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Basic Antenna Theory &

Communications Antenna
ComeC 513 2013

Antenna definition
Antenna theory
Antenna parameters
Types of Antenna

An ANTENNA is a conductor, or system of

conductors, that radiates or receives energy in

the form of electromagnetic waves.
Transmission - radiates electromagnetic energy into

Reception - collects electromagnetic energy from
The antenna converts radio frequency electrical

energy fed to it (via the transmission line) to an

electromagnetic wave propagated into space.

An antenna is a circuit element that provides a transition
from a guided wave on a transmission line to a free space
wave and it provides for the collection of electromagnetic

Antenna Definition-contd
In transmit systems the RF signal is generated,

amplified, modulated and applied to the

In receive systems the antenna collects
electromagnetic waves that are cutting
through the antenna and induce alternating
currents that are used by the receiver

Antenna Types
High Frequency
1.6 - 30 Mhz + 50 Mhz
160 - 6 meters
An antennas size/length depends on the

Its functionality largely depends on the
height above ground, as well as the polarity
and its configuration


A good antenna works

A bad antenna is a waste of time & money
Antenna systems can be very inexpensive and simple
They can also be very, very expensive

Antenna Considerations
The space available for an antenna
The proximity to neighbors
The operating frequencies you will use
The output power

Isotropic Antenna
The isotropic antenna is a hypothetical point source.
It does not exist in reality but is considered as an
important starting point considering different antennas
from the theoretical to the practical
The pattern is a Cardioid - a donut shape or a sphere

1. A current flows in the

antenna with an amplitude
that varies
the generator
1. A sinusoidal distribution of
charge exists on the
antenna. Every 1/2 cycle, the
charges reverse polarity.
2. The sinusoidal variation in
charge magnitude lags the
sinusoidal variation in current
by 1/4 cycle.

on an antenna.

Standing waves

of voltage and
current on an

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.

characteristics are essentially the

same regardless of whether an antenna is
sending or receiving electromagnetic energy


antennas means that

the various properties
of the antenna apply
equally to transmitting
and receiving

Polarization is the direction of the electric field

and is the same as the physical attitude of the

A vertical antenna will transmit a vertically

polarized wave
The receive and transmit antennas need to

possess the same polarization

Antenna Polarization
- Vertical or horizontal
Vertical waves travel @ 90 to the earths surface
Horizontal waves travel parallel to the earths surface
Usually wire antennas are horizontal but an inverted

V dipole has a vertical component

Yagi type antennas can be either vertical or
Circular antennas can be both vertical and horizontal
Usually, horizontally polarized antennas receives less

Terms And Definitions


resistance which, if inserted in place of the

antenna, would consume the same amount of
power that is actually radiated by the antenna.
RADIATION PATTERNS can be plotted on a

rectangular- or polar-coordinate graph. These

patterns are a measurement of the energy
leaving an antenna.

Dipole antenna

Dipole Antenna

Polarization: vertical
Beamwidth: 80 x 360
Bandwidth: 10%
Gain: 2 dB

Typical Applications
TV Rabbit ears
FM radio (folded dipole)
Radio mast transmitters

Simplified Radiation Patterns

n, El

, Az


3-D pattern

Antenna radiation pattern is 3dimensional

The 3-D plot of antenna pattern
assumes both angles and
varying, which is difficult to produce
and to interpret 3-D pattern
Source: NK Nikolova

Reference antenna (/2

Isotropic antenna or isotropic radiator is a hypothetical (not
physically realizable) concept, used as a useful reference to describe
real antennas.
Isotropic antenna radiates equally in all directions. Its radiation
pattern is represented by a sphere whose center coincides with the
location of the isotropic radiator.
Source: NK Nikolova

Generally speaking, there are two types of antenna:

1. Directional
- this type of antenna has a narrow beamwidth; with
the power being more directional, greater distances
are usually achieved but area coverage is sacrificed
- Yagi, Panel, Sector and Parabolic antennae
2. Omni-Directional
- this type of antenna has a wide beamwidth and
radiates 3600; with the power being more spread out,
shorter distances are achieved but greater coverage
- Omni antenna

- typical gains of 3 to 10 dBi

Radiation Pattern
Radiation pattern is an indication of radiated field

strength around the antenna.

Power radiated from a /2 dipole occurs at right

angles to the antenna with no power emitting

from the ends of the antenna.
Optimum signal strength occurs at right angles or

180 from opposite the antenna

Radiation Patterns
Radiation pattern
Graphical representation of radiation properties of
an antenna
Depicted as two-dimensional cross section
Beamwidth (or half-power beam width)
Measure of directivity of antenna

Reception pattern
Receiving antennas equivalent to radiation pattern

Radiation Pattern for Vertical Antennas



Antenna Radiation Patterns

Common parameters
main lobe (boresight)
half-power beamwidth (HPBW)
front-back ratio (F/B)
pattern nulls
Typically measured in two planes:
Vector electric field referred to E-field
Vector magnetic field referred to H-field

Typical Radiation Pattern for an Omni

A LOBE is the area

of a radiation pattern
that is covered by
A NULL is the area of

a radiation pattern
that has minimum

Beamwidth is the angular separation

of the half-power points of the

radiated pattern

Directional Antenna
Max power

2 dipole

Radiated energy is
focused in a specific

Power 3dB down

from maximum
point A

Isotropic antenna (idealized)
Radiates power equally in all

Dipole antennas
Half-wave dipole antenna (or

Hertz antenna)
Quarter-wave vertical antenna
(or Marconi antenna)
Parabolic Reflective Antenna

HERTZ (half-wave)

and MARCONI (quarterwave) are the two basic classifications of



DIPOLE -consists of two lengths of

rod or tubing, each a quarter-wave
long at a certain frequency, which
radiates a doughnut pattern.
physical length - one-half wavelength

of the applied frequency

called a Hertz antenna or a half-wave
dipole antenna.
Hertz antennas are not found at
frequencies below 2MHz because of
the physical size needed of the
antenna to represent a half-wave.


