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An antenna is an electrical conductor or system of conductors Transmission - radiates electromagnetic energy into space Reception - collects electromagnetic energy from space In two-way communication, the same antenna can be used for transmission and reception An antenna is a circuit element that provides a transition form a guided wave on a transmission line to a free space wave and it provides for the collection of electromagnetic energy. In transmit systems the RF signal is generated, amplified, modulated and applied to the antenna In receive systems the antenna collects electromagnetic waves that are “cutting” through the antenna and induce alternating currents that are used by the receiver

CONCEPT OF VECTOR POTENTIAL

Hertzian dipole

A simple practical antenna is a doublet or Hertzian dipole (see a figure below). It is very short length of wire over which the current distribution can be assumed uniform. Maxwell’s equations show that such an antenna when energized by a high frequency current is associated with an induction field which decreases inversely as square of the distance and a radiation field which decreases inversely as distance only. The later is still measurable at large distances from the doublet and is well-known radiation field used in radio communications

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4ð times the ratio of the radiationintensity in that direction to the net power accepted by the antenna from the connected transmitter. the power gain is usually taken to be thepower gain in the direction of its maximum value. Power Gain. (2) Power gain does not include reflection losses arising from mismatchof impedance. NOTES: (1) When thedirection is not stated. Beamwidth is the angular separation of the half-power points of the radiated pattern . Directivity. In a given direction. In a given direction. The value of the directive gain in the direction of its maximum value. 4ð times the ratio of theradiation intensity in that direction to the total power radiated by the antenna. In a given direction.DEFINITIONS Radiation Intensity. the power radiated form an antenna per unit solid angle. Directive Gain.

Folded dipole A folded dipole is a dipole where an additional wire (λ/2) links the two ends of the (λ/2) half wave dipole. antenna gain results from the interaction of all other antenna characteristics. Generally these characteristics are more easilydescribed for the transmitting case. though very often it does. Half-wavelength dipole This type of antenna is a special case where each wire is exactly one-quarter of the wavelength.64. Bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower cutoff frequencies of. the properties apply as well to receiving applications. and spectroscopy GAIN Gain is an antenna property dealing with an antenna's ability to direct its radiated power in a desired direction. In case of a baseband channel or signal. a filter. However. and efficiency areindependent of the antenna's use for either transmitting or receiving. and is typically measured in hertz. The increase in radiation resistance allows the antenna to be driven from a 300 ohm balanced line. for receiving antenna its input impedance is important. making it easily matched to a coaxial transmission line. a communication channel. or a signal spectrum. radio communications. however. ohm or joule.15 dB.s (root mean square) antenna current and Rr is its radiation resistance. but the radiation resistance is about 300 ohms rather than the 75 ohms which is expected for a normal dipole. Actual gain will be a little less due to ohmic losses. for a total of a half wavelength.m. beamwidth. Bandwidth in hertz is a centralconcept in many fields. then the power radiated is I2Rr watts where Rr is a fictitious resistance which accounts for the radiated power somewhat like a circuit resistance which dissipates heat. or 2. The directivity is a constant 1. In contrast. The larger the radiation resistance the larger the power radiated by the antenna. including electronics. but is a dimensionless ratio. Radiation resistance An important property of a transmitting antenna is its radiation resistance which is associated with power radiated by the antenna. As a consequence.Antenna characteristics of gain. If I is the r. The radiation resistance is about 73 ohms if wire diameter is ignored. The input impedance is defined as the ratio of voltage to current at its input and it must be generally matched to the connecting line or cable. or to receive energy preferentially from a desired direction. .for example. the andwidth is equal to its upper cutoff frequency. information theory. signal processing. The folded dipole works in the same way as a normal dipole. The input impedance may or may not be equal to radiation resistance. gain is not a quantity which can be defined in terms of physical quantities such as the Watt. In most case Rr may be calculated or it can be determined experimentally.

Power radiated from a λ /2 dipole occurs at right angles to the antenna with no power emitting from the ends of the antenna. then: Polarization is the direction of the electric field and is the same as the physical attitude of the antenna A vertical antenna will transmit a vertically polarized wave The receive and transmit antennas need to possess the same polarization Antenna Gain Relationship between antenna gain and effective area G = antenna gain Ae = effective area f = carrier frequency c = speed of light (» 3 ´ 108 m/s) λ = carrier wavelength Radiation Pattern Radiation pattern is an indication of radiated field strength around the antenna. The relationship between Le and L is given by: Effective aperture The power received by an antenna can be associated with collecting area.RECIPROCITY: An antenna ability to transfer energy form the atmosphere to its receiver with the same efficiency with which it transfers energy from the transmitter into the atmosphere Antenna characteristics are essentially the same regardless of whether an antenna is sending or receiving electromagnetic energy An antenna with a non-uniform distribution of current over its length L can be considered as having a shorter effective length Le over which the current is assumed to be uniform and equal to its peak. Every antenna may be considered to have such a collecting area which is called its effective aperture A. Optimum signal strength occurs at right angles or 180° from opposite the antenna . If Pd is a power density at the antenna and Pr is received power.

. and the total system temperature (antenna plus receiver) has a combined temperature given by . Moreover. Hence. the value of the temperature pattern in the direction of the Earth's ground is the physical temperature of the Earth's ground.this is the temperature in every direction away from the antenna in spherical coordinates. This temperature is not the physical temperature of the antenna. rather the temperature depends on its gain pattern and the thermal environment that it is placed in. For an antenna with a radiation pattern given by mathematically defined as: . the night sky is roughly 4 Kelvin.38 * 10^-23 [Joules/Kelvin = J/K]). the noise temperature is This states that the temperature surrounding the antenna is integrated over the entire sphere. The noise power received from an antenna at temperature can be expressed in terms of the bandwidth (B) the antenna (and its receiver) are operating over: In the above. we'll introduce a temperature distribution . K is Boltzmann's constant (1. and weighted by the antenna's radiation pattern. the antenna temperature will only depend on the temperature in which the antenna is "looking". an antenna's temperature will vary depending on whether it is directional and pointed into space or staring into the sun. Radiation pattern Graphical representation of radiation properties of an antenna Depicted as two-dimensional cross section Beam width (or half-power beam width) Measure of directivity of antenna Reception pattern Receiving antenna’s equivalent to radiation pattern Antenna Temperature ( ) is a parameter that describes how much noise an antenna produces in a given environment. This temperature can be used in the above equation to find the total noise power of the system. an antenna does not have an intrinsic "antenna temperature" associated with it. for a perfectly directional antenna (with a pencil beam). because the resulting systems very much depend on each other. Hence. To define the environment. an isotropic antenna would have a noise temperature that is the average of all temperatures around the antenna. For instance. This temperature distribution will be written as . These concepts begin to illustrate how antenna engineers must understand receivers and the associated electronics. The receiver also has a temperature associated with it ( ).

A parameter often encountered in specification sheets for antennas that operate in certain environments is the ratio of gain of the antenna divided by the antenna temperature (or system temperature if a receiver is specified). and has units of dB/Kelvin [dB/K]. UNIT _2 WIRE ANTENNAS AND ANTENNA ARRAYS Half wave antenna . This parameter is written as G/T.

It is formed by a conductor in length.Quarter wave or unipole antenna The quarter wave or unipole antenna is a single element antenna feed at one end. It is fed in the lower end. The current in the reflected image has the same direction and phase that the current in the real antenna. The set quarter-wave plus image forms a half-wave dipole that radiates only in the upper half of space. which is near a conductive surface which works as a reflector (see Effect of ground). that behaves as a dipole antenna. .

