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An antenna (or aerial) is an electrical device which converts electric power int o radio waves, and vice versa.

[1] It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric curre nt oscillating at radio frequency (i.e. high frequency AC) to the antenna's term inals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic w aves (radio waves). In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of an electromagnetic wave in order to produce a tiny voltage at its terminals, that i s applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all equipment that uses radio. They are use d in systems such as radio broadcasting, broadcast television, two-way radio, co mmunications receivers, radar, cell phones, and satellite communications, as wel l as other devices such as garage door openers, wireless microphones, bluetooth enabled devices, wireless computer networks, baby monitors, and RFID tags on mer chandise. Typically an antenna consists of an arrangement of metallic conductors (elements ), electrically connected (often through a transmission line) to the receiver or transmitter. An oscillating current of electrons forced through the antenna by a transmitter will create an oscillating magnetic field around the antenna eleme nts, while the charge of the electrons also creates an oscillating electric fiel d along the elements. These time-varying fields radiate away from the antenna in to space as a moving transverse electromagnetic field wave. Conversely, during r eception, the oscillating electric and magnetic fields of an incoming radio wave exert force on the electrons in the antenna elements, causing them to move back and forth, creating oscillating currents in the antenna. Antennas may also include reflective or directive elements or surfaces not conne cted to the transmitter or receiver, such as parasitic elements, parabolic refle ctors or horns, which serve to direct the radio waves into a beam or other desir ed radiation pattern. Antennas can be designed to transmit or receive radio wave s in all directions equally (omnidirectional antennas), or transmit them in a be am in a particular direction, and receive from that one direction only (directio nal or high gain antennas). The first antennas were built in 1888 by German physicist Heinrich Hertz in his pioneering experiments to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves predicted by the theory of James Clerk Maxwell. Hertz placed dipole antennas at the focal point of parabolic reflectors for both transmitting and receiving. He published his work in Annalen der Physik und Chemie (vol. 36, 1889). Contents [hide] 1 Terminology 2 Overview 3 Reciprocity 4 Parameters 4.1 Resonant antennas 4.1.1 Current and voltage distribution 4.1.2 Bandwidth 4.2 Gain 4.3 Effective area or aperture 4.4 Radiation pattern 4.5 Field regions 4.6 Impedance 4.7 Efficiency 4.8 Polarization 4.9 Impedance matching 5 Basic antenna models 5.1 Examples of antenna models 6 Practical antennas

7 Effect of ground 8 Mutual impedance and interaction between antennas 9 Antenna gallery 9.1 Antennas and antenna arrays 9.2 Antennas and supporting structures 9.3 Diagrams as part of a system 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 12.1 General references 12.2 "Practical antenna" references 12.3 Theory and simulations 12.4 Patents and USPTO 13 Further reading Terminology[edit] Electronic symbol for an antenna The words antenna (plural: antennas[2] in US English, although both "antennas" a nd "antennae" are used in International English[3]) and aerial are used intercha ngeably. Occasionally a rigid metallic structure is called an "antenna" while th e wire form is called an "aerial". However, note the important international tec hnical journal, the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation.[4] In the Uni ted Kingdom and other areas where British English is used, the term aerial is so metimes used although 'antenna' has been universal in professional use for many years. The origin of the word antenna relative to wireless apparatus is attributed to I talian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. In 1895, while testing early radio appar atus in the Swiss Alps at Salvan, Switzerland in the Mont Blanc region, Marconi experimented with long wire "aerials". He used a 2.5 meter vertical pole, with a wire attached to the top running down to the transmitter, as a radiating and re ceiving aerial element. In Italian a tent pole is known as l'antenna centrale, a nd the pole with the wire was simply called l'antenna. Until then wireless radia ting transmitting and receiving elements were known simply as aerials or termina ls. Because of his prominence, Marconi's use of the word antenna (Italian for po le) spread among wireless researchers, and later to the general public.[5] In common usage, the word antenna may refer broadly to an entire assembly includ ing support structure, enclosure (if any), etc. in addition to the actual functi onal components. Especially at microwave frequencies, a receiving antenna may in clude not only the actual electrical antenna but an integrated preamplifier or m ixer. Overview[edit] Question book-new.svg This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this s ection by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challe nged and removed. (January 2014) Antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter submillimeter Array.[6] Antennas are required by any radio receiver or transmitter to couple its electri cal connection to the electromagnetic field. Radio waves are electromagnetic wav es which carry signals through the air (or through space) at the speed of light with almost no transmission loss. Radio transmitters and receivers are used to c onvey signals (information) in systems including broadcast (audio) radio, televi sion, mobile telephones, wi-fi (WLAN) data networks, trunk lines and point-to-po int communications links (telephone, data networks), satellite links, many remot e controlled devices such as garage door openers, and wireless remote sensors, a

mong many others. Radio waves are also used directly for measurements in technol ogies including RADAR, GPS, and radio astronomy. In each and every case, the tra nsmitters and receivers involved require antennas, although these are sometimes hidden (such as the antenna inside an AM radio or inside a laptop computer equip ped with wi-fi).