ANTENNA (Marconi) is a
antennna (total of half-wave
antenna) cut in half with one
end grounded.
Also called Vertical Antennas
are used for frequencies under
2 MHz.
It uses a conducting path to
ground that acts as
wavelength portion the antenna
above the ground.
The above ground structure
represents a /4 wavelength

Types of Antennas
Simple wire

Folded dipole
Trap dipole
Offset or Windom antenna
Phased dipoles
Vertical or horizontal (both)
Beverage wave antenna

Types of Antennas

Trap Yagi
Phased arrays
Vertical or Horizontal
Horns for super ultra high frequencies
Mobile antennas

Horizontal and Dipole Antennas

A horizontal antenna is an antenna that is a simple dipole
mounted so the elements are parallel to the earth's surface.
So whats a dipole?
A dipole antenna consists of two sections
that are each approximately one-quarter of
the wavelength of that band, so that the
total length is equal to about one-half
wavelength. It is a simple antenna designed
to work best on a single band.
The transmission line from the radio is
connected to this antenna in the middle of
the two sections.

Dipole Antenna

This is an example of a dipole antenna. Many hams getting on HF for

the first time often start with a dipole. If you have the room for one, the
dipole is cheap and easy to build.

Dipole Antenna

Vertical Antennas

A Vertical Antenna- is an antenna that consists of a

single element mounted perpendicular to the earth's

Most mobile antennas are verticals.

Verticals usually require some sort of counterpoise to

work their best. In a fixed station, a vertical may either be

mounted on the ground or on a mast, and it may also
have several radials for counterpoise.
These radials may be laid out on the ground, as in the
next slide, or mounted just underneath the vertical
element, as in an elevated ground plane.
In a mobile installation, the metal body of the car usually
serves as the counterpoise.

Vertical (Marconi) Antenna contd

Poor grounding conditions of the earth/soil

surrounding the antenna can result in serious

signal attenuation.
This problem is alleviated by installing a


Counterpoise is a grounding grid established

where the earth grounding cannot satisfy

electrical requirements for circuit completion.
It is designed to be non-resonant at the

operating frequency

radius =


Typical Ground-Mounted Vertical

This is a rough diagram of a ground-mounted vertical. The

orange radials you see may be laid along the top of the ground or
buried just beneath the surface.

The GROUND SCREEN and the COUNTERPOISE are used to reduce

losses caused by the ground in the immediate vicinity of the antenna. The
ground screen is buried below the surface of the earth. The counterpoise
is installed above the ground.

Ground Plane Antenna

Ground plane antenna another type of vertical

antenna. It is designed to be mounted on a mast,
and usually has three or four radials coming from
the base of the antenna.


Whip Antenna


Polarization: vertical
Beamwidth: 45 x 360
Bandwidth: 10%
Gain: 0 dB

Typical Applications
Automobile radio and
satellite signals
Military (army)



Polarization: horizontal
Beamwidth: 80 x 360
Bandwidth: 10%
Gain: -2 dB

Typical Applications
AM Broadcasting

The FOLDED DIPOLE consists of a dipole

radiator, which is connected in parallel at its ends

to a half-wave radiator.

A LONG-WIRE ANTENNA is an antenna that is a

wavelength or more long at the operating

These antennas have directive patterns that are

sharp in both the horizontal and vertical planes.

BEVERAGE ANTENNAS consist of a single wire

that is two or more wavelengths long.

A V ANTENNA is a bidirectional antenna consisting

of two horizontal, long wires arranged to form a V.

The RHOMBIC ANTENNA uses four conductors joined to

form a rhombus shape. This antenna has a wide frequency

range, is easy to construct and maintain, and is noncritical as
far as operation and adjustment are concerned.

El &


Polarization: circular



Beamwidth: 50 x 50
Bandwidth: 70%
Gain: 10 dB

Typical Applications
Mobile communications
Space communication
Animal tracking

The TURNSTILE ANTENNA consists of two

horizontal, half-wire antennas mounted at right

angles to each other.

ANTENNA LOADING is the method used to change the

electrical length of an antenna.

This keeps the antenna in resonance with the applied

frequency. It is accomplished by inserting a variable

inductor or capacitor in series with the antenna.

Antenna Array
Antenna array is a group of antennas or antenna

elements arranged to provide the desired directional

Generally any combination of elements can form an

array. However, equal elements in a regular geometry

are usually used.

AN ARRAY is a combination of half-wave elements operating together

as a single antenna. It provides more gain and greater directivity than
single element antennas.
A DRIVEN ARRAY derives its power directly from the source.
A PARASITIC ARRAY derives its power by coupling the energy from other
elements of the antenna.
The BIDIRECTIONAL ARRAY radiates energy equally in two opposing
The UNIDIRECTIONAL ARRAY radiates energy efficiently in a single
The COLLINEAR ARRAY has elements in a straight line. Maximum radiation
occurs at right angles to this line.
The BROADSIDE ARRAY has elements parallel and in the same plane.
Maximum radiation develops in the plane at right angles to the plane of the

TheBROADSIDE ARRAYhas elements parallel and in the

same plane. Maximum radiation develops in the plane at right
angles to the plane of the elements.

TheEND-FIRE ARRAYhas elements parallel to each other

and in the same plane. Maximum radiation occurs along the
axis of the array.