PATTERN MULTIPLICATION The pattern multiplication principle states that the radiation patterns of an array of N identical antennas is equal to the product of the element pattern Fe( ) (pattern of one of the antennas) and the array pattern Fa( ). where Fa( ) is the pattern obtained upon replacing all of the actual antennas with isotropic sources. where impedance mismatch loss can be tolerated. These antennas have low radiation resistance and high reactance. so that their impedance is difficult to match to a transmitter. The loop lies in the x-y plane. Generally any combination of elements can form an array. . The radius is a. equal elements in a regular geometry are usually used.Antenna array is a group of antennas or antenna elements arranged to provide the desired directional characteristics. these antennas are most often used as receive antennas. and is assumed to be much smaller than a wavelength (a<< ). However. As a result. LOOP ANTENNA The small loop antenna is a closed loop as shown in Figure 1.

Since the loop is electrically small. If there are N turns of a small loop antenna. The radiation resistance (and ohmic loss resistance) can be increased by adding more turns to the loop. The variation of the pattern with direction is given by . the fields of a small dipole have the E.Figure 1. the impedance of a small loop is inductive (positive imaginary part). which depends on its shape (then X=2*pi*f*L). the E-field is horizontally polarized in the x-y plane. While the short dipole has a capacitive impedance (imaginary part of impedance is negative). the reactive component of the impedance can be determined by finding the inductance of the loop. because if a small dipole had magnetic current flowing (as opposed to electric current as in a regular dipole). The small loop is often referred to as the dual of the dipole antenna. However. the current within the loop can be approximated as being constant along the loop. the fields would resemble that of a small loop.and H. the radiation resistance for small loops can be approximated (in Ohms) by: For a small loop. so that I= The fields from a small circular loop are given by: . so that the radiation pattern of a small loop antenna has the same power pattern as that of a short dipole. For a circular loop with radius a and wire radius p. Small loop antenna. the reactive component of the impedance is given by: .fields switched relative to that of a short dipole. each with a surface area S (we don't require the loop to be circular at this point).

the current around the antenna is nearly completely in phase. All planar loops are directional antennas with a sharp null. Large loop antennas are more immune to localized noise partly due to lack of a need for a groundplane. the large and small loops have different orientations with respect to their radiation pattern. Because of the extremely long wavelength. waves approaching in the plane of the loop will cancel. The large loop has its strongest signal in the plane of the loop. and nulls in the axis perpendicular to the plane of the loop.Small loops often have a low radiation resistance and a highly inductive component to their reactance. Typically a loop is a multiple of a half or full wavelength in circumference. This is the opposite orientation to the small loop. Most directional receiving loops are about 1/10 of a wavelength. The small loop is also called the magnetic loop because it is more sensitivie to the magnetic component of the electromagnetic wave. AM loops AM loops are loops tuned for the AM broadcasting band. but circles can be hard to support in a flexible wire. Loop antenna A loop antenna has a continuous conducting path leading from one conductor of a two-wire transmission line to the other conductor. an AM loop may have multiple turns of wire and still be less than 1/10 of a wavelength. making squares and triangles much more popular. and may also be wound around a ferrite rod to increase aperture. Direction finding with loops . Typically these loops are tuned with a capacitor. Large loops The (large) loop antenna is similar to a dipole. Therefore. and as field strength probes used in wireless measurements. Since the small loop is small with respect to a wavelength. Exaples of their use include in pagers. triangle () or square. A circular loop gets higher gain (about 10%) than the other forms of large loop antenna. and have a radiation pattern similar to the dipole antenna. they are most often used as receive antennas. and waves in the axis perpendicular to the plane of the loop will be strongest. However. The received voltage of a small loop can be greatly increased by bringing the loop into resonance with a tuning capacitor. as gain of this antenna is directly proportional to the area enclosed by the loop. This is the opposite mechanism as the large loop. it is less sensitive to near field electric noise when properly shielded. As such. Small loops A loop is considered a small loop if it is less than 1/4 of a wavelength in circumference. Hence. except that the ends of the dipole are connected to form a circle.

a dipole and a loop are used together. to obtain a combined cardioid radiation pattern with a sharp null on only one side. the plane of the antenna is rotated until the signal disappears.Loops are somewhat directional along the axis of highest gain. when using a loop for direction finding. but have a sharp null in the axis perpendicular to their highest gain. Frequently. As planar loops have a 180 degree symmetry. Therefore. Uniform linear array . other methods must be used to determine if the signal is in front or behind the loop.

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as shown in Figure 1. with a rectangular slot cut out of dimensions a and b. The slot size. If we can excite some reasonable fields in the slot (often called the aperture). The polarization is linear. we have an antenna. and have radiation patterns that are roughly omnidirectional (similar to a linear wire antenna. Consider an infinite conducting sheet. shape and what is behind it (the cavity) offer design variables that can be used to tune performance. These antennas are popular because they can be cut out of whatever surface they are to be mounted on.Slot antennas are used typically at frequencies between 300 MHz and 24 GHz. as we'll see). .

Booker in 1946). To gain an intuition about slot antennas. G. The dual of a slot antenna would be if the conductive material and air were interchanged .Figure 1. Rectangular Slot antenna with dimensions a and b. first we'll learn Babinet's principle (put into antenna terms by H.that is. This principle relates the radiated fields and impedance of an aperture or slot antenna to that of the field of its dual antenna. An example of dual antennas is shown in Figure 2: . the slot antenna became a metal slab in space.

Figure 2. Dual antennas. Note that a voltage source is applied across the short end of the slot. This induces an E-field distribution within the slot, and currents that travel around the slot perimeter, both contributed to radiation. The dual antenna is similar to a dipole antenna. The voltage source is applied at the center of the dipole, so that the voltage source is rotated. Babinet's principle relates these two antennas. The first result states that the impedance of the slot ( ) is related to the impedance of its dual antenna ( ) by the relation:

In the above, is the intrinsic impedance of free space. The second major result of Babinet's/Booker's principle is that the fields of the dual antenna are almost the same as the slot antenna (the fields components are interchanged, and called "duals"). That is, the fields of the slot antenna (given with a subscript S) are related to the fields of it's complement (given with a subscript C) by:

Hence, if we know the fields from one antenna we know the fields of the other antenna. Hence, since it is easy to visualize the fields from a dipole antenna, the fields and impedance from a slot antenna can become intuitive if Babinet's principle is understood. Note that the polarization of the two antennas are reversed. That is, since the dipole antenna on the right in Figure 2 is vertically polarized, the slot antenna on the left will be horizontally polarized.

Duality Example

As an example, consider a dipole similar to the one shown on the right in Figure 2. Suppose the length of the dipole is 14.4 centimeters and the width is 2 centimeters, and that the impedance at 1 GHz is 65+j15 Ohms. The fields from the dipole antenna are given by:

What are the fields from a slot at 1 GHz, with the same dimensions as the dipole? Using Babinet's principle, the impedance can be easily found:

The impedance of the slot for this case is much larger, and while the dipole's impedance is inductive (positive imaginary part), the slot's impedance is capacitive (negative imaginary part). The E-fields for the slot can be easily found:

We see that the E-fields only contain a phi (azimuth) component; the antenna is therefore horizontally polarized. Horn antennas are very popular at UHF (300 MHz-3 GHz) and higher frequencies (I've heard of horns operating as high as 140 GHz). They often have a directional radiation pattern with a high gain , which can range up to 25 dB in some cases, with 10-20 dB being typical. Horns have a wide impedance bandwidth, implying that the input impedance is slowly varying over a wide frequency range (which also implies low values for S11 or VSWR). The bandwidth for practical horn antennas can be on the order of 20:1 (for instance, operating from 1 GHz-20 GHz), with a 10:1 bandwidth not being uncommon. The gain often increases (and the beamwidth decreases) as the frequency of operation is increased. Horns have very little loss, so the directivity of a horn is roughly equal to its gain. Horn antennas are somewhat intuitive and not relatively simple to manufacture. In addition, acoustic horns also used in transmitting sound waves (for example, with a megaphone). Horn antennas are also often used to feed a dish antenna, or as a "standard gain" antenna in measurements. Popular versions of the horn antenna include the E-plane horn, shown in Figure 1. This horn is flared in the E-plane, giving the name. The horizontal dimension is constant at w.

