ECE 454

Displaying course information from Spring 2013.

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
B DIS 0930 - 1050 T R   257 Everitt Lab  Jennifer Bernhard
Web Page
Official Description Antenna parameters; polarization of electromagnetic waves; basic antenna types; antenna arrays; broadband antenna design; antenna measurements. Course Information: Prerequisite: ECE 350.
Subject Area Electromagnetics, Optics and Remote Sensing
Course Prerequisites Credit in ECE 350
Course Directors Jennifer Truman Bernhard
Detailed Description and Outline

The purpose of this course is to give electrical engineering students a basic understanding of antenna theory, and knowledge of the characteristics and design of various antenna types.


  • Antenna parameters: directive gain, power gain; effective area, effective length; input impedance, radiation resistance; antenna temperature
  • Polarization: polarization charts; representation of polarization and the Poincare sphere; transmission between elliptically polarized antennas
  • Basic antenna types: wire antennas; aperture antennas; reflector antennas; traveling wave antennas (dielectric rod antennas)
  • Antenna arrays: array theory; scanning antennas
  • Broadband antenna design: spiral antennas; log-periodic antennas
  • Antenna measurements
Topical Prerequisities
  • Transmission line theory
  • Electromagnetic field theory
  • Wave propagation
  • Maxwell's equations
  • Poynting vector
ABET Category
Engineering Science: 1 credit or 33%
Engineering Design: 2 credits or 67%
Course Goals

The goals of this course are (a) to develop students’ analytical and intuitive understandings of antenna physics, and (b) to introduce students to a large variety of antenna structures of practical interest related to recent developments in wireless communication and radar systems. The course culminates with an antenna system design project where students leverage their knowledge of antennas to specify and synthesize a practical antenna communication system.

Instructional Objectives

A. By the time of the Midterm Exam (after 15 lectures), students should be able to do the following:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the concepts of time-dependent and time-harmonic three-dimensional vector fields in Cartesian and spherical systems, and carry out conversions from one system to the other (a).

2. Demonstrate understanding of source-field relationships and understand how to compute the field due to arbitrary electric source distributions (a).

3. Be able to quantify the fields radiated by Hertzian dipoles and small loop antennas (a).

4. Understand and apply the concept of duality between dipoles and loop antennas (a).

5. Demonstrate understanding of the concepts of antenna impedance, efficiency, pattern, directivity, gain, side lobe level, forward backward ratio, effective isotropically radiated power, and polarization, and be able to compute fields and power radiated by an antenna and characterize its state of polarization given the above parameters (a).

6. Understand and apply the concepts of reciprocity and antenna effective aperture, and compute power received by an antenna in function of the antenna’s properties and the characteristics of the illuminating field (field strength, polarization, direction of incidence) (a).

7. Be able to compute an antenna link budget, i.e., compute power received in function of the characteristics of the transmitting and receiving antennas and their relative orientation relative to each other (a,c).

8. Demonstrate understanding of the concepts of antenna noise, S/N (signal to noise) ratio, and G/T (gain over antenna temperature) ratio, and compute these figures of merit in function of the field illuminating the receiving antenna and its environment (a,c).

9. Understand and apply the concepts above to design and analyze antenna measurement systems (a, c).

10. Understand and apply the concept of an antenna array factor, and compute array factors of arbitrary array configurations (a).

11. Be able to design linear cophasal arrays with a minimum number of elements with a given main beam direction and half-power beamwidth or beamwidth between first nulls (a,c).

12. Understand and apply the concept of pattern multiplication, using it for the computation of array factors of non-uniformly excited linear arrays (e.g., a binomial array) and two-dimensional arrays (a,c,e).

13. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of mutual coupling in arrays and possible methods to address this coupling (a, c).

14. Extend the concepts inherent in one-dimensional arrays to multidimensional arrays (a, c).

15. Understand and apply the concept of phased array scanning in one-dimensional and multidimensional arrays (a, c).

B. By the time of the Final Exam (after 29 lectures), students should be able to do all of the items listed under A, plus the following:

16. Be able to quantify the fields radiated by resonant antennas such as dipoles of arbitrary length, folded dipoles, loop antennas, slot and line sources (a).

17. Understand and leverage in designs the effect of the presence of a perfectly conducting ground plane on the fields radiated by arbitrarily oriented wire antennas, and compute these fields as well as the input impedance of vertical monopoles (a, c).

18. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of imperfect ground planes on antenna performance (a).

19. Understand the operational principles and basic properties of microstrip antennas, and be able to dimension a simple microstrip antenna given the desired resonant frequency (a, c, j).

20. Demonstrate an understanding of Huygens’ principle and its relationship to radiation from simple apertures (a).

21. Calculate and compare the gain and other radiation characteristics of simple apertures (a).

22. Design and analyze simple horn antennas (a, c, j).

23. Design and analyze simple reflector antennas, including planar reflectors, corner reflectors, and parabolic reflectors (a, c, j).

24. Design and analyze log periodic antennas consisting of linear dipole antennas (a, c, j).

25. Understand the physical origins of the characteristics of frequency independent antennas (a).

26. Understand the physical origins of the characteristics of ultrawideband antennas (a).

27. Identify characteristics of broadband antennas that make them more or less suitable for transmission of high frequency pulses (a, b).

28. Write clear, organized documentation for an antenna system design that explains design tradeoffs and justifies design choices (c, e, g).

Last updated: 5/23/2013