Phased Array


Polarization: linear /
Beamwidth: 0.5 x 30
Bandwidth: varies
Gain: 10 to 40 dB

Typical Applications
Radio broadcasting
Search & track radar
Weather radar



Military Phased Array Usage

Phased array antennas

Phased array antennas have become an

extremely important type of radar for military

use, particularly airborne use.
In radar applications, phased arrays permit
near instant switching from one target to
another, and from search to track mode.
Phased arrays combined with smart skin
technology have radically altered airborne
avionics designs.

Basic phased array architecture

Steering angle, s


Phase Phas Phase Phase

Shifter Shifte
Shifte e
Divider /



Phased array gain

The gain of a phase array antenna is a

function of the number of elements in the

array and the gain of the individual elements
For half-wavelength element spacing, the gain at

boresight is given by:

G = 10 log (N) + Ge
The gain off-boresight is reduced by the cosine of
the steering angle, s:
G = 10 log (N) + Ge + 10 log (cos s)

Phased array beamwidth

The beamwidth of a phased array antenna is a

function of the number of elements.

For a half-wavelength phased array of dipole

elements the half-power beamwidth is given by:

3-dB B = 102/N

where N = no. of arrays

The beamwidth at off-boresight steering angles

increases with the cosine of s :

3-dB B = (102/N) / cos(s)


Beam steering limitations

A phased array antenna with half-wavelength

spacing is limited to beam steering angles of

45 off boresight.
Greater steering angles can be achieved by

reducing the element separation at the

expense of boresight gain.


Pointers in antenna design:

MATCHING STUBS are used between elements to maintain
current in the proper phase.
The GAIN OF A COLLINEAR ANTENNA is greatest when the
elements are spaced from 0.4 to 0.5 wavelength apart or when
the number of elements is increased.
when the elements are spaced 0.65 wavelength apart.
APARASITIC ARRAYconsists of one or more parasitic
elements with a driven element. The amount of power
gain and directivity depends on the lengths of the
parasitic elements and the spacing between them.

ARRAYS, such as the YAGI, have a narrow Frequency

response as well as a narrow beamwidth.

Yagi-Uda Antenna
The Yagi-Uda antenna is a simple form of a

directional antenna based on a reflector

placed /4 from the dipole antenna

Yagi-Uda Antenna-contd



Radiated Directed Signal


2 dipole radiated signal

without reflector

2 dipole radiated signal

with reflector

The Antenna Formula


f = frequency of the signal

c = is the speed of light = 186,000 mi/sec
= is the wavelength of the signal, use 3 x 108
when dealing in meters for the speed of light

The Antenna Formula - applied

If a half-wave dipole antenna needed to be
constructed for a 60 Hz signal, how large
would it need to be?

186,000 misec

2 = 1550 miles!

= 3100 mi

Radiation & Induction Fields

The mechanics launching radio frequencies

from an antenna are not fully understood.

The RF fields that are created around the
antenna have specific properties that affect
the signals transmission.
The radiated field is known as the radiation

Radiation & Induction Fields-contd

There are two induction fields or areas where

signals collapse and radiate from the antenna.

They are known as the near field and far
The distance that antenna inductance has on
the transmitted signal is directly proportional
to antenna height and the dimensions of the


Radiation & Induction Fields-contd

R 2D

R = the distance from the antenna



D = dimension of the antenna

= wavelength of the transmitted


Radiation Resistance
Radiation Resistance is the portion of the antennas

impedance that results in power radiated into space

(i.e., the effective resistance that is related to the power
radiated by the antenna.
Radiation resistance varies with antenna length.

Resistance increases as the increases

Antenna Impedance
A proper Impedance Match is essential for maximum
power transfer. The antenna must also function as a
matching load for the Transmitter ( 50 ohms).
Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR), is an indicator
of how well an antenna matches the transmission line
that feeds it. It is the ratio of the forward voltage to the
reflected voltage.
The better the match, the lower the VSWR. A value of
1.5:1 over the frequency band of interest is a practical
maximum limit.

Return Loss is related to VSWR, and is a measure of

the signal power reflected by the antenna relative to
the forward power delivered to the antenna.
The higher the value (usually expressed in dB), the
A figure of 13.9dB is equivalent to a VSWR of 1.5:1.
A Return Loss of 20dB is considered quite good, and is
equivalent to a VSWR of 1.2:1.


Return Loss

Transmission Loss


0.0 dB


20.83 dB

0.036 dB


13.98 dB

0.177 dB


3.19 dB

2.834 dB

Point-Source Radiator
Consider a source of electro-magnetic radiation that

radiates in all directions equally.

Such a source is called isotropic.
Let the total power radiated by the source be PT .
Let the source be surrounded by a sphere or radius d.
If there are no objects inside the sphere to absorb or reflect

the radiation, all of the power from the source will hit or
cross the sphere.
The surface area of a sphere is 4d2.

Power Concentrator
If a reflector were added to the point source,
more of the power would go in one direction
that the others.
This increase in power (over isotropic) can be
expressed as the power gain GT of the antenna.
Since the antenna is a passive device, it cannot
actually increase the total power radiated.
The higher the gain of the antenna, the more
focused is the power in one direction.
The gain only applies along the bore sight of
the antenna.

Antenna Gain
The antenna power gain is defined as

Since an antenna is a passive device, it has

same gain whether it is transmitting or

Effective Isotropic Radiated Power

The Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) of

an antenna is power input required of an isotropic

antenna to produce the same power density on the
bore sight as the actual antenna.
Power Density at d = (PERIP )/ (4d2)
= (PT GT )/(4d2)
d = distance from the antenna

The EIRP is the transmitted power multiplied by the

gain of the transmitting antenna.

Effective Radiated Power (ERP)

ERP = the power input value multiplied by the

gain of the antenna

dBi = isotropic radiator gain
dBd = dipole antenna gain

Effective Area
If the receiving antenna is placed d meters from

the transmitting antenna, it will act like a catchers

mitt and intercept the power in an effective area
of Ae (m2).