Figure 1. E-plane horn. Another example of a horn is the H-plane horn, shown in Figure 2. This horn is flared in the H-plane, with a constant height for the waveguide and horn of h.

This is a pyramidal horn. Figure 3. Waveguides are used to guide electromagnetic energy from one place to another. The Efield distribution for the dominant mode is shown in the lower part of Figure 1. as shown in Figure 4.Figure 2. which is shown in red in Figure 4. metal cavity. Pyramidal horn. A waveguide is simply a hollow. The most popular horn is flared in both planes as shown in Figure 3. The waveguide in Figure 4 is a rectangular waveguide of width b and height a. and has width B and height A at the end of the horn. Horns are typically fed by a section of a waveguide. The waveguide itself is often fed with a short dipole. H-Plane horn. . with b>a.

Reflector Antenna To increase the directivity of an antenna. if we start with a wire antenna (lets say a half-wave dipole antenna). . For example. Geometry of Corner Reflector. To further increase the directivity. a fairly intuitive solution is to use a reflector. Waveguide used as a feed to horn antennas. The angle between the plates will be 90 degrees. as shown in Figure 1. a corner reflector may be used.Figure 4. Figure 1. we could place a conductive sheet behind it to direct radiation in the forward direction.

we'll assume the reflecting plates are infinite in extent. Figure 2 below shows the equivalent source distribution. the x'd out antennas are 180 degrees out of phase to the actual antenna. valid for the region in front of the plates. Equivalent sources in free space. Assume that the original antenna has an omnidirectional pattern given by . The dotted circles indicate antennas that are in-phase with the actual antenna. and then calculating the result via array theory. The resulting pattern will have the same polarization as the original vertically polarized antenna. the fields for this case are shown in Figure 3. Assuming the radiating element of Figure 1 is a short dipole with a pattern given by . For ease of analysis. the fields behind the plates are zero. The directivity will be the highest when d is a half-wavelength. Then the radiation pattern (R) of the "equivalent set of radiators" of Figure 2 can be written as: The above directly follows from Figure 2 and array theory (k is the wave number. Figure 2. The directivity will be increased by 9-12 dB. Since we assumed the plates were infinite. . The above equation gives the radiated fields in the region in front of the plates.The radiation pattern of this antenna can be understood by using image theory.

however since linear antennas do not radiate well along the z-axis. The height of the plates should be taller than the radiating element. The input impedance is increased by the reflector when the spacing is one half wavelength. The radiation pattern. this will be reflected if the length is at least . Polar and azimuth patterns of normalized radiation pattern. Examples of this dish antenna are shown in the following Figures. it can be reduced by moving the antenna closer to the reflector. The Parabolic Reflector Antenna (Satellite Dish) The most well-known reflector antenna is the parabolic reflector antenna. The length L of the reflectors in Figure 1 are typically 2*d. if tracing a ray travelling along the y-axis from the antenna. impedance and gain of the antenna will be influenced by the distance d of Figure 1. . However.Figure 3. this parameter is not critically important. commonly known as a satellite dish antenna.

Figure 1. . The "big dish" of Stanford University.

Parabolic reflectors typically have a very high gain (30-40 dB is common) and low cross polarization. It consists of a feed antenna pointed towards a parabolic reflector. with the fractional bandwidth being at least 5% on commercially available models. The basic structure of a parabolic dish antenna is shown in Figure 3. The large dishes can operate in the VHF region (30-300 MHz). . The feed antenna is often a horn antenna with a circular aperture.Figure 2. which can operate from 150 MHz to 1.5 GHz). A random "direcTV dish" on a roof. The smaller dish antennas typically operate somewhere between 2 and 28 GHz. but typically need to be extremely large at this operating band. They also have a reasonable bandwidth. and can be very wideband in the case of huge dishes (like the Stanford "big dish" above.

The distance between the feed antenna and the reflector is typically several wavelenghts as well. the reflecting dish must be much larger than a wavelength in size. let the equation of a parabola with focal length F can be written in the (x. we'll look at the parabolic dish geometry in detail and why a parabola is a desired shape. Unlike resonant antennas like the dipole antenna which are typically approximately a half-wavelength long at the frequency of operation. Components of a dish antenna.Figure 3. . but the diameter can be on the order of 100 wavelengths for very high gain dishes (>50 dB gain). where the antenna is roughly a half-wavelength from the reflector. In the next section. This is in contrast to the corner reflector.z) plane as: This is plotted in Figure 1. To start. The dish is at least several wavelengths in diameter.

Figure 1. so that the rays are completely reflected. the diameter D and the focal length F. with each ray acting as a plane wave. The reflector is assumed to be perfectly conducting. this assumption is reasonable though not precisely accurate. These parameters are related to each other by the following equations: To analyze the reflector. we will use approximations from geometric optics. Illustration of parabola with defining parameters. We also define two auxilliary parameters. the vertical height of the reflector (H) and the max angle between the focal point and the edge of the dish ( ). Since the reflector is large relative to a wavelength. We will analyze the structure via straight line rays from the focal point. arriving from two distinct angles as shown in Figure 2. . The parabola is completely described by two parameters. Consider two transmitted rays from the focal point.

a paraboloid is obtained. it follows the distribution of the field on the focal plane will be in phase and travelling in the same direction. This is why the shape of the dish is parabolic. As a result of these observations. Hence. The rays are said to be collimated. Finally. Two rays leaving the focal point and reflected from the parabolic reflector. . by revolving the parabola about the z-axis. as shown below. The first is that both rays end up travelling in the downward direction (which can be determined because the incident and reflected angles relative to the normal of the surface must be equal). This gives rise to the parabolic dish antennas highly directional radiation pattern. it follows that: All rays emanating from the focal point (the source or feed antenna) will be reflected towards the same direction. The second important observation is that the path lengths ADE and ABC are equal. The distance each ray travels from the focal point to the reflector and then to the focal plane is constant. There are two observations that can be made from Figure 2.Figure 2. . which I won't reproduce here. This can be proved with a little bit of geometry. These facts can be proved for any set of angles chosen.

6-0.3 and 1. In the next section. This efficiency term will often be on the order of 0. The fields across the aperture of the parabolic reflector is responsible for this antenna's radiation. The maximum possible gain of the antenna can be expressed in terms of the physical area of the aperture: The actual gain is in terms of the effective aperture. The efficiency can be written as the product of a series of terms: We'll walk through each of these terms. Factors affecting the choice of this ratio will be given in the following sections. The focal length F is then the only free parameter.0. which is related to the physical area by the efficiency term ( ). we'll look at gain calculations for a parabolic reflector antenna.7 for a well designed dish antenna: Understanding this efficiency will also aid in understanding the trade-offs involved in the design of a parabolic reflector. the value of the diameter D should be increased to increase the gain of the antenna. . typical values are commonly given as the ratio F/D.For design. which usually range between 0.

thus not being reflected. Due to the finite size of the reflector. However. which also lowers the cross-polarization of the radiated fields. especially for high frequencies that have a small wavelength and become scattered by small surface anomalies Cross Polarization . some of the radiation from the feed antenna will travel away from the main axis at an angle greater than . there is a tradeoff: increasing the F/D ratio reduces the spillover efficiency. This efficiency can be improved by moving the feed closer to the reflector. Other Efficiencies There are many other efficiencies that I've lumped into the parameter . and these have very little loss. which leads to lower gain. In general. discussed next. as discussed on the efficiency page.The loss of gain due to cross-polarized (nondesirable) radiation . and because the parabolic reflector is typically metallic with a very high conductivity. Aperture Taper Efficiency The aperture radiation efficiency is a measure of how uniform the E-field is across the antenna's aperture. This is a major of all other "real-world effects" that degrades the antenna's gain and consists of effects such as: Surface Error . However. this efficiency is typically close to 1 and can be neglected. This efficiency can be improved by increasing the F/D ratio. the aperture fields will tend to diminish away from the main axis of the reflector. an antenna will have the maximum gain if the E-field is uniform in amplitude and phase across the aperture (the far-field is roughly the Fourier Transform of the aperture fields).Radiation Efficiency The radiation efficiency is the usual efficiency that deals with ohmic losses. and this loss is captured within this parameter. as with all things in engineering. or by increasing the size of the reflector. Since horn antennas are often used as feeds. This measures the amount of radiation from the feed antenna that is reflected by the reflector. Spillover Efficiency The spillover efficiency is simple to understand.small deviations in the shape of the reflector degrades performance.

