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ADVANCED ANTENNA MODELING AND MEASUREMENT

Pre-Requisite:  Basic Antenna Modeling

COURSE OVERVIEW

This 5-day course, a follow-on to the Basic Antenna Modeling course, introduces students to the technical background and practical skills to use modern simulation software to design and model advanced antennas, and introduces modern measurement tools to characterized high performance antennas. In addition, the class presents tools to predict antenna performance when integrated with larger structures such as vehicles and aircraft.

While basic antenna modeling software can simulate wire-based antenna structures, simulation and design of antennas with complex metal surfaces, dielectric and permeable filled volumes, waveguides, and multiple source locations requires advanced simulation software. Antenna element and array performance measurement over the full range of elevation and azimuth angles, and over extended ranges of frequencies, requires automated measurement systems, operating in anechoic chambers. The class presents the strengths and weakness of antenna simulation and design software tools, the performance limits of near and far field measurement systems, anechoic chambers, and how simulated data compares to measured data. 

 

The class will familiarize students with advanced antenna design and simulation software, anechoic chambers, and near/far field measurement systems to enable them to engage in broader antenna analysis relative to interfacing with these types of labs in a more effective way. Professional modeling and testing are extremely important when working with antennas, and the only way to accurately characterize antennas is through the use of these types of labs. Therefore, this course provides a hands-on way of gaining insight into this type of collaboration. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

The course will be held at the Wireless Research Center (WRC) of North Carolina. The WRC staff maintains and operates HFSS and CST simulation software the industry standard tools for advanced antenna design and simulation; WRC also operates a Satimo 64 nearfield measurement system. All  tools are entirely in-house, providing students a unique opportunity to design, simulate, prototype, and measure antennas using state-of-the-art tools. 

This course requires a basic understanding of antennas and spectrum/antenna analyzers. Students will have the opportunity to use advanced antenna design and simulation software, eg, HFSS or CST, prototype an antenna (likely a patch), measure the real-world antenna performance, and learn the strengths and limitations of each tool.

COURSE TOPICS

REVIEW OF ANTENNA FUNDAMENTALS AND TESTING

INTRODUCTION TO HFSS AND CST SOFTWARE TOOLS

• Comparison to NEC based simulators

• GUI for creation of basic, parametrized
   antenna structures

• Simulation design flow – Example: a thick dipole, a
   planar disk over a ground plane

DESIGN BASIC ANTENNA STRUCTURES

• Set up of advanced, parametrized structures: 
   Patches, horns, slots, parametric surfaces

• Definition of excitations and loads

• Definition and use of materials: dielectrics

• Simulation frequency and sweep setup

• Results graphs, presentations, and export

• Exercises: GPS patch, PIFA, Monopole array

• Introduction to array simulation

• Introduction to circuits integrated with antenna models

• Introduction to simulation of antennas on large
   structures (cars, aircraft, buildings)

COMPARE RESULTS TO EZNEC MODELS

REVIEW OF RAPID PROTOTYPING

PREPARATION FOR MEASUREMENTS

INTRODUCTION TO PRECISION ANTENNA MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS

• Anechoic chambers characteristics and performance

• Near-field and far field probe systems

• Antenna measurement specifications documents

• Phantoms for body-worn characterization

INTERACTION WITH WRC CHAMBER TECHNICIANS

• Students will write requirements document to guide
   technicians testing

• Students will work with chamber technician to set up
   and measure antennas

• Post measurement data processing using
   spreadsheets and numerical analysis packages

   (eg, MatLab, octave, etc.)

Please contact Kyle Oman, Director of Training, for more information and registration details.