Effective area - Related to physical size and shape of


Antenna Gain
Antenna gain is the measure in dB
how much more power an antenna
will radiate in a certain direction with
respect to that which would be
radiated by a reference antenna

Antenna Gain
Directive Gain ratio of the power density in a
particular direction of one antenna to the power
density that would be radiated by an
omnidirectional antenna (isotropic antenna).
Directivity refers to the ability of an antenna to
send and/or receive signals over a narrow
horizontal directional range.
Gain of Hertzian Dipole with respect to an isotropic
antenna = 1.5:1 or 10 log 1.5 = 1.76 dB gain over
isotropic source.
The gain of a half-wave dipole compared to the
isotropic antenna = 1.64:1 or 10 log 1.64 = 2.15

Antenna Gain
Relationship between antenna gain and
effective area

4Ae 4f Ae
G 2


G = antenna gain
Ae = effective area
f = carrier frequency
c = speed of light (3 X 108 m/s)
= carrier wavelength

Antennas Gain
The power gain, G, of an antenna is very much
like its directive gain, but also takes into account

G , eD ,
The maximum power gain

Gmax eDmax
The maximum power gain is often expressed in

Gmax dB 10 log 10 Gmax

Antenna Height
Antenna height above the ground is directly related to
radiation resistance. Ground reflections causing outof-phase signals to be radiated to receiving antennas
will degrade the transmission.
Physical length and electrical length of most antennas
are approximately 95% of the physical length. Ideal
antenna height is usually based on trial and error

Dipole Length:
Antenna is a frequency sensitive device.
= c/f
= 984/f(MHz); /2 = 492/f(MHz) (feet)
f = 122 MHz
/2 = 492/f(MHz) = 492/122 = 4.033 feet.
End Effect:
/2 = 492/f(MHz) x 0.95 = 468/f(MHz)
If f= 27 MHz. L = 468/27 = 17.333 feet,
therefore /4 = 8.66 feet.

Antenna Q and Bandwidth:

Bandwidth is determined by the frequency of operation while
Q is the quality of the antenna circuit.
BW = f/Q
If Q is high bandwidth is narrow, if Q is low, BW is wider.
For resonant circuit Q>10, which makes the circuit more
SWR below 2:1 good design
Q and BW- are determined primarily by the ratio of the length
to the diameter of the conductor. Also affected by the number
of conductors used and their spacing to the dipole.
Q= XL / R
BW = F/Q

Lowering Q increases the BW; lower Xl reduces Q and increases BW.

UHF antenna- short and fat conductors are used to improve Q and BW.

Determine the length of an antenna operating at
frequency 500 KHz.

= c/f

c= velocity of EMW

L = c/f x 0.95

Vf= 0.95 c (end effect)

L = (3x 108 / 5 X 105)X 0.95 = 570 meters

or 2244 feet

Antenna Characteristics:
1.The longer the antenna length, the higher the directive gain.
HW dipole Gain = 1.64 (2.15dB); 8 dipole Gain = 7.1
2. Non-resonant antenna have higher directive gain than
resonant antenna.
Non-resonant Antenna (Directional Antenna) similar to a
properly terminated transmission line, produces no standing
waves. Reflected waves are suppressed by the terminating
resistance (resistor) at the point farthest from the feed point.
Resonant Antenna standing waves exist; a multiple of halfwavelenghts of the signal frequency.

Directivity and Power Gain

Power Gain comparison of the output power of
an antenna in a certain direction to that of an
isotropic antenna.
Antenna Gain is the power ratio comparison
between an omnidirectional and unidirectional
A(dB) = 10 log (P2/P1)
Where: P1 = power of unidirectional antenna
P2 = power of the reference antenna

A half-wave dipole antenna is capable of radiating
1-kW and has a 2.15 dB gain over an isotropic
antenna. How much power will be delivered to
the isotropic (omnidirectional) antenna, to match
the filed strength of a directional antenna?
A(dB) = 10 log (P2/P1)
2.15 dB = 10 log (P2/1000)
P2/1000 = log -1 (2.15/10)
P2 = 1.64 x 1000 = 1640 watts

ERP (Effective Radiated Power) - field gain of the

antenna and the efficiency of the transmitter.
ERP = Po x (Field Gain)2
If an antenna has a field gain of 2 and the
transmitter has an overall efficiency of 50%
(circuit and xmission line losses) then, if a 1-kW
signal is fed to the finals, this will results in 500
w being fed to the antenna. What is the ERP?
ERP = Po x (Field Gain)2 = 500 x 2

= 2000 w

Radiation and Field Intensity

Field Intensity the field of an antennas radiation
at a given point in space, is equal to the amount of
voltage induced in a wire antenna 1 meter long,
located a that given point.
Factors affecting FI: time, atmospheric condition
and distance.
Antenna Resistance hypothetical value which, if
replaced by an equivalent resistor, would dissipate
exactly the same amount of power that the
antenna would radiate. This is the ration of the
power radiated by the antenna to the square of the
current at the feed point.

Antenna Losses and Efficiency

Antenna Losses due to the ground resistance, corona
effects, imperfect dielectric near the antenna, energy loss
due to eddy current induced into nearby metallic objects, and
I2R losses in the antenna itself.
Pin = Pd + Prad
Pin power delivered to the feed point
Pd power lost
Prad power actually radiated

I2 Rin = I2Rd + I2Rrad

Rin = Rd+ Rrad
Antenna Efficiency = = (Rrad / (Rd + Rrad )
Low and medium frequency antenna approximately 75 to 95
% efficiency. HF antenna have approximately 100%

Antennas Efficiency
Power is fed to an antenna through a T-Line
and the antenna appears as a complex

Z ant Rant jX ant .

where the antenna resistance consists of

radiation resistance and and a dissipative

Rant Rrad Rdis

Io I se
For the antenna is driven by phasor current

The power radiated by the antenna isThe power dissipated by ohmic losses i





I Rrad


I o2 Rdiss

An Antenna Efficiency e can be defined as the ratio of the

radiated power to the total power fed to the antenna.