there will be some loss due to a non-perfect phase center for a horn antenna. Silver back in 1949. Calculating Efficiency The efficiency is a function of where the feed antenna is placed (in terms of F and D) and the feed antenna's radiation pattern. He calculated the aperture efficiency for a class of radiation patterns given as: TYpically. Using the above pattern. the aperture efficiency of a parabolic reflector can be calculated. the feed antenna (horn) will not have a pattern exactly like the above. we'll make use of some results by S. .The feed antenna (and the physical structure that holds it up) blocks some of the radiation that would be transmitted by the reflector.The parabolic dish has desirable properties relative to a single focal point. but can be approximated well using the function above for some value of n. Aperture Blockage . Non-Ideal Feed Phase Center . This is displayed in Figure 1 for varying values of and the F/D ratio. Instead of introducing complex formulas for some of these terms. Since the feed antenna will not be a point source.

Note that the equation that relates the ratio of F/D to the angle can be found here. A circular horn antenna will be used as the feed. Then the F/D ratio that maximizes the aperture efficiency can be found from the above graph.Figure 1. the 3d radiation patterns are presented to give an idea of what they look like. First. The 3D patterns are shown in the following figures.3 dB = 851. In the next section. Aperture Efficiency of a Parabolic Reflector as a function of F/D or the angle . . for varying feed antenna radiation patterns. the actual gain is 29. so we can conclude that the overall efficiency is 77%. Figure 1 gives a good idea on design of optimal parabolic reflectors. we'll look at the radiation pattern of a parabolic antenna. The maximum gain from the physical aperture is . This example will be for a parabolic dish reflector with the diameter of the dish D equal to 11 wavelengths. The F/D ratio will be 0.5. D is made as large as possible so that the physical aperture is maximized. In this section.

while avoiding the problems associated with the feedhorn shadow. This type of lens consists of flat metal strips placed parallel to the electric field of the wave and spaced slightly in excess of one-half of a wavelength. which is similar to an optical lens to straighten the spherical wavefronts. The conducting type of lens is illustrated in figure 1-10. These are the conducting (acceleration) type and the dielectric (delay) type. Since this type of antenna uses a lens to straighten the wavefronts. however. LENS ANTENNA. The lens of an antenna is substantially transparent to microwave energy that passes through it. This antenna uses a microwave lens. Consider the action of the two types of lenses. The HPBW is approximately 5 degrees. To the wave these strips look like parallel waveguides. cause the waves of energy to be either converged or diverged as they exit the lens. Two types of lenses have been developed to provide a plane-wavefront narrow beam for tracking radars. its design is based on the laws of refraction.As can be seen. and the front-to-back ratio is approximately 33 dB. since the lens is concave. rather than reflection. Thus. the outer portions of the transmitted spherical waves are accelerated for a longer interval of time than the inner portion. the pattern is highly directional. The velocity of phase propagation of a wave is greater in a waveguide than in air. . It will.—Another antenna that can change spherical waves into flat plane waves is the lens antenna. view A.

Helical Antenna Antennas List Antenna Theory Home Helix antennas have a very distinctive shape. as can be seen in the following picture. .

Lee Boyce. The most popular helical antenna (often called a 'helix') is a travelling wave antenna in the shape of a corkscrew that produces radiation along the axis of the helix. The benefits of this antenna is it has a wide bandwidth. The basic geometry is shown in Figure 1. and can produce circularly polarized fields. These helixes are referred to as axial-mode helical antennas.Photo courtesy of Dr. is easily constructed. has a real input impedance. .

Total height of helix. and is given by N . H=NS. Geometry of Helical Antenna. C .Vertical separation between turns. the waves emitted from the antenna are Left Hand Circularly Polarized). H . because if you curl your fingers on your left hand around the helix your thumb would point up (also.pitch angle.Figure 1. D .Circumference of a turn on the helix (C=pi*D). S . The antenna in Figure 1 is a left handed helix. .Diameter of a turn on the helix.Number of turns on the helix. If the helix was . which controls how far the antenna grows in the z-direction per turn. The parameters are defined below.

which means the current travels along the antenna and the phase varies continuously. the orthogonal components of the E-field must be 90 degrees out of phase. which corresponds to a frequency of 800 MHz. if C=19. The normalized radiation pattern for the E-field components are given by: For circular polarization. which is true of axial helices in general. Typically.333C=0. which corresponds to a frequency of 450 MHz. the inequalites above roughly determine the operating bandwidth of the helix. it would be a right handed helical antenna.667 meters. Helices of at least 3 turns will have close to circular polarization in the +z direction when the circumference C is close to a wavelength: Once the circumference C is chosen. The pattern will be maximum in the +z direction (along the helical axis in Figure 1). For instance. or =0.75C=0. In addition.375 meters. the fractional BW is 56%.wound the other way. The design of helical antennas is primarily based on empirical results. The lowest frequency of operation will be given by the largest wavelength that fits into the above equation. the input impedance is primarly real and can be approximated in Ohms by: The helix functions well for pitch angles ( ) between 12 and 14 degrees. and the fundamental equations will be presented here.5 meters). This occurs in directions near the axis (z-axis in Figure 1) of . the pitch angle is taken as 13 degrees.68 inches (0. The helix is a travelling wave antenna. or =1. then the highest frequency of operation will be given by the smallest wavelength that fits into the above equation. Hence.

For an N=10 turn helix.the helix. and an pitch angle of 13 degrees (giving S=0.3 (9. c is the speed of light. the gain is 8. that has a 0. The Half-Power Beamwidth for helical antennas can be approximated (in degrees) by: .13 meters). Figure 2. and can be approximated by: The gain of the helix can be approximated by: In the above. the pattern is shown in Figure 2. Normalized radiation pattern for helical antenna (dB). S.2 dB). Note that for a given helix geometry (specified in terms of C. The axial ratio for helix antennas decreases as the number of loops N is added. N). For the same example helix. the gain increases with frequency.5 meter circumference as above.

A picture of Professor Yagi with a Yagi-Uda antenna is shown below. The work was originally done by Shintaro Uda.Yagi-Uda Antenna Antennas List Antenna Theory . who went to America and gave the first English talks on the antenna. Hence.com The Yagi-Uda antenna or Yagi is one of the most brilliant antenna designs. An example of a Yagi-Uda antenna is shown below. These antennas typically operate in the HF to UHF bands (about 3 MHz to 3 GHz). with results first published in 1926. my sources are conflicting). which led to its widespread use. The work was presented for the first time in English by Yagi (who was either Uda's professor or colleague. It is simple to construct and has a high gain. The Yagi antenna was invented in Japan. You are probably familiar with this antenna. on the order of a few percent of the center frequency. although their bandwidth is typically small. but published in Japanese. even though the antenna is often called a Yagi antenna. as they sit on top of roofs everywhere. Uda probably invented it. typically greater than 10 dB. .

Figure 1. as shown in Figure 1. typically a dipole or a folded dipole antenna. Geometry of Yagi-Uda antenna. This feed antenna is often altered in size to make it resonant in the presence of the parasitic elements (typically. The feed antenna is almost always the second from the end.</FONT< CENTER> The antenna consists of a single 'feed' or 'driven' element. we'll explain the principles of the Yagi-Uda antenna. This is the only member of the above structure that is actually excited (a source voltage or current applied). The basic geometry of a Yagi-Uda antenna is shown in Figure 1. The rest of the elements are parasitic .45-0.they reflect or help to transmit the energy in a particular direction.In the next section. The length of the feed element is given in Figure 1 as F. 0. .48 wavelengths long for a dipole antenna).

