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Antennas and Propagation Course - 30 October - 3 November 2017

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Course Information

Antennas and Propagation Course - 30 October - 3 November 2017

This 5 day course is designed to provide an overview of the fundamental principles associated with microwave and RF antennas and propagation. The course will present the underlying theory in an accessible manner, together with techniques for application of the theory to satellite and mobile communications scenarios as well as broadcasting and indoor wireless applications.

The course is partly based on a MSc modules taught at Surrey University. Topics include antenna principles and calculations from electromagnetic theory; radio propagation modelling, overcoming channel impairments, antenna design with the inclusion of laboratory demonstrations.

Course Code


Course Dates

30th October 2017 – 3rd November 2017

Course Leader

Barbara Steel
Course Description

Please note that theUniversityofSurreyreserves the right to update and alter these courses – please check our website for updates

Introduction and Antenna Fundamentals I and II – Dr Tim Brown

An introduction to the whole course and its structure. What is an antenna? Why does antenna design and propagation modelling matter? Examples of applications in this regard. Overview of relevant textbooks in the field.

Brief introduction to Maxwell’s equations, Poynting Vector, Plane waves, Hertzian Dipole. Isotropic radiator. Definitions of gain, radiation resistance, effective area, link budget and far field criteria, impedance and reflection coefficient. Polarisation, Basic wire antennas: dipole, loop. Helix antennas.

Antenna Characterisation Design Lab – Dr Tim Brown

Brief introduction to how antennas are designed characterised. To have a hands on experience in the laboratory with building and testing a linear wire antenna.

Types of Antennas and Introduction to Arrays – Dr Tim Brown

Following the introduction to antennas, this session will cover a brief introduction to the different types of antennas such as a Uda-Yagi antenna, Horn Antenna, helical antennas, microstrip antenna, slot antenna, Reflector Antennas and others. It will give particular attention to the concept of array antennas where multiple antenna elements can be combined. This will include 1-D and 2-D array antennas.

Propagation Fundamentals – Dr Tim Brown

Free space propagation, Scales of Variation in Mobile Systems, Path loss, Shadowing, Fast Fading. Reflection - Specular reflection. Fresnel coefficients, polarisation effects. Rough and random surfaces. Refraction - Refractive index. Snell’s Law. Fresnel Transmission Coefficients. Multipath Effects. Introduction to stochastic, deterministic and empirical channel models.

Fixed Link Propagation Models – Dr Tim Brown

Plane earth loss, spherical earth effects. Diffraction and Huygen’s Principle. Knife-Edge Diffraction. Fresnel Zones. Tropospheric Refraction. Path profiles - Line of sight versus non-line of sight. Tropospheric refraction - N-units. Effective earth radius. Ducting.

Slant Path Propagation for Fixed Satellite Links – Dr Paul Thompson

This session provides an appreciation of propagation impairments relating to satellite links and focuses on fixed satellite links. The various impairments introduced in the troposphere and ionosphere are presented along with a description of the methods for assessing the impact of these effects. Reference will be made to the course book and appropriateITU-R Recommendations. Some examples of calculations as well as measurement results will be presented.

Diffraction Models – Dr Tim Brown

Multiple knife edge diffraction. Approaches to modelling diffraction including Deygout method, Causebrook Correction and Giovanelli method.

Mobile Systems Overview, Microcells and Macrocells – Prof Simon Saunders

Overview ofMobileSystems - Cell Types.

Narrowband Fast Fading – Rayleigh and Rice fading. Outage probability, bit error rate effect. Doppler spread and channels with memory.

Macrocells - Empirical: power law, clutter factor, Okumura/Hata. Theoretical: Multiple Building Diffraction,COST-231 Walfisch-Ikegami, flat edge. Comparison of theoretical and empirical models.

Shadowing - Statistics. Availability at cell edge and over cell area.

Microcells - Empirical: Dual slope, attenuation factor.

Indoor Propagation – Prof Simon Saunders

Picocells – Propagation in buildings and other enclosed spaces.

Femtocells – Challenges in propagation over a small proximity.

Propagation in the Troposphere – Dr Richard Rudd – Aegis Systems Ltd

The impact of the troposphere on terrestrial propagation paths. Temporal variability and radio-meteorology. Tidal fading and other challenges. The work of ITU-R Study Group 3.

Wire Antennas Old and New, Small Antennas – Prof Mike Underhill

Hertzian dipole. Half wave dipole. Folded dipole. Baluns. Resonant and non-resonant antennas. Antenna matching. Arrays, Yagi-Uda, broadside. Rhombic, helical. Mobile Station Antennas: - Monopole. Loading with capacitance and inductance. Loops, Helicals. Planar inverted F antennas. Base Station Antennas: - Vertical gain. Collinear. Sector antennas. Corner reflectors. Printed arrays.

Laboratory Demonstrations – Prof Mike Underhill

Demonstration of small tuned loops and log periodic antenna, and microwave can antenna.

Antenna Simulations – CST Ltd.

A lecture presented by Computing Simulation Technology (CST) Ltd. covering an introduction to the methods of antenna simulation followed by plus a hands on laboratory session experimenting with CST’s own design studio software.

Base Station Antennas – Prof Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

Antennas for mobile radio base stations. The relationship between network requirements and antenna design. Antennas for space and polarisation diversity, multi-band arrays and arrays with adjustable tilt. Practical considerations - weather resistance and power handling.

HF Antennas and Propagation – Prof Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

HF propagation: basics, effects of sunspot number, season, time of day and location, prediction methods.

HF antennas: matching the antenna to the medium, broadband antennas, broadcasting antennas, NVIS antennas, receiving antennas.

GPS Systems Antennas – Prof Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

TheGPSsatellite system and basic location concepts. Different types of antennas, measurement of antenna systems, antenna-radio modules. Integration of antennas into application devices, how to demonstrate application devices

Printed Mobile Antennas – Prof Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

Antennas for handsets and small wireless devices. Problems of size, efficiency and bandwidth, user interactions and SAR. The rapidly increasing pressures of complex device integration. Future directions.

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