidered one of the best antennas for LMRapplications. It is omnidirectional (inazimuth) and, if it is a half-wavelength long,has a gain of 1.64 (or
= 2.15 dBi) in thehorizontal plane. A center-fed, verticaldipole is illustrated in figure 5(a). Althoughthis is a simple antenna, it can be difficult tomount on a mast or vehicle. The idealvertical monopole is illustrated infigure 5(b). It is half a dipole placed in half-space, with a perfectly conducting, infinitesurface at the boundary.A monopole over an infinite ground plane istheoretically the same (identical gain,pattern,
, in the half-space above theground plane) as the dipole in free space. Inpractice, a ground plane cannot be infinite,but a ground plane with a radiusapproximately the same as the length of theactive element, is an effective, practicalsolution. The flat surface of a vehicle’s trunk or roof can act as an adequate ground plane.Figure 6 shows typical monopole antennasfor base-station and mobile applications.
Figure 6. Typical monopole antennas for (a) base-station applications and (b) mobileapplicationsFigure 7. Omnidirectional base-stationantennasFigure 8. A monopole antenna horizontal- plane pattern, base-station application. Theuniform maximum gain corresponds to theouter line on the polar plot 
5.2Base-Station Applications
For base-station installations (where anomnidirectional pattern is desired), there aretwo practical implementations of the verticaldipole. The first type is the sleeve antenna,as illustrated in figure 7(a). The sleeveantenna is a vertical dipole with the feed(transmission line) entering from one end of a hollow element. The second type is amonopole over a ground plane, as illustratedin figure 7(b). The monopole in this illustra-tion uses a set of four wire elements toprovide the ground plane. Figure 8 shows atypical pattern for a base-station monopole.A variation of the dipole antenna is thefolded dipole as shown in figure 9. Itsradiation pattern is very similar to the simpledipole, but its impedance is higher and it hasa wider bandwidth.
Figure 10. Typical mobile antennas
5.2.1Mobile Applications
Nearly all vehicular antennas are monopolesmounted over a (relatively) flat body surface(as described above). In this application, themonopole is often called a “whip” antenna.At VHF low-band, a quarter-wave monopolecan be 2.5 m (approximately 8 ft) long.However, an inductor (coil) at the base of amonopole adds electrical length, so thephysical length of the antenna can beshorter. Although this kind of “loaded”antenna will appear to be a quarter-waveantenna, it will have a gain value somewhatless than a true quarter-wave monopole. Thisdisadvantage can be somewhat offset,however, by the ability to mount the(shorter) antenna in the center of a surfacethat will act as an acceptable ground plane(
, the roof or trunk of the vehicle).Figure 10(a) shows an illustration of thiskind of antenna.Many of the vehicular antennas at VHFhigh-band are quarter-wave monopoles. At150 MHz, this would mean that a whipantenna, approximately 0.5 m (1.5 ft) long,is needed. Half-wave and 5/8 wavemonopoles also are used, but they requiresome sort of matching network (
,inductors and/or capacitors) in order tomatch the antenna impedance to that of thetransmission line. These longer antennashave a gain of approximately 3 dBi.At UHF, a quarter-wave whip isapproximately 15 cm (6 in) long. Since thislength is physically small, some designconsiderations can be used to increase thegain. For example, as shown in figure 10(b),two 5/8 wave monopoles can be “stacked”with a phasing coil between them. This is,effectively, an antenna array (see sec. 5.5)that provides a gain of approximately 5 dBi.At 800 MHz, a quarter-wave monopole doesnot perform well, so the approach of stacking two monopoles, with a phasing coilbetween, is used. Such an antenna,illustrated in figure 10(c), looks much like amobile cellular phone antenna and has a gainof approximately 3 dBi.The azimuthal pattern of all monopoles isideally a circle. In other words, the gainversus azimuth angle in the horizontal planeis constant. In practice, the pattern in thehorizontal plane generally is notomnidirectional, since the portion of thevehicle used as a ground plane is notsymmetric, and usually there are otherobstructions. Figure 11 shows the horizontalplane pattern for an 840 MHz whip locatedin the center of the roof of a vehicle [13].The dotted line in the figure shows theeffects, on the pattern, of a law-enforcement
Figure 9. A folded-dipole antenna

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