Having the reflector slightly longer than resonant serves two purposes. This will cause a phase distribution to occur across the elements.15 dB). the impedance of the reflector will be inductive. By choosing the lengths in this manner. The feed element is a half-wavelength dipole. if the reflector is longer than its resonant length. The gain as a function of the separation is shown in Figure 2. the Yagi-Uda antenna becomes an end-fire array . For instance. 0 directors). There is typically only one reflector. and separated from the adjacent director by a length SDi. As alluded to in the previous paragraph. which is typically anywhere from N=1 to N=20 directors. This element is important in determining the frontto-back ratio of the antenna. Each element is of length Di.the radiation is along the +y-axis as shown in Figure 1. The director elements (those to the right of the feed in Figure 1) will be shorter than resonant. The length of this element is given as R and the distance between the feed and the reflector is SR. the current on the reflector lags the voltage induced on the reflector. Secondly. This leads to the array being designated as a travelling wave antenna. The above description is the basic idea of what is going on. Hence. so that the current leads the voltage. There can be any number of directors N. The reflector element is typically slightly longer than the feed element. shortened to be resonant (gain = 2. simulating the phase progression of a plane wave across the array of elements. the better of a physical reflector it becomes. which encourages wave propagation in the direction of the directors.The element to the left of the feed element in Figure 1 is the reflector. adding more reflectors improves performance very slightly. The first is that the larger the element is. the lengths of the directors are typically less than the resonant length. lets look at a two-element Yagi antenna (1 reflector. making them capacitive. 1 feed element. The rest of the elements (those to the right of the feed antenna as shown in Figure 1) are known as director elements. Yagi antenna design is done most often via measurements. and sometimes computer simulations. .

The design of a Yagi-Uda antenna is actually quite simple. and another director is added. I'll go further into the design of Yagi-Uda antennas. Typically. Because Yagi antennas have been extensively analyzed and experimentally tested. or as a function of the number of directors used.5 dB if the separation SD is between 0.15 and 0. Gain versus separation for 2-element Yagi antenna. however.Figure 2. the gain in directivity decreases as the number of elements gets larger. Adding an additional director always increases the gain. For instance. consider the table published in "Yagi Antenna Design" by P Viezbicke from the National Bureau of Standards. the first director will add approximately 3 dB of overall gain (if designed well). and tweak it till the performance is acceptable As an example. the third about 1. the gain can be plotted as a function of director spacings. given in Table I. Similarly.3 wavelengths. and . 1968. if there are 8 directors.5 dB. reflectors and feed elements are physically attached to. Note that the "boom" is the long element that the directors.5 dB. The above graph shows that the gain is increases by about 2. the process basically follows this outline: Look up a table of design parameters for Yagi antennas Build it (or model it numerically). In the next section. the increases in gain will be less than 0. the second will add about 2 dB.

394 0.20 9.428 0.0085 SR=0.398 0.25 0.398 0.386 0.428 1.420 0.428 0.8 0.2 0. for Distinct Boom Lengths d=0. Table I.390 0. all the spacings.35 0.4 R D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 Spacing between directors.420 0.398 0.482 0.386 0.482 0.386 0.390 0. In general.2 0.394 0.390 0. Optimal Lengths for Yagi-Uda Elements.482 0.428 0.424 0.386 0.390 0.403 0.dictates the lenght of the antenna.386 0. I believe the authors of the above document did experimental measurements until they found an optimized set of spacings and published it.20 11.390 0.390 4.420 0.386 0. lengths.2 0. The diameter of the elements is given by d=0.308 16.55 0.0085 .390 0. There are thousands of tables that further give .390 0.40 0.386 0.428 0.482 0. diamters (including the boom diameter) are design variables and can be continuously optimized to alter performance.35 0.2 Boom Length of Yagi-Uda Array (in ) 0.35 There's no real rocket science going on in the above table.420 0. and a set of lengths and spacings that achieves the specified gain.20 15.20 14.390 0.475 0.482 0.407 0.415 0.386 0.407 0.442 0.25 12.407 0. (SD/ ) Gain (dB) 0.390 0.386 3.398 0.424 0.432 0.390 0.407 2. The spacing between the directors is uniform and given in the second-to-last row of the table.424 0.2 0. The above table gives a good starting point to estimate the required length of the antenna (the boom length).

The resulting antenna has a 12. and the plots are given in Figures 1-3. . such as how the diamter of the boom affects the results.results. 4 directors). a 6-element Yagi antenna (with axis along the +x-axis) is simulated in FEKO (1 reflector. As an example of Yagi-antenna radiation patterns. 1 driven halfwavelength dipole. E-plane gain of Yagi antenna. and the optimal diamters of the elements. Figure 1.1 dBi gain.

3-D Radiation Pattern of Yagi antenna. .Figure 2. H-Plane gain of Yagi antenna. Figure 3.

and this can also be optimized if desired. long wires arranged to form a V. BEVERAGE ANTENNAS consist of a single wire that is two or more wavelengths long. The RHOMBIC ANTENNA uses four conductors joined to form a rhombus shape. A V ANTENNA is a bi-directional antenna consisting of two horizontal. . The gain can be increased (and the pattern made more directional) by adding more directors or optimizing spacing (or rarely. adding another refelctor). and is noncritical as far as operation and adjustment are concerned. A LONG-WIRE ANTENNA is an antenna that is a wavelength or more long at the operating frequency. is easy to construct and maintain.The above plots are just an example to give an idea of what the radiation pattern of the Yagi-Uda antenna resembles. The front-to-back ratio is approximately 19 dB for this antenna. These antennas have directive patterns that are sharp in both the horizontal and vertical planes. This antenna has a wide frequency range.

unidirectional. also known as a log-periodic array) is a broadband.The TURNSTILE ANTENNA consists of two horizontal. a log-periodic antenna (LP. narrow-beam antenna that has impedance and radiation characteristics that are regularly repetitive as a logarithmic function of the excitation frequency. half-wire antennas mounted at right angles to each other. LOG-PERIODIC ANTENNA LOG-PERIODIC ANTENNA In telecommunication. The individual . multielement.

The voltage can be composed from contributions of single elements. as in a log-periodic dipole array (LPDA). which is observed at the input port of every single antenna element.e.increase logarithmically from one end to the other. This is normally done by wiring the elements alternatingly to the two wires in a balanced transmission line.-Periodic Antenna. It is normal to drive alternating elements with a circa 180o (π radian) phase shift from the last element.The result of this structural condition is that if a plot is made of the input impedance as a function of log of frequency then the variation will be periodic i. 250 – 2400 MHz Mutual impedance& self-impedance The method helps us to compute voltages.The length and spacing of the elements of a log. Each contribution is proportional to the current of the respective . being induced by the radiation of all the antenna elements (including the own element). Log periodic antennas are arrays that are designed to be self-similar and thus are fractal antenna arrays.components are often dipoles. currents and impedances in antenna systems. Log. the impedance will go through the cycles of variation in such a way that each cycle is exactly like its preceding one and hence the name. The method understands the voltage.

fed by a microstrip transmission line. The conductors have a common axis and vertex. Z 1n are mutual impedances between the first element and the other elements in the antenna system. They are becoming very widespread within the mobile phone market.g. voltage U 1 at the input of the first antenna element equals to the summation where I 1. typically exhibiting a bandwidth of 3 octaves or more. Biconical antennas are broadband dipole antennas. Omnidirectional Biconical Antenna Microstrip or patch antennas are becoming increasingly useful because they can be printed directly onto a circuit board. The patch.. E. Z 13 are impedances. They are low cost. I 2. have a low profile and are easily fabricated. I 3 are currents at the input ports of single elements. Consider the microstrip antenna shown in Figure 1. or an alternating magnetic field (and the associated alternating electric current) at the vertex. The patch is of length L.element. Z 12. charge. and sitting on top of a substrate (some dielectric circuit board) of thickness h with permittivity The thickness of the ground plane or of the microstrip is not critically . which is driven by potential. width W. Z 11. microstrip and ground plane are made of high conductivity metal. The two cones face in opposite directions. Z 11 is selfimpedance. These impedances depend on the mutual position and mutual distance of antenna elements Biconical antenna A biconical antenna consists of an arrangement of two conical conductors. .