Prad Pdiss

Rrad Rdiss

Suppose an antenna has directivity (gain) D = 4, Rrad =
40 and Rdiss = 10 . Find antenna efficiency and
maximum power gain.

Antenna efficiency is

Rrad Rdiss

10 40

0.8 (or) 80%

Maximum power gain is

Gmax eDmax 4 0.8 3.2

Maximum power gain in dB is

Gmax dB 10log 10 Gmax 10log 10 3.2 5.05

An antennas polarization is relative to the Efield of antenna.
If the E-field is horizontal, than the antenna is
Horizontally Polarized.
If the E-field is vertical, than the antenna is
Vertically Polarized.
No matter what polarity you choose, all antennas in
the same RF network must be polarized identically
regardless of the antenna type.

Polarization may deliberately be used to:

Increase isolation from unwanted signal sources (Cross
Polarization Discrimination (x-pol) typically 25 dB)
Reduce interference
Help define a specific coverage area



More on Dipoles
Dipoles may be mounted either horizontally or

vertically, depending on the intended use.

May be made from wire or metal tubing, and are
very easy for a new ham to construct.
Wire dipoles are also fairly inexpensive and
simple to design.
With an antenna tuner, they can also be made
to work on several bands. For these reasons,
they are very popular with new hams (amateur
radio) on the HF bands.

Beam Antennas

A beam antenna is an antenna that concentrates signals in one direction.

It is designed to focus all of the energy produced by your transmitter in the
direction you want to work. Focusing your signal power in one direction makes
for a stronger signal in that direction. Beams are effective, but depending on
the bands covered and type, they can be expensive.

Beam Antennas - Quad

The quad, Yagi, and dish are all examples of beam

antennas. A quad antenna looks something like a metal
frame for a box kite. If you look closely, you can see the
antenna wires supported by the X framework.

Quad antenna

Beam Antennas - Yagi

The yagi is a one dimensional beam antenna

consisting of several elements. It may be mounted
horizontally, as shown here, or vertically.

Log Periodic


Polarization: vertical /
Beamwidth: 80 x 60
Bandwidth: 10 to 1
Gain: 6 to 8 dB

Typical Applications
Amateur radio



Polarization: horizontal
Beamwidth: 90 x 50
Bandwidth: 5%
Gain: 5 to 15 dB

Typical Applications
WWII airborne radar
Amateur radio

- better suited for shorter links
- lower dBi gain; usually between 7 and 15 dBi

Typical Radiation Pattern for a Yagi


Cavity Backed Spiral

El & Az

Polarization: circular
Beamwidth: 80 x 80
Bandwidth: 9 to 1
Gain: -15 to +3 dB

Typical Applications
Radar altimeter
Electronic warfare

Conical Spiral
El & Az

Polarization: circular
Beamwidth: 60 x 60
Bandwidth: 4 to 1
Gain: 5 to 8 dB

Typical Applications
Ground penetrating radar
Electronic warfare



Polarization: linear /
Beamwidth: 40 x 30
Bandwidth: 4 to 1
Gain: 4 to 10 dB

Typical Applications
Radio astronomy
Electronic warfare
Antenna testing

Largest Horn Antenna

It was from this historic radio astronomy

horn antenna that microwave background
radiation was discovered, helping to
confirm the Big Bang theory


Beam Antennas - Dish

Another beam antenna is the dish or parabolic

reflector. It is often used to receive UHF signals or TV
signals beamed from satellites, such as Dish Network

El & Az

Polarization: depends on
Beamwidth: 0.5 x 30
Bandwidth: varies
Gain: 10 to 55 dB

Typical Applications
Satellite TV
Cellular telephony, Wi-Fi
Radio astronomy
Search & track radar

The parabolic dish antenna consists of one circular
parabolic reflector and a point
source situated in the focal
point of this reflector. This
point source is called primary
feed or feed.
constructed of metal, usually a
frame covered by metal mesh
at the inner side. The width of
the slots of the metal mesh
has to be less than /10. This
metal covering forms the
reflector acting as a mirror for
the radar energy.

- used in medium to long links
- gains of 18 to 28 dBi
- most common

Typical Radiation Pattern for a Parabolic



In telecommunication and radar use, a Cassegrain antenna is an antenna in

which the feed radiator is mounted at or near the surface of a concave main
reflector and is aimed at a convex subreflector. Both reflectors have a common
focal point. Energy from the feed unit (a feed horn mostly) illuminates the
secondary reflector, which reflects it back to the main reflector, which then forms
the desired forward beam.


Isotropic Source
1. What is an isotropic antenna? hypothetical

point source
2. Describe the antenna radiation pattern for an
isotropic radiator? A sphere
3. What determines the polarization of an
antenna? the electric field
4. What does horizontal wave polarization mean?
The electric lines of force of the radio wave
is parallel to the earth's surface
5. What does vertical wave polarization mean?
The electric lines of force of a radio wave
are perpendicular to the earth's surface


What electromagnetic wave polarization does a Yagi

antenna have when its elements are parallel to the
earth's surface? Horizontal
What electromagnetic wave polarization does a halfwavelength antenna have when it is perpendicular to
the earth's surface? Vertical
VHF signals from a mobile station using a vertical whip
antenna will normally be best received using a:
vertical ground-plane antenna
A dipole antenna will emit a vertically polarized wave if
it is: Parallel with the ground mounted vertically
If an electromagnetic wave leaves an antenna vertically
polarized, it will arrive at the receiving antenna, by
ground wave:
vertically polarized
Compared with a horizontal antenna, a vertical antenna
will receive a vertically polarized radio wave:
at greater strength

