# 11/8/2007 Antenna Pattern notes 1/1

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1 11/8/27 ntenna Pattern notes 1/1 C. ntenna Pattern Radiation Intensity is dependent on both the antenna and the radiated power. We can normalize the Radiation Intensity function to construct a result that describes the antenna only. We call this normalized function the ntenna Directivity Pattern. HO: ntenna Directivity The antenna directivity function essentially describes the antenna pattern, from which we can ascertain fundamental antenna parameters such as (maximum) directivity, beamwidth, and sidelobe level. HO: The ntenna Pattern We find that conservation of energy requires a tradeoff between antenna (maximum) directivity and beamwidth we increase one, we decrease the other. HO: Beamwidth and Directivity

2 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 1/7 ntenna Directivity Recall the intensity of the E.M. wave produced by the mythical isotropic radiator (i.e., an antenna that radiates equally in all directions) is: P U rad = 4π Tx rad U θ, φ = U P ( ) But remember, and isotropic radiator is actually a physical impossibility! If the electromagnetic energy is monochromatic that is, it is a sinusoidal function of time, oscillating at a one specific frequency ω then an antenna cannot distribute energy uniformly in all directions. The intensity function U ( θ, φ ) thus describes this uneven distribution of radiated power as a function of direction, a function that is dependent on the design and construction of the antenna itself.

3 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 2/7 P rad ( ) U, θ φ Tx Q: But doesn t the radiation intensity also depend on the power delivered to the antenna by transmitter? : That s right! If the transmitter delivers no power to the antenna, then the resulting radiation intensity will likewise be zero (i.e., U ( θ, φ ) = ). Q: So is there some way to remove this dependence on the transmitter power? Is there some function that is dependent on the antenna only, and thus describes antenna behavior only? : There sure is, and a very important function at that! Will call this function D ( θ, φ ) the directivity pattern of the antenna. The directivity pattern is simply a normalized intensity function. It is the intensity function produce by an antenna and transmitter, normalized to the intensity pattern produced when the same transmitter is connected to an isotropic radiator.

4 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 3/7 D (, ) U ( θ, φ ) U θφ = = intensity of antenna intensity of isotropic radiator Using U = P 4π, we can likewise express the directivity pattern as: rad D ( θφ, ) = 4 π U ( θφ, ) P rad Q: Hey wait! I thought that this function was supposed to remove the dependence on transmitter power, but there is P rad sitting smack dab in the middle of the denominator. : The value P rad in the denominator is necessary to normalize the function. The reason of course is that U ( θ, φ ) (in the numerator) is likewise proportional to the radiated power. In other words, if P rad doubles then both numerator and denominator increases by a factor of two thus, the ratio remains unchanged, independent of the value P rad. U ( θ, φ ) D ( θφ, ) = U nother indication that directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ) is independent of the transmitter power are it units. Note that the directivity pattern is a coefficient it is unitless!

5 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 4/7 Perhaps we can rearrange the above expression to make this all more clear: Dependent on Tx power and the antenna. P rad U ( θ, φ) = D ( θ, φ) 4π Dependent on Tx power Dependent on antenna only. Hopefully it is apparent that the value of this function D ( θ, φ ) in some direction θ and φ describes the intensity in that direction relative to that of an isotropic radiator (when radiating the same power P rad ). For example, if D ( θ, φ ) = 1 in some direction, then the intensity in that direction is 1 times that produced by an isotropic radiator in that direction. If in another direction we find D ( θ, φ ) = 5., we conclude that the intensity in that direction is half the value we would find if an isotropic radiator is used. Q: So, can the directivity function take any form? re there any restrictions on the function D ( θ, φ )? : bsolutely! For example, let s integrate the directivity function over all directions (i.e., over 4π steradians).

6 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 5/7 ππ U ( θφ, ) D ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ = sinθ dθ dφ U 2ππ 2 1 = U 4π = Prad 4π = Prad = 4π 2π π 2π π U ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ ( P ) U ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ Thus, we find that the directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ) of any and all antenna must satisfy the equation: 2ππ rad D ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ = 4π We can slightly rearrange this integral to find: 1 4π 2ππ D ( θφ, ) sinθdθd φ=. 1 The left side of the equation is simply the average value of the directivity pattern ( D ave ), when averaged over all directions over4π steradians!

7 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 6/7 The equation thus says that the average directivity of any and all antenna must be equal to one. D = 1. ave This means that on average the intensity created by an antenna will equal the intensity created by an isotropic radiator. In some directions the intensity created by any and all antenna will be greater than that of an isotropic radiator (i.e., D > 1), while in other directions the intensity will be less than that of an isotropic resonator(i.e., D < 1). Tx D ( θ, φ ) D ( θ, φ ) = 1 Q: Can the directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ) equal one for all directions θ and φ? Can the directivity pattern be the constant function D ( θ, φ ) = 1.? : Nope! The directivity function cannot be isotropic.