Typically the height h is much smaller than the wavelength of operation. The center frequency will be approximately given by: . Geometry of Microstrip (Patch) Antenna.important. The frequency of operation of the patch antenna of Figure 1 is determined by the length L. (a) Top View (b) Side View Figure 1.

5 . the impedance can be reduced. The normalized pattern is approximately given by: In the above.The above equation says that the patch antenna should have a length equal to one half of a wavelength within the dielectric (substrate) medium. k is the free-space wavenumber. The width W of the antenna controls the input impedance. given by of the fields. For a square patch fed in the manner above. given by: . However. the input impedance will be on the order of 300 Ohms. to decrease the input impedance to 50 Ohms often requires a very wide patch. The magnitude The fields are plotted in Figure 2 for W=L=0. The width further controls the radiation pattern. . By increasing the width.

Spiral antennas were first described in 1956. a spiral antenna is a type of RF antenna. or more arms may be used.Figure 2.[1] Spiral antennas operate over a wide frequency range and have circular polarization. Normalized Radiation Pattern for Microstrip (Patch) Antenna. The directivity of patch antennas is approximately 5-7 dB. It is shaped as a twoarm spiral. Next we'll consider more aspects involved in Patch (Microstrip) antennas. Applications . Spiral antenna In microwave systems. The fields are linearly polarized.

we can measure the radiation pattern in the receive mode for the test antenna. The received power is recorded at each position. or the spirals may extend in a three-dimensional shape like a screw thread. A spiral antenna will reject circularly polarized waves of one type. extending from the center outwards. Usually a pair of spiral antennas are used in this application. but will attenuate signals received with the opposite circular polarization. The test antenna is rotated using the test antenna's positioning system. We will discuss phase measurements and polarization measurements later. In this manner. The coordinate system of choice for the radiation pattern is spherical coordinates. It will receive linearly polarized EM waves in any orientation. having identical parameters except the polarization. The direction of rotation of the spiral defines the direction of antenna polarization. with conductors resembling a pair of loosely-nested clock springs. while receiving perfectly well waves having the other polarization. to form a multi-spiral structure. One antenna can receive over a wide bandwidth. Due to reciprocity. for example a ratio 5:1 between the maximum and minimum frequency. Additional spirals may be included as well. We will use the source antenna to illuminate the antenna under test with a plane wave from a specific direction. the other left-hand oriented).[2] Elements The antenna includes two conductive spirals or arms. we can perform some measurements. Spiral antennas are useful for microwave direction-finding. The antenna may be a flat disc. Usually the spiral is cavity-backed. The output of the antenna Measuring Radiation Pattern and an Antenna's Gain Antennas (Home) Antenna Measurements Home Previous: Measurements Ranges Now that we have our measurement equipment and an antenna range. surrounded by conductive walls. the radiation pattern from the test antenna is the same for both the receive and transmit modes. the magnitude of the radiation pattern of the test antenna can be determined. . which is opposite (one is right-hand. Another application of spiral antennas is monitoring of the frequency spectrum. Consequently. One application of spiral antennas is wideband communications. The polarization and gain (for the fields radiated toward the test antenna) of the source antenna should be known. the cavity changes the antenna pattern to a unidirectional shape.A spiral antenna transmits EM waves having a circular polarization. that is there is a cavity of air or non-conductive material or vacuum.

change the position and record again.Measurement Example An example should make the process reasonably clear. Suppose the source antenna illuminates the test antenna from +y-direction. The source power again comes from the same direction. Then the measurement would look as shown in Figure 2. hence it is at the same distance from the source antenna. Suppose we want to measure the radiation pattern normal to the patch's surface (straight above the patch). A patch antenna oriented towards the z-axis with a Source illumination from the +y-direction. Suppose the radiation pattern of a microstrip antenna is to be obtained. Figure 1. the received power for this case represents the power from the angle: . As is usual. as shown in Figure 1. In Figure 1. We record this power. Recall that we only rotate the test antenna. lets let the direction the patch faces ('normal' to the surface of the patch) be towards the z-axis. .

Consider the test setup shown in Figure 1.this information tells us how much power we can hope to receive from a given plane wave. we will focus on measuring the peak gain of an antenna . In this scenario. so in a sense can figure out how directive an antenna is and the shape of the radiation pattern). From the Friis transmission equation.15 dB) and the pyramidal horn antenna (where the peak gain can be accurately calculated and is typically in the range of 15-25 dB). with the source antenna transmitting a fixed amount of power (PT). in that we don't know what the peak value of the gain actually is (we're just measuring the received power. A gain standard antenna is a test antenna with an accurately known gain and polarization (typically linear). This is actually the "relative" radiation pattern.Measuring Gain Antennas (Home) Antenna Measurements Back: Measurement of Antenna Radiation Patterns On the previous page on measuring radiation patterns. In this page. we saw how the radiation pattern of an antenna can be measured. Record the received power from a gain standard antenna. we know that the power received (PR) is given by: . We can measure the peak gain using the Friis Transmission Equation and a "gain standard" antenna. Figure 1. The gains of both of these antennas are accurately known. The most popular types of gain standard antennas are the thin half-wave dipole antenna (peak gain of 2. a gain standard antenna is used in the place of the test antenna.

Figure 2. we can easily calculate the gain of the test antenna. then the received power will increase. and PR2 be the power received with the test antenna.If we replace the gain standard antenna with our test antenna (as shown in Figure 2). and the frequency will be held constant as well. (power received still in Watts). The separation between the source and test antennas is fixed.the gain of the receive antenna. then the equation becomes: And that is all that needs done to determine the gain for an antenna in a particular direction. PR be the power received with the gain antenna under test. Record the received power with the test antenna (same source antenna). Efficiency and Directivity . Then the gain of the test antenna (GT) is (in linear units): The above equation uses linear units (non-dB). then the only thing that changes in the above equation is GR . Let the received power from the test antenna be PR2. If the gain of the test antenna is higher than the gain of the "gain standard" antenna. Let Gg be the gain of the "gain standard" antenna. If the gain is to be specified in decibels. Using our measurements.

for example to test antennas. the efficiency follows directly from these. radars. This is why both types look similar. Typically this can be performed by approximated the integral as a finite sum. we'll look at measuring the phase of an antenna's radiation pattern. which is useful when exterior influences would otherwise give false results. once we have measured the radiation pattern and the gain. which is pretty simple. They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise. Anechoic chamber An anechoic chamber An anechoic chamber is a room designed to stop reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. or electromagnetic interference. Recall that the efficiency of an antenna is simply the ratio of the peak gain to the peak directivity: Hence. In the next section.Recall that the directivity can be calculated from the measured radiation pattern without regard to what the gain is. Their radiofrequency counterpart have also been in use for a few decades. and their propagation patterns bear many similarities. Anechoic chambers range from small compartments to ones as large as aircraft hangars. The size of the chamber depends on the size of the objects to be tested and the frequency . The wavelength of audible sound in air falls in the same range as that of commonly used radio waves. The combination of both aspects means they simulate a quiet open-space of infinite dimension. Anechoic chambers were originally used in the context of acoustics (sound waves) to minimize the reflections of a room.