Microwave Parameters:
B. Parabolic Antenna Gain, G
General Equation:

D = antenna diameter in m
= signal wavelength in m
= efficiency


Microwave Parameters:
Antenna Gain for Typical Values of (0.55 to 0.75):

Parabolic Antenna Gain for Typical Values of (0.55

to 0.75) in Metric system:

G 42.4 20 log10 f ( MHz ) 20 log10 D( m )

G 17.8 20 log10 f (GHz ) 20 log10 D( m )


Microwave Parameters:
Parabolic Antenna Gain for Typical
Values of (0.55 to 0.75) in English

G 52.6 20 log10 f ( MHz ) 20 log10 D( ft )

G 7.5 20 log10 f (GHz ) 20 log10 D( ft )


- directional in
nature, but can be
adjusted anywhere
from 450 to 1800
- typical gains vary
from 10 to 19 dBi

GSM and
CDMA cellsite
antenna array
for the cellular

270 0










90 270 0






Typical Radiation Pattern for a Sector


Beamforming Antenna

Beamforming Antenna Array

Smart Antennas

A smart antenna is a digital wireless
communications antenna system that takes
advantage of diversity effect at the source
(transmitter), the destination (receiver), or both.
Diversity effect involves the transmission and/or
reception of multiple radio frequency (RF) waves to
increase data speed and reduce the error rate.

Smart antennas fall into three major categories:
1.SIMO (single input, multiple output),
2.MISO (multiple input, single output), and
3.MIMO (multiple input, multiple output).
In SIMO technology, one antenna is used at the
source, and two or more antennas are used at the
In MISO technology, two or more antennas are
used at the source, and one antenna is used at the
In MIMO technology, multiple antennas are
employed at both the source and the destination.
MIMO has attracted the most attention recently
because it can not only eliminate the adverse
effects of multipath propagation, but in some cases

Smart Antennas

Smart antennas (also known as adaptive

array antennas, multiple antennas and,

recently, MIMO)
are antenna arrays with smart signal

processing algorithms used to identify spatial

signal signature such as the direction of
arrival (DOA) of the signal, and use it to
calculate beamforming vectors, to track and
locate the antenna beam on the mobile/target.
The antenna could optionally be any sensor.

Smart Antennas
Smart Antennas are base station antennas with a

pattern that is not fixed, but adapts to the current

radio conditions
Smart Antennas have the possibility for a large
increase in capacity: an increase of three times
for TDMA systems and five times for CDMA
systems has been reported.
Major drawbacks and cost factors include
increased transceiver complexity and more
complex radio resource management

Smart Antennas
The idea of smart antennas is to use base station

antenna patterns that are not fixed, but adapt to

the current radio conditions.
This can be visualized as the antenna directing a
beam toward the communication partner only
Smart antenna techniques are used notably in

acoustic signal processing, track and scan

telescopes, and mostly in cellular systems like

Smart Antennas
Smart antennas add a new way of separating

users, namely by space, through SDMA

(space division multiple access)
By maximizing the antenna gain in the desired

direction and simultaneously placing minimal

radiation pattern in the directions of the
interferers, the quality of the communication
link can be significantly improved

Smart Antenna

Elements of a Smart Antenna

Smart antennas consists of a number of radiating

elements, a combining/dividing network and a

control unit

Phased Array Antenna


Array antennas are a

combination of antennas in which
there is a control of the phase and
power of the signal applied at each
antenna resulting in a wide variety
of possible radiation patterns

Types of Intelligent Antennas

Switched lobe (SL):
This is also called switched beam.
It is the simplest technique, and comprises only a
basic switching function between separate
directive antennas or predefined beams of an
The setting that gives the best performance,
usually in terms of received power, is chosen

Intelligent AntennasDynamically phased array (PA):

By including a direction of arrival (DoA) algorithm
for the signal received from the user, continuous
tracking can be achieved and it can be viewed as
a generalization of the switched lobe concept

Intelligent Antennas Adaptive array (AA): In this case, a DoA algorithm for

determining the direction toward interference sources

(e.g., other users) is added.
The radiation pattern can then be adjusted to null out
the interferers.
In addition, by using special algorithms and space
diversity techniques, the radiation pattern can be
adapted to receive multipath signals which can be
These techniques will maximize the Signal To
Interference Ratio (SIR)


(SDMA) implies that more than one user can be

allocated to the same physical communications
channel simultaneously in the same cell, only
separated by angle.
In a TDMA system, two users will be allocated to
the same time slot and carrier frequency at the
same time and in the same cell

SMDAIn systems providing full SDMA, there will be

much more intracell handovers than in

conventional TDMA or CDMA systems, and more
monitoring by the network is necessary

Antenna Installation Considerations

standard operating procedure priority
lightning strikes
static charges
Surge protection
lightning searches for a second path to ground

Antenna Installation
ConsiderationsAdaptive array antenna placement needs to be

considered differently than current technologies

serving the mobile environment.

They need to be placed so as to have a greater

angular approach to the receiving units.

Existing tower placement with close proximity to

roads and highways would need to be reconsidered.