Whip antenna on car, common example of an omnidirectional antenna According to their applications and technology available, antennas generally fal l in one of two categories: Omnidirectional or only weakly directional antennas which receive or radiate mor e or less in all directions. These are employed when the relative position of th e other station is unknown or arbitrary. They are also used at lower frequencies where a directional antenna would be too large, or simply to cut costs in appli cations where a directional antenna isn't required. Directional or beam antennas which are intended to preferentially radiate or rec eive in a particular direction or directional pattern. In common usage "omnidirectional" usually refers to all horizontal directions, t ypically with reduced performance in the direction of the sky or the ground (a t ruly isotropic radiator is not even possible). A "directional" antenna usually i s intended to maximize its coupling to the electromagnetic field in the directio n of the other station, or sometimes to cover a particular sector such as a 120 h orizontal fan pattern in the case of a panel antenna at a cell site. One example of omnidirectional antennas is the very common vertical antenna or w hip antenna consisting of a metal rod (often, but not always, a quarter of a wav elength long). A dipole antenna is similar but consists of two such conductors e xtending in opposite directions, with a total length that is often, but not alwa ys, a half of a wavelength long. Dipoles are typically oriented horizontally in which case they are weakly directional: signals are reasonably well radiated tow ard or received from all directions with the exception of the direction along th e conductor itself; this region is called the antenna blind cone or null.

Half-wave dipole antenna Both the vertical and dipole antennas are simple in construction and relatively inexpensive. The dipole antenna, which is the basis for most antenna designs, is a balanced component, with equal but opposite voltages and currents applied at its two terminals through a balanced transmission line (or to a coaxial transmis sion line through a so-called balun). The vertical antenna, on the other hand, i s a monopole antenna. It is typically connected to the inner conductor of a coax ial transmission line (or a matching network); the shield of the transmission li ne is connected to ground. In this way, the ground (or any large conductive surf ace) plays the role of the second conductor of a dipole, thereby forming a compl ete circuit. Since monopole antennas rely on a conductive ground, a so-called gr ounding structure may be employed to provide a better ground contact to the eart h or which itself acts as a ground plane to perform that function regardless of (or in absence of) an actual contact with the earth.

Diagram of the electric fields (blue) and magnetic fields (red) radiated by a di pole antenna (black rods) during transmission. Antennas more complex than the dipole or vertical designs are usually intended t o increase the directivity and consequently the gain of the antenna. This can be accomplished in many different ways leading to a plethora of antenna designs. T he vast majority of designs are fed with a balanced line (unlike a monopole ante

nna) and are based on the dipole antenna with additional components (or elements ) which increase its directionality. Antenna "gain" in this instance describes t he concentration of radiated power into a particular solid angle of space, as op posed to the spherically uniform radiation of the ideal radiator. The increased power in the desired direction is at the expense of that in the undesired direct ions. Power is conserved, and there is no net power increase over that delivered from the power source (the transmitter.) For instance, a phased array consists of two or more simple antennas which are c onnected together through an electrical network. This often involves a number of parallel dipole antennas with a certain spacing. Depending on the relative phas e introduced by the network, the same combination of dipole antennas can operate as a "broadside array" (directional normal to a line connecting the elements) o r as an "end-fire array" (directional along the line connecting the elements). A ntenna arrays may employ any basic (omnidirectional or weakly directional) anten na type, such as dipole, loop or slot antennas. These elements are often identic al.

Rooftop television Yagi-Uda antennas like these six are widely used at VHF and U HF frequencies. However a log-periodic dipole array consists of a number of dipole elements of d ifferent lengths in order to obtain a somewhat directional antenna having an ext remely wide bandwidth: these are frequently used for television reception in fri nge areas. The dipole antennas composing it are all considered "active elements" since they are all electrically connected together (and to the transmission lin e). On the other hand, a superficially similar dipole array, the Yagi-Uda Antenn a (or simply "Yagi"), has only one dipole element with an electrical connection; the other so-called parasitic elements interact with the electromagnetic field in order to realize a fairly directional antenna but one which is limited to a r ather narrow bandwidth. The Yagi antenna has similar looking parasitic dipole el ements but which act differently due to their somewhat different lengths. There may be a number of so-called "directors" in front of the active element in the d irection of propagation, and usually a single (but possibly more) "reflector" on the opposite side of the active element. Greater directionality can be obtained using beam-forming techniques such as a p arabolic reflector or a horn. Since the size of a directional antenna depends on it being large compared to the wavelength, very directional antennas of this so rt are mainly feasible at UHF and microwave frequencies. On the other hand, at l ow frequencies (such as AM broadcast) where a practical antenna must be much sma ller than a wavelength, significant directionality isn't even possible. A vertic al antenna or loop antenna small compared to the wavelength is typically used, w ith the main design challenge being that of impedance matching. With a vertical antenna a loading coil at the base of the antenna may be employed to cancel the reactive component of impedance; small loop antennas are tuned with parallel cap acitors for this purpose. An antenna lead-in is the transmission line (or feed line) which connects the an tenna to a transmitter or receiver. The antenna feed may refer to all components connecting the antenna to the transmitter or receiver, such as an impedance mat ching network in addition to the transmission line. In a so-called aperture ante nna, such as a horn or parabolic dish, the "feed" may also refer to a basic ante nna inside the entire system (normally at the focus of the parabolic dish or at the throat of a horn) which could be considered the one active element in that a ntenna system. A microwave antenna may also be fed directly from a waveguide in lieu of a (conductive) transmission line.

