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ECD 313

Antenna & Wave Propagation

Electromagnetic Radiation

C. A. Balanis Antenna Theory and Design, J. Wiley
K. D. Prasad, Antenna & Wave Propagation.
N.O. Sadiku, Principles of Electromagnetics
What is an antenna?
The American Heritage Dictionary: A
metallic apparatus for sending and
receiving electromagnetic waves.
Websters Dictionary: A usually metallic
device (as a rod or wire) for radiating or
receiving radio waves.
Balanis; Antenna Theory: An antenna is a
transitional structure between free-space
and a guiding structure.
Assumption: Lossless antennas
Types of Antennas
Wire antennas
Aperture antennas
Array antennas
Reflector antennas
Lens antennas
Patch antennas
Propagation between two antennas (not to

No Ground Wave for Frequencies > ~2 MHz

No Ionospheric Wave for Frequencies > ~30 Mhz

[Saunders, 1999]
For radio wave propagation over rough terrain, the
propagation is dependent on the size of the object
Waves with wavelengths much shorter than the size of the
object will be reflected
Waves with wavelengths much larger than the size of the
obstacle will pass virtually unaffected.
Waves with intermediate wavelengths curve around the edges
of the obstacles in their propagation (diffraction).
Diffraction allows radio signals to propagate around the
curved surface and propagate behind obstacles.

Propagation in the Atmosphere
The atmosphere around the earth contains a lot of
gazes (1044 molecules)
It is most dense at the earth surface (90% of
molecules below a height of 20 km).
It gets thinner as we reach higher and higher
The refractive index of the air in the atmosphere
changes with the Height
This affects the propagation of radio waves.
The straight line propagation assumption may not be
valid especially for long distances.

Effective Earth Radius

Microwave Communication

Ionospheric Communication

[Davies, 1993]
Multipath propagation
Observed Phenomena of Radiation

Only accelerating charges produce radiation

[Saunders, 1999]
Radiation Mechanism: Single Wire

To create radiation, there must be a time-varying current or an acceleration (or

deceleration) of charge
Radiation Mechanism: Single Wire
Radiation Mechanism: Single Wire
Radiation Mechanism: Two Wire System
Radiation Mechanism: Two Wire System
Short dipole assumption: time of travel of current is negligible

(b) t T/2

Assume: introducing No net charge => lines of

Charge has
opposite charges has force forced to detach
reached its
neutralized original themselves from
maximum value
charges on the antenna conductors and unite to
form closed loops.
Current Distribution of Transmission Line and Linear
Two wire transmission line:

Standing wave pattern

s << Fields radiated by current in each wire are cancelled by other

ideal non-radiating transmission line
Current Distribution of Transmission Line and Linear
Flared transmission line:

Standing wave Antenna

Current distribution is essentially unaltered

in form in each of the wires

Since two wires of flared section are not close to each other, fields radiated by one are
not cancelled by other net radiation by transmission line system.
Current Distribution of Transmission Line and Linear
Linear Dipole: 90 flare

Standing wave Antenna

l < : phase of standing wave pattern of the current

in each arm is the same throughout length
current spatially oriented in the same direction
as that of other arm
fields radiated by the two arms of the dipole will
primarily reinforce each other towards most
directions of observation
(phase considerations determine complete
description of radiation pattern)
Current Distribution: Linear Dipole

Center Fed Linear Dipole: 90 flare Standing wave Antenna

l << l = /2
/2 < l <
Very small dipole:
/50 < l /10
Current distribution approx. If diameter of each wire is very small (d
by triangular distribution, << ), ideal standing wave pattern of
Since sin(kl/2) kl/2 when current along arms of the dipole is
kl/2 is very small sinusoidal with null at the end
A linear dipole antenna linear current distibution
Linear dipole Antenna that collects radiation only from the linear polarization whose
electric field is parallel to the antenna wires.
Electric fields perpendicular to the dipole antenna do not produce currents in the antenna,
so the linear dipole is completely insensitive to the linear polarization perpendicular to its
Current Distribution: Linear Dipole

Center Fed Linear Dipole: 90 flare Standing wave Antenna

180 phase reversal between adjoining

cycles fields radiated by some
parts will not reinforce each other
Significant interference & cancelling
effects in radiation pattern.
Therefore, antennas of dimensions
l > are generally avoided
Such higher frequencies of
operations that generate such
conditions are also avoided
< l < 3 /2

Standing wave patterns of the currents shown represent analysis at their maximum
current excitation levels possible over the course of their time varying oscillations.
The time varying oscillations can be obtained by multiplying these standing wave
patterns of the current by cos(t)
Hertzian (Short) Dipole : Retarded Potential

Short (small)
current element

No space variation
Hertzian (Short) Dipole : Force Fields
Fields to be evaluated at P
Hertzian (Short) Dipole : Near Fields

Electrostatic Field
(~charge dipole)
Hertzian (Short) Dipole : Near Fields

Inductive Field
(~Biot-Savarts Law)
Hertzian (Short) Dipole : Far Field

Radiation Field

Field Boundaries
between Near &
Far field regions

Near Field Far Field

All other field terms 0

Field Boundaries
Radiation Resistance (Hertzian Dipole)
Radiation Resistance is computed for the Far Field region
Radiation Resistance (Hertzian Dipole)

Antenna Circuit Representation
Hertzian Dipole Vs Short Dipole

Radiation Resistance (Short Dipole) =

Current Distribution :
[Short (Real Vs Ideal) Vs Ideal Dipole]
Half-Wave (/2) Dipole

l = /2 Analysis can be considered as a chain of Hertzian dipoles

Half-Wave (/2) Dipole

Actual current distribution on the antenna is not precisely known. It is

determined by solving maxwells equations subject to boundary conditions on
the antenna: This is mathematically complex
Sinusoidal assumption approximates the distribution obtained by solving the BVP
Half-Wave (/2) Dipole


Hertzian Dipole
Half-Wave (/2) Dipole
Half-Wave (/2) Dipole
Quarter - Wave (/4) Monopole

Located perpendicular to ground plane

Ground plane assumed infinite and perfectly conducting