8 11/8/27 ntenna Directivity 7/7 In other words, since: then: U ( θ, φ ) U U ( θ, φ) U ( θ, φ ) U U D ( θ, φ) 1. U U Q: Does this mean that there is no value of θ and φ for which D ( θ, φ ) will equal 1.? : NO! There will be many values of θ and φ (i.e., directions) where the value of the directivity function will be equal to one! Instead, when we say that: D ( θ, φ ) 1. we mean that the directivity function cannot be a constant (with value 1.) with respect to θ and φ.

9 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 1/6 The ntenna Pattern nother term for the directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ) is the antenna pattern. gain, this function describes how a specific antenna distributes energy as a function of direction. n example of this function is: ( ) ( ) 2 2 = 1 + D θ, φ c cosφ sin θ where c is a constant that must be equal to: c = 2ππ ( 1 + ) 4π 2 2 cos φ sin θ sin θ d θ d φ Do you see why c must be equal to this value? Q: How can we determine the antenna pattern of given antenna? How do we find the explicit form of the function D ( θ, φ )? : There are two ways of determining the pattern of a given antenna

10 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 2/6 1. By electromagnetic analysis - Given the size, shape, structure, and material parameters of an antenna, we can use Maxwell s equations to determine the function D ( θ, φ ). However, this analysis often must resort to approximations or assumption of ideal conditions that can lead to some error. 2. By direct measurement - We can directly measure the antenna pattern in the laboratory. This has the advantage that it requires no assumptions or approximations, so it may be more accurate. D (, ) an explicitly mathematical function. However, accuracy ultimately depends on the precision of your measurements, and the result θ φ is provided as a table of measured data, as opposed to Q: Functions and tables!? Isn t there some way to simply plot the antenna pattern D ( θ, φ )? : Yes, but it is a bit tricky.

11 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 3/6 Remember, the function D ( θ, φ ) describes how an antenna distributes energy in three dimensions. s a result, it is difficult to plot this function on a two-dimensional sheet (e.g., a page of your notes!). ntenna patterns are thus typically plotted as cuts in the antenna pattern the value of D ( θ, φ ) on a (two-dimensional) plane. * For example, we might plot D ( θ = 9, φ ) This would be a plot of D ( θ, φ ) on the x-y plane. as a function of φ. * Or, we might plot D ( θ, φ = ) as a function of θ. This would θ φ along the x-z plane. be a plot of D (, ) Sometimes these cuts are plotted in polar format, and other times in Cartesian.

12 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 4/6 Polar plot of antenna cut D ( θ = π 2, φ ) as a function of φ. Cartesian plot of antenna cut D ( θ = π 2, φ ) as a function of φ. The entire function D ( θ, φ ) can likewise be plotted in 3-D for either polar or Cartesian (if you have the proper software!).

13 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 5/6 Note that the majority of antenna patterns consist of a number of lobes. Main Lobe Side Lobes Back Lobes

14 11/8/27 The ntenna Pattern 6/6 Note these lobes have both a magnitude (the largest value of D ( θ, φ ) within the lobe), and a width (the size of the lobe in steradians). * Note that every antenna pattern has a direction(s) where the function D ( θ, φ ) is at its peak value. The lobe associated with this peak value (i.e., the lobe with the largest magnitude) is known as the antennas Main Lobe. * The main lobe is typically surrounded by smaller (but significant) lobes called Side Lobes. * There frequently are also very small lobes that appear in the pattern, usually in the opposite direction of the main lobe. We call these tiny lobes Back Lobes. The important characteristics of an antenna are defined by the main lobe. Generally, side and back lobes are nuisance lobes we ideally want them to be as small as possible! Q: These plots and functions describing antenna pattern D ( θ, φ ) are very complete and helpful, but also a bit busy and complex. re there some set of values that can be used to indicate the important characteristics of an antenna pattern? : Yes there is! The three most important are: 1. ntenna Directivity D. 2. ntenna Beamwidth. 3. ntenna Sidelobe level.

15 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 1/11 Directivity and Beamwidth One of the most fundamental of antenna parameters is antenna directivity. D Directivity Q: ntenna directivity? Haven t we already studied this? Isn t directivity D ( θ, φ )? : NO! Recall that D ( θ, φ ) is known as the directivity pattern (a.k.a. the antenna pattern). Unlike the directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ), which is a function of coordinates θ and φ, antenna directivity is simply a number (e.g., 1 or 2 db). Q: But isn t antenna directivity somehow related to antenna pattern D ( θ, φ )? : Most definitely! The directivity of an antenna is simply equal to the largest value of the directivity pattern: D = max { D ( θ, φ )} θφ, Thus, the directivity of an antenna is generally determined from the magnitude (i.e., peak) of the main lobe.

16 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 2/11 D ( db ) = 6 ( θ = 9 φ ) ( db ) D, φ Note that directivity is likewise a unitless value, and thus is often expressed in db. nother fundamental antenna parameter is the antenna beamwidth. Ω beamwidth steradians Just like the bandwidth of a microwave device, antenna beamwidth is a subjective value. Ideally, we can say that the beamwidth is the size of the antenna mainlobe, expressed in steradians. Q: But how do we define the size of the mainlobe? : That s the subjective part!