Cell phone base station antennas An antenna counterpoise or ground plane is a structure of conductive material wh ich improves or substitutes for the ground. It may be connected to or insulated from the natural ground. In a monopole antenna, this aids in the function of the natural ground, particularly where variations (or limitations) of the character istics of the natural ground interfere with its proper function. Such a structur e is normally connected to the return connection of an unbalanced transmission l ine such as the shield of a coaxial cable. An electromagnetic wave refractor in some aperture antennas is a component which due to its shape and position functions to selectively delay or advance portion s of the electromagnetic wavefront passing through it. The refractor alters the spatial characteristics of the wave on one side relative to the other side. It c an, for instance, bring the wave to a focus or alter the wave front in other way s, generally in order to maximize the directivity of the antenna system. This is the radio equivalent of an optical lens. An antenna coupling network is a passive network (generally a combination of ind uctive and capacitive circuit elements) used for impedance matching in between t he antenna and the transmitter or receiver. This may be used to improve the stan ding wave ratio in order to minimize losses in the transmission line and to pres ent the transmitter or receiver with a standard resistive impedance that it expe cts to see for optimum operation. Reciprocity[edit] It is a fundamental property of antennas that the electrical characteristics of an antenna described in the next section, such as gain, radiation pattern, imped ance, bandwidth, resonant frequency and polarization, are the same whether the a ntenna is transmitting or receiving.[7][8] For example, the "receiving pattern" (sensitivity as a function of direction) of an antenna when used for reception i s identical to the radiation pattern of the antenna when it is driven and functi ons as a radiator. This is a consequence of the reciprocity theorem of electroma gnetics.[8] Therefore in discussions of antenna properties no distinction is usu ally made between receiving and transmitting terminology, and the antenna can be viewed as either transmitting or receiving, whichever is more convenient. A necessary condition for the aforementioned reciprocity property is that the ma terials in the antenna and transmission medium are linear and reciprocal. Recipr ocal (or bilateral) means that the material has the same response to an electric current or magnetic field in one direction, as it has to the field or current i n the opposite direction. Most materials used in antennas meet these conditions, but some microwave antennas use high-tech components such as isolators and circ ulators, made of nonreciprocal materials such as ferrite.[7][8] These can be use d to give the antenna a different behavior on receiving than it has on transmitt ing,[7] which can be useful in applications like radar. Parameters[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve th is article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be ch allenged and removed. (January 2014) Main article: Antenna measurement Antennas are characterized by a number of performance measures which a user woul d be concerned with in selecting or designing an antenna for a particular applic ation. Chief among these relate to the directional characteristics (as depicted in the antenna's radiation pattern) and the resulting gain. Even in omnidirectio nal (or weakly directional) antennas, the gain can often be increased by concent rating more of its power in the horizontal directions, sacrificing power radiate d toward the sky and ground. The antenna's power gain (or simply "gain") also ta

kes into account the antenna's efficiency, and is often the primary figure of me rit. Resonant antennas are expected to be used around a particular resonant frequency ; an antenna must therefore be built or ordered to match the frequency range of the intended application. A particular antenna design will present a particular feedpoint impedance. While this may affect the choice of an antenna, an antenna' s impedance can also be adapted to the desired impedance level of a system using a matching network while maintaining the other characteristics (except for a po ssible loss of efficiency). Although these parameters can be measured in principle, such measurements are di fficult and require very specialized equipment. Beyond tuning a transmitting ant enna using an SWR meter, the typical user will depend on theoretical predictions based on the antenna design or on claims of a vendor. An antenna transmits and receives radio waves with a particular polarization whi ch can be reoriented by tilting the axis of the antenna in many (but not all) ca ses. The physical size of an antenna is often a practical issue, particularly at lower frequencies (longer wavelengths). Highly directional antennas need to be significantly larger than the wavelength. Resonant antennas use a conductor, or a pair of conductors, each of which is about one quarter of the wavelength in le ngth. Antennas that are required to be very small compared to the wavelength sac rifice efficiency and cannot be very directional. Fortunately at higher frequenc ies (UHF, microwaves) trading off performance to obtain a smaller physical size is usually not required. Resonant antennas[edit] While there are broadband designs for antennas, the vast majority of antennas ar e based on the half-wave dipole which has a particular resonant frequency. At it s resonant frequency, the wavelength (figured by dividing the speed of light by the resonant frequency) is slightly over twice the length of the half-wave dipol e (thus the name). The quarter-wave vertical antenna consists of one arm of a ha lf-wave dipole, with the other arm replaced by a connection to ground or an equi valent ground plane (or counterpoise). A Yagi-Uda array consists of a number of resonant dipole elements, only one of which is directly connected to the transmi ssion line. The quarter-wave elements of a dipole or vertical antenna imitate a series-resonant electrical element, since if they are driven at the resonant fre quency a standing wave is created with the peak current at the feed-point and th e peak voltage at the far end. A common misconception is that the ability of a resonant antenna to transmit (or receive) fails at frequencies far from the resonant frequency. The reason a dip ole antenna needs to be used at the resonant frequency has to do with the impeda nce match between the antenna and the transmitter or receiver (and its transmiss ion line). For instance, a dipole using a fairly thin conductor[9] will have a p urely resistive feedpoint impedance of about 63 ohms at its design frequency. Fe eding that antenna with a current of 1 ampere will require 63 volts of RF, and t he antenna will radiate 63 watts (ignoring losses) of radio frequency power. If that antenna is driven with 1 ampere at a frequency 20% higher, it will still ra diate as efficiently but in order to do that about 200 volts would be required d ue to the change in the antenna's impedance which is now largely reactive (volta ge out of phase with the current). A typical transmitter would not find that imp edance acceptable and would deliver much less than 63 watts to it; the transmiss ion line would be operating at a high (poor) standing wave ratio. But using an a ppropriate matching network, that large reactive impedance could be converted to a resistive impedance satisfying the transmitter and accepting the available po wer of the transmitter. This principle is used to construct vertical antennas substantially shorter than

