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Revision notes by Michael Prior-Jones based on course by Andy Marvin
The isotropic antenna
Radiates power equally in all directions.
Power density:
EMBED Equation.3
Zo is the impedance of free space (377()
Note that the E and H fields are inversely proportional to the distance from the antenna, R.
Directional antennas:
An isotropic antenna has a gain of 1: directional antennas have gain (the largest field radiated relative to an isotropic antenna) which is related to their directionality.
The directionality function is called the radiation pattern, G((,()
An approximate equation for the gain is this:
EMBED Equation.3 where theta and phi are in radians.
This comes from the assumption that the gain of the antenna is equal to the area of a sphere surrounding the antenna divided by the area of a spot representing the main beam. Theta and phi describe the size and shape of the beam. Its an overestimate because it assumes that no power is radiated outside the main beam, which isnt true- all antennas have sidelobes.
Receiving antennas
When an antenna is used to receive a wave, then the relationship between the power density incident on the antenna and the power passed on into the feeder cable is called the receiving aperture. It isnt related directly to the physical size of the antenna, but it is related to the gain of a transmitting antenna by the following equation:
EMBED Equation.3
Note that it depends on the wavelength
Free-space propagation: calculating the power received
EMBED Equation.3
This formula expresses the relationship in terms of transmitting gain and receiving aperture. However, communications engineers normally substitute for aperture to give the equation in terms of gain and collect up all the terms neatly:
EMBED Equation.3
This is known as the Friis transmission equation, and the term containing lambda is referred to (confusingly) as the free space path loss. Its actually a hybrid of the true path loss and the relationship between transmit gain and receiving aperture.
Antenna noise
Antennas receive noise from whatever they point at. In a uniform field (for example, in space) their noise temperature is equal to the noise temperature of the background.
For an antenna on the ground, it receives noise from three sources:
sky noise, i.e. direct reception of noise from space
reflected sky noise, sky noise that has reflected off the Earths surface. This is the sky noise multiplied by the power reflection coefficient of the Earth.
ground noise, noise emitted by the Earth itself. This is the Earths noise temperature multiplied by the transmission coefficient of the Earth (= 1 reflection coefft)
The Dipole antenna
Ideal dipole is half-wavelength long: or a quarter-wave monopole on a perfectly conducting groundplane
Has a radiation pattern shaped like a doughnut: nulls at the top and bottom of the antenna.
Array antennas:
Several point sources of radiation combine to act as a single large antenna. Can (in theory) generate any radiation pattern by altering spacing of sources, feed current and relative phase.
Parabolic dish antennas:
Ideal dish produces a parallel beam. However, practical antennas have a divergent beam.
For a parallel beam, the mouth of the dish releases a uniform plane wave.
Rayleigh Range Criterion
How far from a dish antenna do you need to be in order to measure the radiation pattern. Assumption is that distance from point of observation to centre of dish and distance to edge of dish are within one-sixteenth of a wavelength of each other.
This can be shown to give (approximately):
EMBED Equation.3
Aperture Taper
Dish antennas are not usually illuminated right to the edges, as this results in large sidelobes. Typically, the edge illumination is 10-15dB below the centre, and the receiving aperture is typically 60% of the area of the dish.
EMC Measurements
Measurements are made of transmissions of EM radiations, and also susceptibility to disturbance from incoming signals.
Three mechanisms for transmission: radiation, conduction and coupling. Typically conducted interference operates below 30MHz and radiated above 30MHz. Coupling is not normally a problem, and is not measured in standard EMC tests.
Tests may be carried out on Open Area Test Site (OATS) or in anechoic chamber.
Clock Dithering
Clocks in digital systems are often large sources of interference. EM measurement equipment has a bandwidth of 120kHz, so spreading the clock energy over a wider range of frequencies can allow equipment to pass EMC tests. This can be done by frequency-modulating the clock signal. However, this can be a serious interferer to digital broadcasting systems.
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