2005.[3] Semi-anechoic chambers Full anechoic chambers aim to absorb energy in all directions. According to Guinness World Records. The RF anechoic chamber is typically used to house the equipment for performing measurements of antenna radiation patterns. Semi-anechoic chambers have a solid floor that acts as a work surface for supporting heavy items. . of which unofficially one is the quietest in the world with a measurement of −12. or industrial machinery. In general.range of the signals used. Acoustic anechoic chambers Anechoic chambers are commonly used in acoustics to conduct experiments in nominally "free field" conditions. such as cars. so a human in such a chamber would perceive the surroundings as devoid of sound. The internal appearance of the radio frequency (RF) anechoic chamber is sometimes similar to that of an acoustic anechoic chamber. Radio-frequency anechoic chambers An RF anechoic chamber.4 dBA. washing machines.4 dBA. All sound energy will be traveling away from the source with almost none reflected back. although scale models can sometimes be used by testing at shorter wavelengths. rather than the mesh floor grille over absorbent tiles found in full anechoic chambers. A recording studio may utilize a semi-anechoic chamber to produce high-quality music free of outside noise and unwanted echoes. however. Common anechoic chamber experiments include measuring the transfer function of a loudspeaker or the directivity of noise radiation from industrial machinery. This floor is damped and floating on absorbent buffers to isolate it from outside vibration or electromagnetic signals. the interior surfaces of the RF anechoic chamber are covered with radiation absorbent material (RAM) instead of acoustically absorbent material [1]. Orfield Laboratory's NIST certified Eckel Industries-designed anechoic chamber is "The quietest place on earth" measured at −9. The University of Salford has a number of Anechoic chambers. with typical noise levels in the 10–20 dBA range. the interior of an anechoic chamber is very quiet. [1][2] The human ear can typically detect sounds above 0 dB.

in the form of flat tiles fixed to all interior surfaces of the chamber. This incoherent scattering also occurs within the foam structure. or incoherently where waves are picked up by the receiver but are out of phase and thus have lower signal strength. Panels of RAM are installed with the tips pointing inward to the chamber. RAM can neither be a good electrical conductor nor a good electrical insulator as neither type actually absorbs any power. as effectively as possible. The length from base to tip of the pyramid structure is chosen based on the lowest expected frequency and the amount of absorption required. Meanwhile. There is also a hybrid type. It is generally easier to fit and more durable than the pyramidal type RAM but is less effective at higher frequencies. the wave loses energy to the foam material and thus exits with lower signal strength. . Sections of RAM may be temporarily removed to install equipment but they must be replaced before performing any tests. For low frequency damping. are negligible to avoid the risk of causing measurement errors and ambiguities. Coincidentally. when reflected waves are in-phase but directed away from the receiver. Pyramidal RAM attenuates signal by two effects: scattering and absorption. This type has a smaller effective frequency range than the pyramidal RAM and is designed to be fixed to good conductive surfaces. or on scale models where the wavelength of the measuring radiation is scaled in direct proportion to the target size. including reflections. from as many incident directions as possible. all internal surfaces of the anechoic chamber must be entirely covered with RAM. such as attenuation of sound and shielding from outside noise. [4] An alternative type of RAM comprises flat plates of ferrite material. Typically pyramidal RAM will comprise a rubberized foam material impregnated with controlled mixtures of carbon and iron. this distance is often 24 inches. With each bounce. the pyramid shapes are cut at angles that maximize the number of bounces a wave makes within the structure. To work effectively. Internal scattering can result in as much as 10dB of attenuation.electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radar cross section measurements. while high frequency panels are as short as 3–4 inches. To be sufficiently lossy. a ferrite in pyramidal shape. including aircraft. with the suspended carbon particles promoting destructive interference. Scattering can occur both coherently. Containing the advantages of both technologies the frequency range can be maximized while the pyramid remains small (10 cm)[3]. Radiation absorbent material The RAM is designed and shaped to absorb incident RF radiation (also known as nonionising radiation). many RF anechoic chambers which use pyramidal RAM also exhibit some of the properties of an acoustic anechoic chamber. each of which is constructed from a suitably lossy material. Many measurements in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and antenna radiation patterns require that spurious signals arising from the test setup. Testing can be conducted on full-scale objects. One of the most effective types of RAM comprises arrays of pyramid shaped pieces. Its performance might however be quite adequate if tests are limited to lower frequencies (ferrite plates have a damping curve that makes them most effective between 30–1000 MHz)[2]. The more effective the RAM is the less will be the level of reflected RF radiation.

such an investment in a large RF anechoic chamber is not justifiable unless it is likely to be used continuously or perhaps rented out. For most companies. and f is frequency. Chamber size and commissioning The actual test setups usually require extra room than that required to simply house the test equipment. This is because most of the RF tests that require an anechoic chamber to minimize reflections from the inner surfaces also require the properties of a screened room to attenuate unwanted signals penetrating inwards and causing interference to the equipment under test and prevent leakage from tests penetrating outside. The performance quality of an RF anechoic chamber is determined by its lowest test frequency of operation. To shield for a specific wavelength. increasing the pyramid height of the RAM for the same (square) base size improves the effectiveness of the chamber at low frequencies but results in increased cost and a reduced unobstructed working volume that is available inside a chamber of defined size. where λ is the free space wavelength. at which measured reflections from the internal surfaces will be the most significant compared to higher frequencies. Sometimes for radar cross section measurements it is possible to scale down the objects under test and reduce the chamber size provided that the wavelength of the test frequency is scaled down in direct proportion.Effectiveness over frequency Close-up of a pyramidal RAM Waves of higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths and are higher in energy. the hardware under test and associated cables. For example. Accordingly. the far field criteria sets a minimum distance between the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna to be observed when measuring antenna radiation patterns. Installation into a screened room An RF anechoic chamber is usually built into a screened room. Pyramidal RAM is at its most absorptive when the incident wave is at normal incidence to the internal chamber surface when the pyramid height is approximately equal to λ / 4. according to the relationship λ = v / f where lambda represents wavelength. Allowing for this and the extra space that may be required for the pyramidal RAM means that a substantial capital investment is required into even a modestly dimensioned chamber. while waves of lower frequencies have longer wavelengths and are lower in energy. . v is phase velocity of wave. the cone must be of appropriate size to absorb that wavelength. designed using the Faraday cage principle.

they may be covered with pieces of RAM after setting up to minimize such reflection as far as possible. Once built. otherwise. One useful application of fiber optic cables is to provide the communications links to carry signals within the chamber. Normally this may be located outside of the chamber provided it is not susceptible to interference from exterior fields which. electrically noisy and high power equipment on the outside and sensitive equipment on the inside. Health and safety risks associated with RF anechoic chamber The following health and safety risks are associated with RF anechoic chambers: • • • RF radiation hazard Fire hazard Trapped personnel Personnel are not normally permitted inside the chamber during a measurement as this not only can cause unwanted reflections from the human body but may also be a radiation hazard to the personnel concerned if tests are being performed at high RF powers. Fiber optic cables are non-conductive and of small cross-section and therefore cause negligible reflections in most applications. A good compromise may be to install human interface equipment (such as PCs). the aircraft industry may test equipment for aircraft according to company specifications or military specifications such as MIL-STD 461E. . as these risk causing unwanted reflections.RF anechoic chambers are normally designed to meet the electrical requirements of one or more accredited standards. Where metallic surfaces are unavoidable. Often this is achieved by using non-conductive plastic or wooden structures for supporting the equipment under test. Unnecessary cables and/or poor filtering can collect interference on the outside and conduct them to the inside. Provided they are. acceptance tests are performed during commissioning to verify that the standard(s) are in fact met. This has the advantage of reducing reflection surfaces inside but it requires extra cables and particularly good filtering. would not be present inside the chamber. valid for a limited period. For example. Such risks are from RF or non-ionizing radiation and not from the higher energy ionizing radiation. Operational use Test and supporting equipment configurations to be used within anechoic chambers must expose as few metallic (conductive) surfaces as possible. A careful assessment of whether to place the test equipment (as opposed to the equipment under test) on the interior or exterior of the chamber is required. a certificate will be issued to that effect. It is normal to filter electrical power supplies for use within the anechoic chamber as unfiltered supplies present a risk of unwanted signals being conducted into and out of the chamber along the power cables.