the 1/4 wavelength at which the antenna is resonant. By adding an inductance in series with the vertical antenna (a so-called loading coil) the capacitive reac tance of this antenna can be cancelled leaving a pure resistance which can then be matched to the transmission line. Sometimes the resulting resonant frequency of such a system (antenna plus matching network) is described using the construc t of "electrical length" and the use of a shorter antenna at a lower frequency t han its resonant frequency is termed "electrical lengthening". For example, at 3 0 MHz (wavelength = 10 meters) a true resonant monopole would be almost 2.5 mete rs (1/4 wavelength) long, and using an antenna only 1.5 meters tall would requir e the addition of a loading coil. Then it may be said that the coil has "lengthe ned" the antenna to achieve an "electrical length" of 2.5 meters, that is, 1/4 w avelength at 30 MHz where the combined system now resonates. However, the result ing resistive impedance achieved will be quite a bit lower than the impedance of a resonant monopole, likely requiring further impedance matching. In addition t o a lower radiation resistance, the reactance becomes higher as the antenna size is reduced, and the resonant circuit formed by the antenna and the tuning coil has a Q factor that rises and eventually causes the bandwidth of the antenna to be inadequate for the signal being transmitted. This is the major factor that se ts the size of antennas at 1 MHz and lower frequencies. Current and voltage distribution[edit] The antenna conductors have the lowest feed-point impedance at the resonant freq uency where they are just under 1/4 wavelength long; two such conductors in line fed differentially thus realizes the familiar "half-wave dipole". When fed with an RF current at the resonant frequency, the quarter wave element contains a st anding wave with the voltage and current largely (but not exactly) in phase quad rature, as would be obtained using a quarter wave stub of transmission line. The current reaches a minimum at the end of the element (where it has nowhere to go !) and is maximum at the feed-point. The voltage, on the other hand, is the grea test at the end of the conductor and reaches a minimum (but not zero) at the fee dpoint. Making the conductor shorter or longer than 1/4 wavelength means that th e voltage pattern reaches its minimum somewhere beyond the feed-point, so that t he feed-point has a higher voltage and thus sees a higher impedance, as we have noted. Since that voltage pattern is almost in phase quadrature with the current , the impedance seen at the feed-point is not only much higher but mainly reacti ve. It can be seen that if such an element is resonant at f0 to produce such a stand ing wave pattern, then feeding that element with 3f0 (whose wavelength is 1/3 th at of f0) will lead to a standing wave pattern in which the voltage is likewise a minimum at the feed-point (and the current at a maximum there). Thus, an anten na element is also resonant when its length is 3/4 of a wavelength (3/2 waveleng th for a complete dipole). This is true for all odd multiples of 1/4 wavelength, where the feed-point impedance is purely resistive, though larger than the resi stive impedance of the 1/4 wave element. Although such an antenna is resonant an d works perfectly well at the higher frequency, the antenna radiation pattern is also altered compared to the half-wave dipole. The use of a monopole or dipole at odd multiples of the fundamental resonant fre quency, however, does not extend to even multiples (thus a 1/2 wavelength monopo le or 1 wavelength dipole). Now the voltage standing wave is at its peak at the feed-point, while that of the current (which must be zero at the end of the cond uctor) is at a minimum (but not exactly zero). The antenna is anti-resonant at t his frequency. Although the reactance at the feedpoint can be cancelled using su ch an element length, the feed-point impedance is very high, and is highly depen dent on the diameter of the conductor (which makes only a small difference at th e actual resonant frequency). Such an antenna does not match the much lower char acteristic impedance of available transmission lines, and is generally not used. However some equipment where transmission lines are not involved which desire a high driving point impedance may take advantage of this anti-resonance.

