Current 2012/13 Module Catalogue

Module Details

Module Code:
Module Provider:
Electronic Engineering
Number of Credits:
Module Title:
Module Co-ordinator:
BROWN TW Dr (Elec Eng)
ECTS Credits

Module Availability

Semester 1

Semester 1

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Written Closed Book Examination
Laboratory and Written Report
Part time Students, Written Closed Book Examination
Qualifying Condition(s) 


Module Overview

Antennas and the propagation of radio on the physical layer (PHY) are a fundamental aspect of communications and radar as well as any other device that will radiate electromagnetic waves over an air interface. This course aims to bring the student to understand the key aspects of antenna theory and design (including practical hands on laboratory exercises) as well as fundamental factors involved in modelling radio channels to ensure conformance in wireless system design and deployment.

Module Aims

It is intended that the course will give a concise introduction to and reasonable overview of the antenna types and propagation modelling techniques currently used particularly in microwave, mobile and satellite communications.

It intends to also convey insights into fundamentally important aspects of the very large body of published knowledge in this area as well as to start the process by which students themselves may ultimately develop their own faculties in the subject area.

Learning Outcomes

  • Have a firm background of the basic principles underlying antenna performance, as well as basic principles of antenna design and propagation behaviour in practical scenarios.
  • Be able to apply this knowledge to rather simple original and therefore possibly non-representative, academic-style problems in a quantitative manner, for test problems which they have not met before as training exercises.
  • Be able to do more advanced representative problems for which the course will provide a template.
  • Be able to comprehend and understand the advanced analyses of others which may be met in the literature and in practical aspects of building and deploying antennas.

Module Content

Antenna Theory and Design – 9 hours

  • Electromagnetic wave propagation – Electromagnetic fields, Plane Waves, Maxwell’s equations, Poynting Vectors, Hertzian Dipole.
  • Antenna parameters – Isotropic radiators, Spherical Coordinates, Effective Area/Aperture, Gain, Directivity Link Budget, Impedance, Return Loss, VSWR, Polarisation, Radiation Resistance, Far Field Criteria, Beamwidth, Near/Far relations, Reciprocity, SAR.
  • Small Antenna design – Dipoles, Monopoles, Meandered Monopoles, Loops, Bandwidth, Conductors and Dielectric Loading.
  • Antenna Characterisation – Use of VNA, Transmission Lines, Antenna Pattern, Measurement etc.
  • Linear Array Antenna and their designs.
  • Typical examples of different types of Antenna and their principles of operations: Yagi-Uda, Cassegrain Reflector, Helix, QHA, Log Periodic Dipole Array, Waveguide Horn Antenna.

Antenna Laboratory – 6 hours

  • To provide a brief practical hands on experience in designing, building and characterising small antennas for a mobile terminal.
  • An opportunity to use state of the art antenna simulation tools.

Propagation Principles – 4 hours

  • Free space propagation.
  • Polarisation in a propagation environment.
  • Reflection – Specular reflection. Fresnel coefficients, polarisation effects. Rough and random surfaces.
  • Refraction – Refractive index. Snell’s Law. Fresnel Transmission Coefficients.
  • Diffraction – Huygen’s Principle. Knife-Edge Diffraction. Fresnel Zones

Propagation Models – 4 hours

  • Path Loss: Free space loss. Plane earth loss. Spherical earth effects.
  • Path profiles – Line of sight and non-line of sight.
  • Tropospheric refraction – N-units. Effective earth radius.
  • Review of link budget calculations – Maximum acceptable path loss, noise.

Terrestrial and Mobile Channel Modelling – 6 hours

  • Scales of Variation in Mobile Systems – Path loss. Shadowing. Fast Fading
  • Forms of models: Stochastic and Deterministic.
  • Shadowing – Statistics. Availability at cell edge and over cell area.
  • Multipath Effects. Fast Fading Statistics.
  • Doppler effect.
  • Antenna interaction in the environment – MEG.

Satellite Propagation – 3 hours

  • Tropospheric Effects – Rain & Hydrometeor Attenuation. Gaseous Attenuation.
  • Tropospheric Refraction. Tropospheric Scintillation. Depolarisation. Sky Noise Calculation.
  • Ionospheric Effects – Faraday Rotation. Group Delay. Dsipersion. Ionospheric Scintillation.
Lecturers teaching on the module: Dr S Gao (9 hours) and Dr T Brown (18 hours)

Methods of Teaching/Learning

26 hours of lectures with tutorials and 6 hours of labs.

Reading List

Required Purchase

 Recommended Reading

Saunders, S. Aragon-Zavala, A. Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems J Wiley & Sons 2007 Second Edition. ISBN 978-0-470-84879-1 (with several useful links)
Constantine A Balanis, Antenna Theory & Design 3rd edition J Wiley & Sons 1997. ISBN 978-0-471-66782-7
Kraus, John D. Antennas. 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill 2001. ISBN 978-0-071-12240-5
Parsons, JD. The Mobile Radio Propagation Channel. J Willey & Sons, Second edition 2000. ISBN 978-0-471-98857-1
Hall, M.P.M., Barclay, L.W., Hewitt, M.T., (eds) Propagation of Radiowaves. London IEE 1996. 0852968191

Last Updated

29 March 2012 by ELLIS A Mrs (FEPS Reg)