Antenna Installation Considerations

Base, mast, and supporting

structure needs clearance,

serviceability (access), and
complies with the municipal
guidelines (electrical and building

Antenna selection
Selection of an appropriate antenna for a system

is highly application dependent

Factors include:
Angular coverage
Frequency of operation & bandwidth
Power gain


Antenna types]






Whip, dipole, loop

Biconical, swastika



Conical spiral



Yagi, dipole array

Log periodic, horn, dish*



Horn with polarizer

Cavity-backed spiral, dish*


* Dish characteristics depend on the



1. What are the two basic classifications of antennas?

2. What are the three parts of a complete antenna system?
3. What three factors determine the type, size, and shape of
an antenna?
4. If a wave travels exactly the length of an antenna
from one end to the other and back during the
period of 1 cycle, what is the length of the
5. What is the term used to identify the points of high
current and high voltage on an antenna?
6. What is the term used to identify the points of
minimum current and minimum voltage on an
7. The various properties of a transmitting antenna
can apply equally to the same antenna when it is
used as a receiving antenna. What term is used for
this property?
8. The direction of what field is used to designate the
polarization of a wave?
9. If a wave's electric lines of force rotate through
360 degrees with every cycle of rf energy, what is
the polarization of this wave?

1.Half-wave (Hertz) and quarter-wave
2.Coupling device, feeder, and antenna.
3.Frequency of operation of the
transmitter, amount of power to be
radiated, and general direction of the
receiving set.
4.One-half the wavelength.
5.Current and voltage loops.
6.Current and voltage nodes.
7.Reciprocity of antennas.
8.Electric (E) field.
9.Circular polarization.

10. What type of polarization should be used at medium and

low frequencies?
11. What is an advantage of using horizontal polarization at
high frequencies?
12. What type of polarization should be used if an antenna is
mounted on a moving vehicle at frequencies below 50

13. What is the radiation resistance of a half-wave

antenna in free space?
14. A radiating source that radiates energy stronger in
one direction than another is known as what type of
15. A radiating source that radiates energy equally in all
directions is known as what type of radiator?
16. A flashlight is an example of what type of radiator?
17. What terms are often used to describe basic halfwave antennas?
18. If a basic half-wave antenna is mounted vertically,
what type of radiation pattern will be produced?
19. In which plane will the half-wave antenna be
operating if it is mounted horizontally?

10. Vertical polarization.
11. Less interference is experienced by manmade
noise sources.
12. Vertical polarization.
13. 73 ohms.
14. Anisotropic radiator.
15. Isotropic radiator.
16. Anisotropic radiator.
17. Dipole, doublet and Hertz.
18. Nondirectional.
19. Vertical plane.

20. Since the radiation pattern of a dipole is

similar to that of a doublet, what will
happen to the pattern if the length of the
doublet is increased?
21. What is the simplest method of feeding
power to the half-wave antenna?
22. What is the radiation pattern of a quarterwave antenna?
23. Describe the physical arrangement of a
ground screen.
24. What is the difference in the amount of
impedance between a three-wire dipole and
a simple center-fed dipole?
25. Which has a wider frequency range, a
simple dipole or a folded dipole?

20. The pattern would flatten.
21. To connect one end through a capacitor
to the
final output stage of the transmitter.
22. A circular radiation pattern in the
plane, or same as a half wave.
23. It is composed of a series of conductors
arranged in a radial pattern and buried 1
to 2
feet below the ground.
24. Nine times the feed-point impedance.
25. Folded dipole.


A TV receiving antenna is to be constructed for channel 13. The spacing

between the reflector and dipole should be 2/10 of the wavelength. The
spacing between director and dipole should be 1/10 of a wavelength. The
length of the director is 5% shorter than the dipole and the reflector is 5%
longer than the dipole. Determine the following: a. Length of the dipole; b.
Length of the reflector; c. Length of the director d. Spacing between the
dipole and the reflector; e. Spacing between the dipole and the director.
Note: the length of the dipole should be 5% shorter than /2 to compensate
for the end effect due to capacitance of the antenna.
2. A half-wave antenna has a center impedance of 70 ohms. It is coupled to
a flat 600 ohms transmission line through a quarter wavelength transmission
line. A. Determine the required impedance of the quarter wave section.; B.
Determine the length of the quarter wavelength section if it is constructed of
an air insulated parallel line. Assume that the velocity factor is 0.975 and the
operating frequency of the antenna is 8 MHz.


3. A 25 watt SSB transceiver operates on 10 KHz for a point

to point communication. A balanced open two-wire feeder
line spaced 10 inches apart with a wire diameter of 0.125
inch and a half dipole antenna is used for this system.
Determine a) Length of the antenna; b) system wavelength;
c) Zo of the feeder line; d) differentiate short and long
4. Calculate the length of the following antennas and state
their radiation resistance at 310 . a) dipole; b. Folded dipole
(twin lead; Z = 300 ohms; Vf= 0.8); c. Bow tie antenna ( =
35 o; 0.73); d) ground plane vertical.


Wavelength vs Physical Length

1. The speed of a radio wave: is the same as the

speed of light
2. The velocity of propagation of radio frequency
energy in free space is: 300 000 kilometers per
3. If an antenna is made longer, what happens to its
resonant frequency? It decreases
4. If an antenna is made shorter, what happens to its
resonant frequency? It increases
5. The resonant frequency of an antenna may be
increased by: shortening the radiating element

Wavelength vs Physical Length

1. To lower the resonant frequency of an antenna, the

operator should: lengthen it


Adding a series inductance to an antenna would:

decrease the resonant frequency

Wavelength vs Physical Length

1. The wavelength for a frequency of 25 MHz is:
12 metres (39.4 ft)
1. The wavelength corresponding to a frequency of 2
MHz is:
150 m (492 ft)
1. At the end of suspended antenna wire, insulators
are used. These act to: limit the electrical length of
the antenna
2. One solution to multi-band operation with a
shortened radiator is the "trap dipole" or trap vertical.
These "traps" are actually: a coil and capacitor in

Gain, Directivity
1. What is meant by antenna gain?