Bandwidth[edit] Although a resonant antenna has a purely resistive feed-point impedance at a par ticular frequency, many (if not most) applications require using an antenna over a range of frequencies. An antenna's bandwidth specifies the range of frequenci es over which its performance does not suffer due to a poor impedance match. Als o in the case of a Yagi-Uda array, the use of the antenna very far away from its design frequency reduces the antenna's directivity, thus reducing the usable ba ndwidth regardless of impedance matching. Except for the latter concern, the resonant frequency of a resonant antenna can always be altered by adjusting a suitable matching network. To do this efficient ly one would require remotely adjusting a matching network at the site of the an tenna, since simply adjusting a matching network at the transmitter (or receiver ) would leave the transmission line with a poor standing wave ratio. Instead, it is often desired to have an antenna whose impedance does not vary so greatly over a certain bandwidth. It turns out that the amount of reactance see n at the terminals of a resonant antenna when the frequency is shifted, say, by 5%, depends very much on the diameter of the conductor used. A long thin wire us ed as a half-wave dipole (or quarter wave monopole) will have a reactance signif icantly greater than the resistive impedance it has at resonance, leading to a p oor match and generally unacceptable performance. Making the element using a tub e of a diameter perhaps 1/50 of its length, however, results in a reactance at t his altered frequency which is not so great, and a much less serious mismatch wh ich will only modestly damage the antenna's net performance. Thus rather thick t ubes are typically used for the solid elements of such antennas, including YagiUda arrays. Rather than just using a thick tube, there are similar techniques used to the sa me effect such as replacing thin wire elements with cages to simulate a thicker element. This widens the bandwidth of the resonance. On the other hand, amateur radio antennas need to operate over several bands which are widely separated fro m each other. This can often be accomplished simply by connecting resonant eleme nts for the different bands in parallel. Most of the transmitter's power will fl ow into the resonant element while the others present a high (reactive) impedanc e and draw little current from the same voltage. A popular solution uses so-call ed traps consisting of parallel resonant circuits which are strategically placed in breaks along each antenna element. When used at one particular frequency ban d the trap presents a very high impedance (parallel resonance) effectively trunc ating the element at that length, making it a proper resonant antenna. At a lowe r frequency the trap allows the full length of the element to be employed, albei t with a shifted resonant frequency due to the inclusion of the trap's net react ance at that lower frequency. The bandwidth characteristics of a resonant antenna element can be characterized according to its Q, just as one uses to characterize the sharpness of an L-C re sonant circuit. However it is often assumed that there is an advantage in an ant enna having a high Q. After all, Q is short for "quality factor" and a low Q typ ically signifies excessive loss (due to unwanted resistance) in a resonant L-C c ircuit. However this understanding does not apply to resonant antennas where the resistance involved is the radiation resistance, a desired quantity which remov es energy from the resonant element in order to radiate it (the purpose of an an tenna, after all!). The Q is a measure of the ratio of reactance to resistance, so with a fixed radiation resistance (an element's radiation resistance is almos t independent of its diameter) a greater reactance off-resonance corresponds to the poorer bandwidth of a very thin conductor. The Q of such a narrowband antenn a can be as high as 15. On the other hand a thick element presents less reactanc e at an off-resonant frequency, and consequently a Q as low as 5. These two ante nnas will perform equivalently at the resonant frequency, but the second antenna

will perform over a bandwidth 3 times as wide as the "hi-Q" antenna consisting of a thin conductor. Gain[edit] Main article: Antenna gain Gain is a parameter which measures the degree of directivity of the antenna's ra diation pattern. A high-gain antenna will preferentially radiate in a particular direction. Specifically, the antenna gain, or power gain of an antenna is defin ed as the ratio of the intensity (power per unit surface) radiated by the antenn a in the direction of its maximum output, at an arbitrary distance, divided by t he intensity radiated at the same distance by a hypothetical isotropic antenna. The gain of an antenna is a passive phenomenon - power is not added by the anten na, but simply redistributed to provide more radiated power in a certain directi on than would be transmitted by an isotropic antenna. An antenna designer must t ake into account the application for the antenna when determining the gain. High -gain antennas have the advantage of longer range and better signal quality, but must be aimed carefully in a particular direction. Low-gain antennas have short er range, but the orientation of the antenna is relatively inconsequential. For example, a dish antenna on a spacecraft is a high-gain device that must be point ed at the planet to be effective, whereas a typical Wi-Fi antenna in a laptop co mputer is low-gain, and as long as the base station is within range, the antenna can be in any orientation in space. It makes sense to improve horizontal range at the expense of reception above or below the antenna.[10] In practice, the half-wave dipole is taken as a reference instead of the isotrop ic radiator. The gain is then given in dBd (decibels over dipole): NOTE: 0 dBd = 2.15 dBi. It is vital in expressing gain values that the reference point be included. Failure to do so can lead to confusion and error. Effective area or aperture[edit] Main article: Antenna effective area The effective area or effective aperture of a receiving antenna expresses the po rtion of the power of a passing electromagnetic wave which it delivers to its te rminals, expressed in terms of an equivalent area. For instance, if a radio wave passing a given location has a flux of 1 pW / m2 (10-12 watts per square meter) and an antenna has an effective area of 12 m2, then the antenna would deliver 1 2 pW of RF power to the receiver (30 microvolts rms at 75 ohms). Since the recei ving antenna is not equally sensitive to signals received from all directions, t he effective area is a function of the direction to the source. Due to reciprocity (discussed above) the gain of an antenna used for transmittin g must be proportional to its effective area when used for receiving. Consider a n antenna with no loss, that is, one whose electrical efficiency is 100%. It can be shown that its effective area averaged over all directions must be equal to ?2/4p, the wavelength squared divided by 4p. Gain is defined such that the avera ge gain over all directions for an antenna with 100% electrical efficiency is eq ual to 1. Therefore the effective area Aeff in terms of the gain G in a given di rection is given by: A_{eff} = {\lambda^2 \over 4 \pi} \, G For an antenna with an efficiency of less than 100%, both the effective area and gain are reduced by that same amount. Therefore the above relationship between gain and effective area still holds. These are thus two different ways of expres sing the same quantity. Aeff is especially convenient when computing the power t hat would be received by an antenna of a specified gain, as illustrated by the a bove example. Radiation pattern[edit] Main article: Radiation pattern