Normally the fire detection system is linked into the power supply to the chamber. high gain antennas can concentrate the power sufficiently to cause high power flux near their apertures. Gaseous fire suppression avoids damage caused by the extinguishing agent which would otherwise worsen damage caused by the fire itself. This can be a risk if a transmitting antenna inadvertently gets too close to the RAM. If this cannot be dissipated adequately there is a risk that hot spots may develop and the RAM temperature may rise to the point of combustion. they are difficult to completely eliminate. so that the fire detection system can disconnect the power supply if smoke or a fire is detected. UNIT-5 WAVE PROPAGATION Propagation Modes Ground-wave propagation Sky-wave propagation Line-of-sight propagation Ground-wave propagation . Although recently manufactured RAM is normally treated with a fire retardant to reduce such risks. A common gaseous fire suppression agent is carbon dioxide. incident radiation will generate heat within the RAM.As RAM is highly absorptive of RF radiation. Even for quite modest transmitting power levels. Safety regulations normally require the installation of a gaseous fire suppression system including smoke detectors.

Follows contour of the earth Can Propagate considerable distances Frequencies up to 2 MHz Example AM radio Sky Wave Propagation Signal reflected from ionized layer of atmosphere back down to earth Signal can travel a number of hops. back and forth between ionosphere and earth’s surface Reflection effect caused by refraction Examples Amateur radio CB radio Line-of-Sight Propagation .

Transmitting and receiving antennas must be within line of sight Satellite communication – signal above 30 MHz not reflected by ionosphere Ground communication – antennas within effective line of site due to refraction Refraction – bending of microwaves by the atmosphere Velocity of electromagnetic wave is a function of the density of the medium When wave changes medium. rule of thumb K = 4/3 Maximum distance between two antennas for LOS propagation: 3. speed changes Wave bends at the boundary between mediums Optical line of sight Effective. line of sight d = distance between antenna and horizon (km) h = antenna height (m) K = adjustment factor to account for refraction. or radio.57 ( Κh1 + Κh2 ) .

cos(lat1)*cos(lat2)*(1 . for a sphere of radius r and given in radians. and their differences and the (spherical) angular difference/distance. or πr. however. The central angle is alternately expressed in terms of latitude and longitude differences dlat. Geodesics on the sphere are the great circles (circles on the sphere whose centers are coincident with the center of the sphere). The length of the shorter arc is the great-circle distance between the points.e. as: arccos( cos(dlat) . Between any two different points on a sphere which are not directly opposite each other. The two points separate the great circle into two arcs. A great circle endowed with such a distance is the Riemannian circle. On the sphere. where CTM could be taken to mean 'Only the cos terms in longitude angle difference cosine expansion to be multiplied with cos(latitude difference)'. where r is the radius of the sphere. half the circumference of the circle. h1 = height of antenna one h2 = height of antenna two Great-circle distance The great-circle distance or orthodromic distance is the shortest distance between any two points on the surface of a sphere measured along a path on the surface of the sphere (as opposed to going through the sphere's interior).cos(dlong) ). is then: . and so have important applications in navigation. The distance between two points in Euclidean space is the length of a straight line from one point to the other. there is a unique great circle. Between two points which are directly opposite each other. called antipodal points. there are infinitely many great circles. In nonEuclidean geometry. The distance d. the arc length. Because the Earth is approximately spherical (see Earth radius). respectively. there are no straight lines. straight lines are replaced with geodesics. Because spherical geometry is rather different from ordinary Euclidean geometry. which can be constituted from the spherical law of cosines: A useful way to remember this formula is cos(central angle)= cos(longitude difference CTM ) . or central angle. the equations for greatcircle distance are important for finding the shortest distance between points on the surface of the Earth (as the crow flies). Formulae Let be the geographical latitude and longitude of two points (a base "standpoint" and the destination "forepoint"). the equations for distance take on a different form. i.dlong.e. but all great circle arcs between antipodal points have the same length. using only cosines. i.

the use of this formula was simplified by the availability of tables for the haversine function: hav(θ) = sin2 (θ/2). a conversion to n-vectors must first be performed. an equation known historically as the haversine formula was preferred. and to compute unambiguously in all quadrants. A more complicated formula that is accurate for all distances is the following special case (a sphere.This arccosine formula above can have large rounding errors for the common case where the distance is small. Instead. The great circle distance is proportional to the central angle. The central angle between the two points can be determined from the chord length. however. If the two positions are originally given as latitudes and longitudes. then the great-circle distance is . The great circle chord length may be calculated as follows for the corresponding unit sphere. Although this formula is accurate for most distances. which is much more numerically stable for small distances:[1] Historically. it too suffers from rounding errors for the special (and somewhat unusual) case of antipodal points (on opposite ends of the sphere). From chord length A line through three-dimensional space between points of interest on a spherical Earth is the chord of the great circle between the points. the expression based on arctan is the only one that is well-conditioned for all angles. but using using n-vector instead of latitude/longitude to describe the positions. in order to simplify handling of the case where the denominator is zero. which is an ellipsoid with equal major and minor axes) of the Vincenty formula (which more generally is a method to compute distances on ellipsoids): [2] When programming a computer. Similarly to the equations above based on latitude and longitude. one should use the atan2() function rather than the ordinary arctangent function (atan()). If r is the great-circle radius of the sphere. the origin of the spherical cosine for sides becomes apparent: . Vector version Another representation of similar formulas. so it is not normally used for manual calculations. by means of Cartesian subtraction[4]: Spherical cosine for sides derivation By using Cartesian products rather than differences. When using a spreadsheet program such as Excel the arccosine formula is suitable since it is simpler and rounding errors disappears with high precision used. is:[3] where and are the n-vectors representing the two positions s and f.

594 km. LOS Wireless Transmission Impairments Attenuation and attenuation distortion Free space loss Noise Atmospheric absorption Multipath Refraction Thermal noise Atmospheric absorption – water vapor and oxygen contribute to attenuation Multipath – obstacles reflect signals so that multiple copies with varying delays are received Refraction – bending of radio waves as they propagate through the atmosphere .76 statute miles. or 6.137 km.378.5% (though we can do better if our formula is only intended to apply to a limited area). The average radius for a spherical approximation of the figure of the Earth is approximately 6371. a 1% difference.01 km (3958. or 6. distance b from the center of the spheroid to each pole is 6356. When calculating the length of a short north-south line at the equator. 3440. while the spheroid at the poles is best approximated by a sphere of radius a2 / b.752 km.399. the sphere that best approximates that part of the spheroid has a radius of b2 / a.] Radius for spherical Earth The shape of the Earth closely resembles a flattened sphere (a spheroid) with equatorial radius a of 6.335.439 km. So as long as we're assuming a spherical Earth. any single formula for distance on the Earth is only guaranteed correct within 0.07 nautical miles).

Multipath Propagation Reflection . the signal level relative to noise declines. making detection more difficult Intersymbol interference (ISI) One or more delayed copies of a pulse may arrive at the same time as the primary pulse for a subsequent bit Types of Fading Fast fading Slow fading Flat fading Selective fading Rayleigh fading Rician fading .occurs when signal encounters a surface that is large relative to the wavelength of the signal Diffraction .occurs at the edge of an impenetrable body that is large compared to wavelength of radio wave Scattering – occurs when incoming signal hits an object whose size in the order of the wavelength of the signal or less The Effects of Multipath Propagation Multiple copies of a signal may arrive at different phases If phases add destructively.

Error Compensation Mechanisms Forward error correction Adaptive equalization Diversity techniques .

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