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the antenna to the source (DUT).
Whereas for calibration of commercial
testing, it is reckoned at a distance of
3 and 10 metres from the centre of the
antenna to the source (FCC testing).
Antenna manufacturers supply
LPAs duly calibrated as described
above for EMI measurement applica-
tions. The standard dealing with an-
tenna calibration for 1 metre is SAE
APR 958. For 3 metres and 10 metres,
antenna calibration is as per ANSIC63.5.
Therefore any new development of an-
tenna should conform to these stan-
Presently, commercially available
LPAs conforming to these standards are
usable only up to 5 GHz. Only a few
manufacturers (including Antenna Re-
rinted-circuit antennae come in
handy because of their light
weight, ease of manufacture and
quality production in bulk. At high fre-
quencies, especially from 1 to 18 GHz,
horn antennae are invariably used for
electromagnetic interference (EMI)
measurements. As a possible alterna-
tive, log-periodic directional antennae
are also used for EMI measurements.
In this article, two log-periodic anten-
nae (LPAs) using two different dielec-
tric materials (glass epoxy and teflon)
are described.
The basics
The basic requirements of a log-peri-
odic antenna for making EMI measure-
ments are:
1. It should be able to perform both
emission and immunity measurements
accurately or comparable to broadband
horn antennae.
2. It should handle adequate RF
power for generating high field
strength (20V/m or above).
3. It should possess dual
polarisation and exhibit high gain and
low voltage standing-wave ratio
(VSWR) besides good beam-width pat-
While using LPAs for EMI mea-
surements, calibration factor is an im-
portant aspect. This differs for MIL-
STD testing and commercial testing.
The initial calibration for military test-
ing is performed at a distance of 1
metre as measured from the apex of
search, USA) deliver wire-element LPAs
for 18GHz applications and that too at
reduced power levels (5 watts). AH Sys-
tems, USA, supplies printed-circuit
LPAs operating in the 1-18GHz range.
This design has been indigenised
here as a possible replacement. Two
antennae experimented for the same
band with two different dielectric sub-
strates (Er=4 and Er=2.55) have been
discussed here.
Design parameters/
The basic design requirements for the
development of an LPA are:
1. Frequency coverage requirement
is typically 100-1000 MHz and 1-10
GHz for the two different designs.
Design of Printed-Circuit
Log-Periodic Antennae
for EMI Measurements
Learn to construct printed-circuit log-periodic antennae, compare their
measurement results and understand the effect of dielectric substrate on
their performance
Both the ranges suit SAE and military
standard testing. The 100-1000MHz
range also suits commercial testing.
2. Power input is the ability of an
LPA to handle directly from the RF
amplifier with minimal mismatch.
While 5GHz LPAs handle 100 watts,
1GHz LPAs can handle as high as
2 kW, both of them being wire-element
antennae. For printed-circuit antennae,
it is less than 5W.
3. The power gain should be at
least 5 dB in the 200-1000MHz region.
Some manufacturers produce LPAs
with gain as high as 7.5 dB. For
1-18GHz range, printed-circuit LPAs
offer 5 to 6 dB of gain.
4. Gain flatness required is 1 dB
over the entire range of frequencies.
While this is a desirable figure, practi-
cally the antennae exhibit higher val-
5. Average and maximum VSWR
should not exceed 1.5 and 2, respec-
tively, for the complete range of fre-
6. The average beam-width differs
in E and H planes. The desirable val-
ues are 127 to 152 cm (50 to 60 inches)
in the E plane and 229 to 254 cm (90 to
100 inches) in the H plane.
7. Front-to-back ratio of 12 to 15
dB is an ideal requirement for LPAs.
Unless asked for, these figures are not
specified by the manufacturers.
8. Impedance is invariably 50 ohms
(nominal), while polarisation is linear
in all LPA requirements.
9. The size of LPAs in the 100-
1000MHz range comes to 6.374.974.9
cm (hwl). And for 1-18GHz printed-
element LPAs, it is 26161 cm.
10. The average weight of a 1GHz
antenna is 3.5 to 7 kg and for 18GHz it
is less than a kilogram. All antennae
are mounted, in tripod for height ad-
justments and for rotation in azimuth
The antennae are constructed as per
Fig. 1. An LPA employs a number of
dipoles. The dipole elements increase
along the array by a current-scale fac-
tor such that:
(li+1)/li=(di+1)/di=k ............. (1)
From the principle of scaling, it is
evident that for this structure, extend-
ing from 0 to infinity and energised
at the apex, the properties repeat at n
frequencies (kpif), where n takes in-
teger values.