Polar plots of the horizontal cross sections of a (virtual) Yagi-Uda-antenna. Ou tline connects points with 3db field power compared to an ISO emitter. The radiation pattern of an antenna is a plot of the relative field strength of the radio waves emitted by the antenna at different angles. It is typically repr esented by a three-dimensional graph, or polar plots of the horizontal and verti cal cross sections. The pattern of an ideal isotropic antenna, which radiates eq ually in all directions, would look like a sphere. Many nondirectional antennas, such as monopoles and dipoles, emit equal power in all horizontal directions, w ith the power dropping off at higher and lower angles; this is called an omnidir ectional pattern and when plotted looks like a torus or donut. The radiation of many antennas shows a pattern of maxima or "lobes" at various a ngles, separated by "nulls", angles where the radiation falls to zero. This is b ecause the radio waves emitted by different parts of the antenna typically inter fere, causing maxima at angles where the radio waves arrive at distant points in phase, and zero radiation at other angles where the radio waves arrive out of p hase. In a directional antenna designed to project radio waves in a particular d irection, the lobe in that direction is designed larger than the others and is c alled the "main lobe". The other lobes usually represent unwanted radiation and are called "sidelobes". The axis through the main lobe is called the "principal axis" or "boresight axis". Field regions[edit] The space surrounding an antenna can be divided into three concentric regions: t he reactive near-field, the radiating near-field (Fresnell region) and the far-f ield (Fraunhofer) regions. These regions are useful to identify the field struct ure in each, although there are no precise boundaries. In the far-field region, we are far enough from the antenna to neglect its size and shape. We can assume that the electromagnetic wave is purely a radiating pla ne wave (electric and magnetic fields are in phase and perpendicular to each oth er and to the direction of propagation). This simplifies the mathematical analys is of the radiated field. Impedance[edit] As an electro-magnetic wave travels through the different parts of the antenna s ystem (radio, feed line, antenna, free space) it may encounter differences in im pedance (E/H, V/I, etc.). At each interface, depending on the impedance match, s ome fraction of the wave's energy will reflect back to the source,[11] forming a standing wave in the feed line. The ratio of maximum power to minimum power in the wave can be measured and is called the standing wave ratio (SWR). A SWR of 1 :1 is ideal. A SWR of 1.5:1 is considered to be marginally acceptable in low pow er applications where power loss is more critical, although an SWR as high as 6: 1 may still be usable with the right equipment. Minimizing impedance differences at each interface (impedance matching) will reduce SWR and maximize power trans fer through each part of the antenna system. Complex impedance of an antenna is related to the electrical length of the anten na at the wavelength in use. The impedance of an antenna can be matched to the f eed line and radio by adjusting the impedance of the feed line, using the feed l ine as an impedance transformer. More commonly, the impedance is adjusted at the load (see below) with an antenna tuner, a balun, a matching transformer, matchi ng networks composed of inductors and capacitors, or matching sections such as t he gamma match. Efficiency[edit] Main article: Antenna efficiency Efficiency of a transmitting antenna is the ratio of power actually radiated (in

all directions) to the power absorbed by the antenna terminals. The power suppl ied to the antenna terminals which is not radiated is converted into heat. This is usually through loss resistance in the antenna's conductors, but can also be due to dielectric or magnetic core losses in antennas (or antenna systems) using such components. Such loss effectively robs power from the transmitter, requiri ng a stronger transmitter in order to transmit a signal of a given strength. For instance, if a transmitter delivers 100 W into an antenna having an efficien cy of 80%, then the antenna will radiate 80 W as radio waves and produce 20 W of heat. In order to radiate 100 W of power, one would need to use a transmitter c apable of supplying 125 W to the antenna. Note that antenna efficiency is a sepa rate issue from impedance matching, which may also reduce the amount of power ra diated using a given transmitter. If an SWR meter reads 150 W of incident power and 50 W of reflected power, that means that 100 W have actually been absorbed b y the antenna (ignoring transmission line losses). How much of that power has ac tually been radiated cannot be directly determined through electrical measuremen ts at (or before) the antenna terminals, but would require (for instance) carefu l measurement of field strength. Fortunately the loss resistance of antenna cond uctors such as aluminum rods can be calculated and the efficiency of an antenna using such materials predicted. However loss resistance will generally affect the feedpoint impedance, adding to its resistive (real) component. That resistance will consist of the sum of the radiation resistance Rr and the loss resistance Rloss. If an rms current I is de livered to the terminals of an antenna, then a power of I2Rr will be radiated an d a power of I2Rloss will be lost as heat. Therefore the efficiency of an antenn a is equal to Rr / (Rr + Rloss). Of course only the total resistance Rr + Rloss can be directly measured. According to reciprocity, the efficiency of an antenna used as a receiving anten na is identical to the efficiency as defined above. The power that an antenna wi ll deliver to a receiver (with a proper impedance match) is reduced by the same amount. In some receiving applications, the very inefficient antennas may have l ittle impact on performance. At low frequencies, for example, atmospheric or man -made noise can mask antenna inefficiency. For example, CCIR Rep. 258-3 indicate s man-made noise in a residential setting at 40 MHz is about 28 dB above the the rmal noise floor. Consequently, an antenna with a 20 dB loss (due to inefficienc y) would have little impact on system noise performance. The loss within the ant enna will affect the intended signal and the noise/interference identically, lea ding to no reduction in signal to noise ratio (SNR). This is fortunate, since antennas at lower frequencies which are not rather larg e (a good fraction of a wavelength in size) are inevitably inefficient (due to t he small radiation resistance Rr of small antennas). Most AM broadcast radios (e xcept for car radios) take advantage of this principle by including a small loop antenna for reception which has an extremely poor efficiency. Using such an ine fficient antenna at this low frequency (530 1650 kHz) thus has little effect on th e receiver's net performance, but simply requires greater amplification by the r eceiver's electronics. Contrast this tiny component to the massive and very tall towers used at AM broadcast stations for transmitting at the very same frequenc y, where every percentage point of reduced antenna efficiency entails a substant ial cost. The definition of antenna gain or power gain already includes the effect of the antenna's efficiency. Therefore if one is trying to radiate a signal toward a re ceiver using a transmitter of a given power, one need only compare the gain of v arious antennas rather than considering the efficiency as well. This is likewise true for a receiving antenna at very high (especially microwave) frequencies, w here the point is to receive a signal which is strong compared to the receiver's noise temperature. However in the case of a directional antenna used for receiv