17 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 3/11 Sometimes, we define beamwidth as the null-to-null beamwidth: null-to-null beamwidth But much more common is the 3dB beamwidth, defined by the points on the mainlobe where the directivity pattern D ( θ, φ ) has a value of one half that of value directivity D (i.e., 3 db less than D ( db )): 3 db beamwidth

18 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 4/11 D ( db ) = 6 ( θ = 9 φ ) ( db ) D, 3 db Beamwidth φ Q: But how do we determine the antenna beamwidth Ω? : Theoretically, we can use either of the beamwidth definitions above and integrate over all directions θ and φ that lie within the mainlobe: Ω = main lobe sin θ d θ d φ However, we more often use an approximation to determine the antenna beamwidth. If the sidelobes of an antenna are small, then we can approximate its directivity pattern as: D ( θφ, ) D within the mainbeam outside the mainbeam

19 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 5/11 approx. D ( θ, φ ) ( θ = 9 φ ) ( db ) D, φ approx. ( ) D, θ φ In other words, this approximation says that the antenna radiates its power uniformly throughout the mainlobe, but radiates no energy in any other direction.

20 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 6/11 This of course is a fairly rough approximation, but we can use it to determine (approximately) the antenna beamwidth Ω. To see how, first recall that the average directivity of any antenna (averaged over 4π steradians) is: ππ. D ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ π = Inserting our approximation into this integral, we find: = D ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ + D ( θ, φ) sinθ dθ dφ π π main lobe side lobe 1 1 = Dsin θ dθ dφ sinθ dθ dφ 4π + 4π D = 4π main lobe main lobe sin θ d θ d φ side lobe Look! Recall the integral above is the beamwidth of the antenna: Ω = sin θ d θ d φ nd so: main lobe D. sinθ dθ dφ D 1 = 4 π = main 4 π Ω lobe

21 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 7/11 Rearranging, we find an important result: D Ω = 4 π This says that the product of the antenna directivity and antenna beamwidth is a constant (i.e., 4π). Q: So what? : This means yet again that we cannot have our cake and eat it too! If we increase the directivity of an antenna, then its beamwidth must decrease. Conversely, if we increase antenna beamwidth, its directivity must diminish proportionately. This of course makes sense; we can increase directivity only by crushing the available power into a smaller solid angle (i.e., the main lobe beamwidth Ω ). Moreover, the expression above allows us to determine given beamwidth Ω the (approximate) value of antenna directivity: 4π D = Ω

22 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 8/11 Note from this equation we can define antenna directivity as the ratio of the beamwidth of an isotropic radiator (4π) to the beamwidth of the antenna ( Ω )! 4π D = = Ω beamwidth of isotropic radiator beamwidth of antenna Likewise, we can given antenna directivity D determine the antenna beamwidth: Ω = 4π D Thus, by simply determining the maximum value of function D ( θ, φ ) (i.e., D ), we can easily determine an approximate value of antenna beamwidth (in steradians) using the equation shown above! Q: Now, Ω tells us the size of the mainlobe solid angle (in steradians), but it does not tells its shape. Didn t you say that solid angles with different shapes can have the same size Ω? : That s exactly correct!

23 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 9/11 Recall that our 3-D beam pattern D ( θ, φ ) is often plotted on two, orthogonal 2-D planes. We can define the beamwidth on each of these two planes in terms of radians (or degrees). For example, we might plot D ( θ, φ ) on the x-y plane (i.e., D ( θ π 2, φ ) value (in radians) that we ll call β φ. = ) and find that its (2-D) 3dB beamwidth has a D ( db ) = 6 ( θ = 9 φ ) ( db ) D, β φ φ We could likewise plot D ( θ, φ ) on the x-z plane (i.e., D ( θ, φ = ) value (in radians) that we ll call β θ. ) and find that its (2-D) 3dB beamwidth has a We find that antenna beamwidth is often expressed in terms of these two angles ( β θ and β φ ), as opposed to the value of the solid angle Ω in steradians.

24 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 1/11 Finally, a third fundamental antenna parameter that we can D θ, φ is the peak sidelobe extract from antenna pattern ( ) level. This provides a measure of the magnitude of the sidelobes, as compared to the directivity of the mainlobe. Say we define the largest value of D ( θ, φ ) found in the sidelobes (i.e., outside the mainlobe) as the peak sidelobe directivity: D max { D ( θ, φ )} sl side lobes Peak Sidelobe We can then normalize this value to antenna directivity D. This value is known as the peak sidelobe level, and is typically expressed in db:

25 11/8/27 Directivity and Beamwidth 11/11 D sl peak sidelobe level 1log1 D Sidelobes are generally considered to be a non-ideal artifact in antenna patterns. Essentially, sidelobe levels represent a waste of energy electromagnetic propagation in directions other than the desired direction of the mainlobe. Thus, we generally desire a peak sidelobe level that is a small as possible (e.g., < -4 db).

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