The numerical ratio relating the radiated signal strength of an antenna

to that of another antenna
The gain of an antenna, especially on VHF and above, is quoted in dBi. The
"i" in this expression stands for: Isotropic
Approximately how much gain does a half-wave dipole have over an
isotropic radiator? 2.1 dB
What is a parasitic beam antenna?
An antenna where some elements obtain their radio energy by
induction or radiation from a driven element
If a slightly shorter parasitic element is placed 0.1 wavelength away from an
HF dipole antenna, what effect will this have on the antenna's radiation
pattern? A major lobe will develop in the horizontal plane, toward the
parasitic element
If a slightly longer parasitic element is placed 0.1 wavelength away from an
HF dipole antenna, what effect will this have on the antenna's radiation
pattern? A major lobe will develop in the horizontal plane, away from
the parasitic element, toward the dipole

Gain, Directivity
1. In free space, what is the radiation characteristic of a
half-wave dipole? Minimum radiation from the ends,
maximum broadside
2. The front-to-back ratio of a beam antenna is: the ratio of
the maximum forward power in the major lobe to the
maximum backward power radiation
3. The property of an antenna, which defines the range of
frequencies to which it will respond, is called its:
4. What is meant by antenna bandwidth? The frequency
range over which the antenna may be expected to
perform well
5. How can the bandwidth of a parasitic beam antenna be
increased? Use larger diameter elements

Vertical Antenna
1. To calculate the length in metres (feet) of a quarter
wave vertical antenna you would : Divide 71.5 (234)
by the antenna's operating frequency (in MHz)
2. If you made a quarter-wavelength vertical antenna
for 21.125 MHz, how long would it be? 3.6 metres
(11.8 ft)
3. If you made a half-wavelength vertical antenna for
223 MHz, how long would it be? 64 cm (25.2 in)
4. If a magnetic-base whip antenna is placed on the
roof of a car, in what direction does it send out radio
energy? It goes out equally well in all horizontal
5. What is an advantage of downward sloping radials

Vertical Antenna
1. What happens to the feed point impedance of a ground-plane

antenna when its radials are changed from horizontal to

downward-sloping? It increases
2. Which of the following transmission lines will give the best
match to the base of a quarter-wave ground-plane antenna?
50 ohms coaxial cable
3. The main characteristic of a vertical antenna is that it will:
receive signals equally well from all compass points
around it
4. Why is a loading coil often used with an HF mobile vertical
antenna? To tune out capacitive reactance
5. What is the main reason why so many VHF base and mobile
antennas are 5/8 of a wavelength? The angle of radiation is
6. Why is a 5/8-wavelength vertical antenna better than a 1/4wavelength vertical antenna for VHF or UHF mobile
operations? A 5/8-wavelength antenna has more gain

Yagi Antenna
1. How many directly driven elements do most Yagi antennas

have? One
2. Approximately how long is the driven element of a Yagi
antenna for 14.0 MHz? 10.21 metres (33 feet and 6 inches)
3. Approximately how long is the director element of a Yagi
antenna for 21.1 MHz? 6.4 metres (21 feet)
4. Approximately how long is the reflector element of a Yagi
antenna for 28.1 MHz? 5.33metres (17.5 feet long)
5. The spacing between the elements on a three-element Yagi
antenna, representing the best overall choice, is : 0.2 of a
6. What is one effect of increasing the boom length and adding
directors to a Yagi antenna? Gain increases
7. What are some advantages of a Yagi with wide element
spacing? High gain, less critical tuning and wider

Wire Antenna
1. If you made a half-wavelength dipole antenna for

28.550 MHz, how long would it be? 5.08 metres

(16.62 ft)
2. What is the low angle radiation pattern of an ideal
half wavelength dipole HF antenna installed parallel
to the earth? It is a figure-eight, perpendicular to
the antenna
3. The impedances in ohms at the feed point of the
dipole and folded dipole are, respectively: 73 and

Wire Antenna
1. A dipole transmitting antenna, placed so that the
ends are pointing North/South, radiates: mostly to
the East and West
2. How does the bandwidth of a folded dipole antenna
compare with that of a simple dipole antenna? It is
3. What is a disadvantage of using an antenna
equipped with traps? It will radiate harmonics
4. What is an advantage of using a trap antenna? It
may be used for multi- band operation
5. What is one disadvantage of a random wire
antenna? You may experience RF feedback in
your station

Quad / Loop antenna

1. What is a cubical quad antenna? Two or more parallel four- sided



wire loops, each approximately one-electrical wavelength long

What is a delta loop antenna? A type of cubical quad antenna,
except with triangular elements rather than square
The cubical "quad" or "quad" antenna consists of two or more square
loops of wire. The driven element has an approximate overall length
of: one wavelength
The delta loop antenna consists of two or more triangular structures
mounted on a boom. The overall length of the driven element is
approximately: one wavelength
Approximately how long is each side of a cubical quad antenna
driven element for 21.4 MHz? 3.54 metres (11.7 feet)
Approximately how long is each side of a cubical quad antenna
driven element for 14.3 MHz? 5.36 metres (17.6 feet)
Approximately how long is each leg of a symmetrical delta loop
antenna driven element for 28.7 MHz? 3.5 metres (11.5 feet)

Quad / Loops
1.Which statement about two- element delta loops and
quad antennas is true? They compare favorably with
a three element Yagi
2.Compared to a dipole antenna, what are the directional
radiation characteristics of a cubical quad antenna? The
quad has more directivity in both horizontal and
vertical planes
3.Moving the feed point of a multi-element quad antenna
from a side parallel to the ground to a side perpendicular
to the ground will have what effect? It will change the
antenna polarization from horizontal to vertical
4.What does the term "antenna front-to back ratio"
mean in reference to a delta loop antenna? The power
radiated in the major radiation lobe compared to
the power radiated in exactly the opposite