ing signals with the intention of rejecting interference from different directio ns, one is no longer concerned with the antenna efficiency, as discussed above. In this case, rather than quoting the antenna gain, one would be more concerned with the directive gain which does not include the effect of antenna (in)efficie ncy. The directive gain of an antenna can be computed from the published gain di vided by the antenna's efficiency. Polarization[edit] Main article: Polarization (waves) The polarization of an antenna refers to the orientation of the electric field ( E-plane) of the radio wave with respect to the Earth's surface and is determined by the physical structure of the antenna and by its orientation; note that this designation is totally distinct from the antenna's directionality. Thus, a simp le straight wire antenna will have one polarization when mounted vertically, and a different polarization when mounted horizontally. As a transverse wave, the m agnetic field of a radio wave is at right angles to that of the electric field, but by convention, talk of an antenna's "polarization" is understood to refer to the direction of the electric field. Reflections generally affect polarization. For radio waves, one important reflec tor is the ionosphere which can change the wave's polarization. Thus for signals received following reflection by the ionosphere (a skywave), a consistent polar ization cannot be expected. For line-of-sight communications or ground wave prop agation, horizontally or vertically polarized transmissions generally remain in the about the same polarization state at the receiving location. Matching the re ceiving antenna's polarization to that of the transmitter can make a very substa ntial difference in received signal strength. Polarization is predictable from an antenna's geometry, although in some cases i t is not at all obvious (such as for the quad antenna). An antenna's linear pola rization is generally along the direction (as viewed from the receiving location ) of the antenna's currents when such a direction can be defined. For instance, a vertical whip antenna or WiFi antenna vertically oriented will transmit and re ceive in the vertical polarization. Antennas with horizontal elements, such as m ost rooftop TV antennas, are horizontally polarized (broadcast TV usually uses h orizontal polarization). Even when the antenna system has a vertical orientation , such as an array of horizontal dipole antennas, the polarization is in the hor izontal direction corresponding to the current flow. The polarization of a comme rcial antenna is an essential specification. Polarization is the sum of the E-plane orientations over time projected onto an imaginary plane perpendicular to the direction of motion of the radio wave. In t he most general case, polarization is elliptical, meaning that the polarization of the radio waves varies over time. Two special cases are linear polarization ( the ellipse collapses into a line) as we have discussed above, and circular pola rization (in which the two axes of the ellipse are equal). In linear polarizatio n the electric field of the radio wave oscillates back and forth along one direc tion; this can be affected by the mounting of the antenna but usually the desire d direction is either horizontal or vertical polarization. In circular polarizat ion, the electric field (and magnetic field) of the radio wave rotates at the ra dio frequency circularly around the axis of propagation. Circular or ellipticall y polarized radio waves are designated as right-handed or left-handed using the "thumb in the direction of the propagation" rule. Note that for circular polariz ation, optical researchers use the opposite right hand rule from the one used by radio engineers. It is best for the receiving antenna to match the polarization of the transmitte d wave for optimum reception. Intermediate matchings will lose some signal stren gth, but not as much as a complete mismatch. A circularly polarized antenna can be used to equally well match vertical or horizontal linear polarizations. Trans