When plotted on log scale,
these frequencies are equally
spaced at intervals of log k.
Therefore the antenna is termed
as log-periodic. In this PCB,
trace width of 0.5 cm was chosen
to get an impedance of 50 to 60
ohms for the substrate height of
2 mm. For a value of w/h=
Rin=60 ohms, for Er=2.5
(teflon) ........Eq. (2)
Similarly, for glass epoxy,
Er=4 and Rin=50 ohms. Accord-
ingly, the transmission line was
etched in both the antennae (Fig.
2(a) and (b), respectively).
Performance of glass-
epoxy-based LPA
The EMI-frequency-receiving ca-
pability of an indigenously de-
veloped glass-epoxy-based LPA
was compared with that of an
imported LPA from AH Sys-
tems, USA, and found to be in
good agreement for practical
measurements. The test results
indicate that this antenna can be
used for near-field diagnostic
measurements in the 1-13GHz
frequency range. A distance of 1
metre between the radiating and
receiving antennae was main-
tained throughout the experi-
ment at a constant height of 1.5
metres from the levelled floor of
the shielded room. The results
are shown in Table I.
Performance of teflon-
based LPA
The teflon-based antenna was
found to be much superior to the
printed-circuit-version (glass-ep-
oxy) antenna. Also, unlike the
printed-circuit version, its perfor-
mance is comparable to that of
the test antenna throughout the
frequency range. Repeatable mea-
surement results are possible with
both versions of the antennae.
Effects of dielectrics
The relative dielectric constant of
the substrate plays an important role
Fig. 1: Log periodic array
Fig. 2: Design of LPAs
Fig. 3: Impedance characteristics of various substrates
(a) Glass-epoxy based (PCB) LPA
(b) Teflon-based LPA
Performance of Commercially Available LPAs
Parameter AT1000 RF Amp 3145 DP EMCO 96005 EATON 3147 EMCO LPD118 Ant.
Frequency 150-1000 80-1000 200-1000 200-5GHz 1-18GHz
Power Input 750-200W 1300W 1000W 100W 5W
Power gain 7.5 dB (average) NA 5 dB (min.) NA Excellent
Gain flatness 1 dB NA NA NA NA
VSWR 1.5-1.8 <1.2 2:1 1.2 Excellent
Beam-width E-152 cm NA NA NA NA
(60 inches),
H-267 cm
(105 inches)
Front-to- 15 dB NA NA NA High
back ratio
Ant. factor 7.5-22.5 dB 9-24.8 dB NA 11.7-42 NA
Polarisation Linear Dual Linear Linear Linear
EMI-frequency Received by the
Indigenously Developed Glass-Epoxy-
based LPA and the Reference Antenna
Frequency Frequencies received Frequencies received
in GHz by the reference by the test
antenna (dBm) antenna (dBm)
1 46.4 46.8
2 57 58
3 54.5 55.5
4 55 52.7
5 64.7 66
6 64 62.8
7 68 71.5
8 67 65
9 81 79.1
10 73.8 71.6
11 74.4 75.5
12 79 79
13 80 80
in the impedance of the transmission
line. Therefore to achieve a
feed-point impedance of 50 ohms,
the width-to-height (w/h) ratio of
the micro-strip patch has to be prop-
erly adjusted. To meet the required
impedance, h is invariably kept
constant. Therefore width is the
only parameter that the designer
can alter or choose a different
thickness of the substrate. The
resulting matching completely
depends on the material and accuracy
of the artwork.
The impedance curve w.r.t. w/h
ratio of the substrate is shown in Fig.
3. Therefore dielectric constant has a
definite role in the design of the
printed-circuit LPA.
Besides, antennae
should be adequately
transportable and
mountable at the test
location (open site,
shielded room, etc).
The performance of
commercially avail-
able LPAs is shown in
Table II.
for making EMI
For diagnostic mea-
surements, teflon-
based printed LPA is
the best option and it
can directly replace
the test antenna. For
less accurate measure-
ments, or just probing
the field strength, the
printed-circuit version is recom-
mended. In both the cases, accurate
calibration of the antenna factor is a
must prior to EMI measurements.
Also, accurate positioning and mount-
ing of the antenna are necessary.
The author is Scientist G and additional director
(L) at Combat VEHS Research & Development
Estt, Ministry of Defence, Avadi, Chennai