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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The main objective of the course is to enable students to develop in-depth knowledge of the operating principles, the analysis and the design techniques of antennas and antenna systems used in modern telecommunication, diagnostics, sensors and medicine. The acquired knowledge will allow students to identify the different families of antennas and to make the most appropriate choices for their best use in the application field.

During the course the necessary tools to analyze, understand and design antennas and antenna systems will be provided and the mathematical and numerical models used for their study will be illustrated and applied.

The main acquired knowledge will be:
• the study of wire, microstrip and aperture antennas;
• the study of different antenna arrays;
• the use of numerical techniques used for the design of antennas and antenna systems.

The basic acquired abilities (that are the capacity of applying the acquired knowledge) will be:
• analysis and design of different antenna topologies;
• the electromagnetic wave propagation in both free space and discontinuous media
• design of antennas for applications in telecommunications, diagnosis, sensing, medicine and biology;
• use of simulation programs for the analysis and the design of complex antennas and antenna systems.


The following concepts and the knowledge provided by the courses of “Analisi Matematica (Mathematics)”, “Fisica (Physics)”, “Teoria dei Circuiti (Circuits Theory)” and “Propagation” are mandatory:
• fundamentals of mathematical analysis, differential and vector calculus;
• basic concepts of physics, with particular focus on those related to electromagnetics;
• fundamentals of circuit theory and methods for both time domain and frequency domain approaches.
• knowledge of the fundamental laws of electromagnetism and of the concepts of propagation in free space and in guiding structures.

Course programme

The course includes 60 hours of teaching with lessons and classroom exercises.

Fundamental parameters of Antennas
Basic concepts of transmitting and receiving antennas. Radiation pattern, input parameters, radiation efficiency, directivity, gain, bandwidth, polarization of the radiated field. Effective area, polarization loss, antenna noise temperature. Friis formula. Radar equation.

Linear wire and loop antennas
Dipole (short, half wavelength, long) antennas. Image theory. Monopole antenna. Loop antennas.

Point sources. Array of point sources. Liner uniform and non-uniform arrays. Superdirectivity. Planar and Circular arrays. Antenna synthesis and continuous sources. Yagi-Uda array.

Aperture and Reflector antennas
Equivalence Theorem. Rectangular apertures. Circular apertures. Horn antennas. Parabolic reflector antennas. Fourier transform in aperture antenna theory.

Microstrip antennas
Basic characteristics: feeding and method of analysis. Rectangular and Circular patch antennas. Quality factor, bandwidth and efficiency. Polarization. Arrays and feed networks. Dielectric antennas. Antennas for mobile communications.

Other types of antennas
Broadband antennas. Log Periodic antennas. Traveling wave antennas. Short Wave antennas. Leaky-wave antennas, integrated antennas, smart antennas, antennas for RFID systems and UWB antennas. Antennas for medical and biological applications.

Antenna Synthesis
Schelkunoff polynomial method. Fourier Transform and Woodward-Lawson methods. Taylor line source.

Antenna temperature, Remote Sensing and Radar Cross Section
Antenna temperature. System temperature. Signal to noise ratio. Passive remote sensing. Radar and radar cross-section.

Measurement Techniques
Antenna ranges (reflection free, free-space, compact ranges, near to far field methods. Radiation pattern and gain measurements. Directivity, radiation efficiency, impedance measurements. Polarization measurements.

Didactic methods

The course in organized with lectures on the listed topics. During the lessons the solutions of some exercises concerning the study of antennas, the calculation of the parameters of antennas and antenna arrays will be proposed and discussed.

Learning assessment procedures

The exam is oral and focuses on the topics presented during the course. The aim is to verify the learning level of the student for what concerns the previously described objectives. To this purpose, the student should typically answer questions relevant to topics investigated and developed during the course. To pass the exam, the student should obtain a mark of 18 over 30.

Reference texts

Teacher’s handouts.
Specific topics can be further developed by using these books:
• C. A. Balanis, Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design, Wiley & Sons.
• J. D. Kraus, R.J. Marhefka, Antennas for all Applications, Third Edition, McGraw Hill.
• W.L. Stutzman, G.A. Thiele, Antenna Theory and Design, Wiley & Sons.
• R.E. Collin, Antennas and Radiowave Propagation, McGraw Hill.
• C. A. Balanis, Advanced Engineering Electromagnetics, Wiley & Sons.
• S.J. Orfanidis, Electromagnetic waves and antennas,
• A. Paraboni, Antenne, McGraw-Hill.
• V. Rizzoli, D. Masotti, Lezioni di Sistemi d’Antenna, Vol. 1 e Vol. 2, Progetto Leonardo.
• G. Conciauro, L. Perregrini, Fondamenti di Onde Elettromagnetiche, McGraw-Hill.