mission from a circularly polarized antenna received by a linearly polarized ant enna (or vice versa) entails a 3dB reduction in signal-to-noise ratio as the rec eived power has thereby been cut in half. Impedance matching[edit] Main article: Impedance matching Maximum power transfer requires matching the impedance of an antenna system (as seen looking into the transmission line) to the complex conjugate of the impedan ce of the receiver or transmitter. In the case of a transmitter, however, the de sired matching impedance might not correspond to the dynamic output impedance of the transmitter as analyzed as a source impedance but rather the design value ( typically 50 ohms) required for efficient and safe operation of the transmitting circuitry. The intended impedance is normally resistive but a transmitter (and some receivers) may have additional adjustments to cancel a certain amount of re actance in order to "tweak" the match. When a transmission line is used in betwe en the antenna and the transmitter (or receiver) one generally would like an ant enna system whose impedance is resistive and near the characteristic impedance o f that transmission line in order to minimize the standing wave ratio (SWR) and the increase in transmission line losses it entails, in addition to supplying a good match at the transmitter or receiver itself. Antenna tuning generally refers to cancellation of any reactance seen at the ant enna terminals, leaving only a resistive impedance which might or might not be e xactly the desired impedance (that of the transmission line). Although an antenn a may be designed to have a purely resistive feedpoint impedance (such as a dipo le 97% of a half wavelength long) this might not be exactly true at the frequenc y that it is eventually used at. In some cases the physical length of the antenn a can be "trimmed" to obtain a pure resistance. On the other hand, the addition of a series inductance or parallel capacitance can be used to cancel a residual capacitative or inductive reactance, respectively. In some cases this is done in a more extreme manner, not simply to cancel a smal l amount of residual reactance, but to resonate an antenna whose resonance frequ ency is quite different than the intended frequency of operation. For instance, a "whip antenna" can be made significantly shorter than 1/4 wavelength long, for practical reasons, and then resonated using a so-called loading coil. This phys ically large inductor at the base of the antenna has an inductive reactance whic h is the opposite of the capacitative reactance that such a vertical antenna has at the desired operating frequency. The result is a pure resistance seen at fee dpoint of the loading coil; unfortunately that resistance is somewhat lower than would be desired to match commercial coax.[citation needed] So an additional problem beyond canceling the unwanted reactance is of matching the remaining resistive impedance to the characteristic impedance of the transmi ssion line. In principle this can always be done with a transformer, however the turns ratio of a transformer is not adjustable. A general matching network with at least two adjustments can be made to correct both components of impedance. M atching networks using discrete inductors and capacitors will have losses associ ated with those components, and will have power restrictions when used for trans mitting. Avoiding these difficulties, commercial antennas are generally designed with fixed matching elements or feeding strategies to get an approximate match to standard coax, such as 50 or 75 Ohms. Antennas based on the dipole (rather th an vertical antennas) should include a balun in between the transmission line an d antenna element, which may be integrated into any such matching network. Another extreme case of impedance matching occurs when using a small loop antenn a (usually, but not always, for receiving) at a relatively low frequency where i t appears almost as a pure inductor. Resonating such an inductor with a capacito r at the frequency of operation not only cancels the reactance but greatly magni fies the very small radiation resistance of such a loop.[citation needed] This i

s implemented in most AM broadcast receivers, with a small ferrite loop antenna resonated by a capacitor which is varied along with the receiver tuning in order to maintain resonance over the AM broadcast band Basic antenna models[edit] Question book-new.svg This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this s ection by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challe nged and removed. (January 2014) A "Turnstile" type transmitting antenna (two dipole antennas aligned at right an gles) for a VHF low band television broadcasting station. There are many variations of antennas. Below are a few basic models. More can be found in Category:Radio frequency antenna types. The isotropic radiator is a purely theoretical antenna that radiates equally in all directions. It is considered to be a point in space with no dimensions and n o mass. This antenna cannot physically exist, but is useful as a theoretical mod el for comparison with all other antennas. Most antennas' gains are measured wit h reference to an isotropic radiator, and are rated in dBi (decibels with respec t to an isotropic radiator). The dipole antenna is simply two wires pointed in opposite directions arranged e ither horizontally or vertically, with one end of each wire connected to the rad io and the other end hanging free in space. Since this is the simplest practical antenna, it is also used as a reference model for other antennas; gain with res pect to a dipole is labeled as dBd. Generally, the dipole is considered to be om nidirectional in the plane perpendicular to the axis of the antenna, but it has deep nulls in the directions of the axis. Variations of the dipole include the f olded dipole, the half wave antenna, the ground plane antenna, the whip, and the J-pole. The Yagi-Uda antenna is a directional variation of the dipole with parasitic ele ments added which are functionality similar to adding a reflector and lenses (di rectors) to focus a filament light bulb. The random wire antenna is simply a very long (at least one quarter wavelength[c itation needed]) wire with one end connected to the radio and the other in free space, arranged in any way most convenient for the space available. Folding will reduce effectiveness and make theoretical analysis extremely difficult. (The ad ded length helps more than the folding typically hurts.) Typically, a random wir e antenna will also require an antenna tuner, as it might have a random impedanc e that varies non-linearly with frequency. The horn antenna is used where high gain is needed, the wavelength is short (mic rowave) and space is not an issue. Horns can be narrow band or wide band, depend ing on their shape. A horn can be built for any frequency, but horns for lower f requencies are typically impractical. Horns are also frequently used as referenc e antennas. The parabolic antenna consists of an active element at the focus of a parabolic reflector to reflect the waves into a plane wave. Like the horn it is used for h igh gain, microwave applications, such as satellite dishes. The patch antenna consists mainly of a square conductor mounted over a groundpla ne. Another example of a planar antenna is the tapered slot antenna (TSA), as th e Vivaldi-antenna.