Technical Notes


That part of a transmitting or receiving system which is designed to radiate or to receive electromagnetic waves. An antenna can also be viewed as a transitional structure (transducer) between free-space and a transmission line (such as a coaxial line). An important property of an antenna is the ability to focus and shape the radiated power in space e.g.: it enhances the power in some wanted directions and suppresses the power in other directions.

Frequency Bandwidth:

The range of frequencies within which the performance of the antenna, with respect to some characteristics, conforms to a specified standard. VSWR of an antenna is the main bandwidth limiting factor.

Input Impedance:

The impedance presented by an antenna at its terminals. The input impedance is a complex function of frequency with real and imaginary parts. The input impedance is graphically displayed using a Smith chart.

Reflection Coefficient:

The ratio of the voltages corresponding to the reflected and incident waves at the antenna's input terminal (normalized to some impedance Z0). The return loss is related to the input impedance Zin and the characteristic impedance Z0 of the connecting feed line by: Gin = (Zin - Z0) / (Zin+Z0).

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR):

The ratio of the maximum/minimum values of standing wave pattern along a transmission line to which a load is connected. VSWR value ranges from 1 (matched load) to infinity for a short or an open load. For most base station antennas the maximum acceptable value of VSWR is 1.5. VSWR is related to the reflection coefficient Gin by: VSWR= (1+|Gin|)/(1-| Gin |).


A measure of power transfer from one antenna to another. This is also the ratio of the power input to one antenna to the power received by the other antenna, expressed in decibel (dB). The same definition is applicable to two-port antennas such as dual-polarization antennas.

Far-Field Region:

That region of the field of an antenna where the angular field distribution is essentially independent of the distance from a specified point in the antenna region. The radiation pattern is measured in the far field.

Antenna Polarization:

In a specified direction from an antenna and at a point in its far field, is the polarization of the (locally) plane wave which is used to represent the radiated wave at that point. At any point in the far-field of an antenna the radiated wave can be represented by a plane wave whose electric field strength is the same as that of the wave and whose direction of propagation is in the radial direction from the antenna. As the radial distance approaches infinity, the radius of curvature of the radiated wave's phase front also approaches infinity and thus in any specified direction the wave appears locally a plane wave. In practice, polarization of the radiated energy varies with the direction from the center of the antenna so that different parts of the pattern and different side lobes sometimes have different polarization. The polarization of a radiated wave can be linear or elliptical (with circular being a special case).


That polarization which the antenna is intended to radiate.


In a specified plane containing the reference polarization ellipse, the polarization orthogonal to a specified reference polarization. The reference polarization is usually the co-polarization.

Antenna Pattern:

The antenna pattern is a graphical representation in three dimensions of the radiation of the antenna as a function of angular direction. Antenna radiation performance is usually measured and recorded in two orthogonal principal planes (such as E-Plane and H-plane or vertical and horizontal planes). The pattern is usually plotted either in polar or rectangular coordinates. The pattern of most base station antennas contains a main lobe and several minor lobes, termed side lobes. A side lobe occurring in space in the direction opposite to the main lobe is called back lobe.

Normalized Pattern:

Normalizing the power/field with respect to its maximum value yields a normalized power/field pattern with a maximum value of unity (or 0 dB).

Gain Pattern:

Normalizing the power/field to that of a reference antenna yields a gain pattern. When the reference is an isotropic antenna, the gain is expressed in dBi. When the reference is a half-wave dipole in free space, the gain is expressed in dBd.

Radiation Efficiency:

The ratio of the total power radiated by an antenna to the net power accepted by the antenna from the connected transmitter.


For a linearly polarized antenna, the plane containing the electric field vector and the direction of maximum radiation. For base station antenna, the E-plane usually coincides with the vertical plane.


For a linearly polarized antenna, the plane containing the magnetic field vector and the direction of maximum radiation. For base station antenna, the H-plane usually coincides with the horizontal plane.

Front-to-Back Ratio:

The ratio of the maximum directivity of an antenna to its directivity in a specified rearward direction. Sometimes the directivity in the rearward direction is taken as the average over an angular region.

Major / Main Lobe:

The radiation lobe containing the direction of maximum radiation. For most practical antenna there is only one main beam.

Side Lobe Level:

Is the ratio, in decibels (dB), of the amplitude at the peak of the main lobe to the amplitude at the peak of a side lobe.

Half-Power Beamwidth:

In a radiation pattern cut containing the direction of the maximum of a lobe, the angle between the two directions in which the radiation intensity is one-half the maximum value. The Half-power beamwidth is also commonly referred to as the 3-dB beamwidth.

Antenna Directivity:

The directivity of an antenna is given by the ratio of the maximum radiation intensity (power per unit solid angle) to the average radiation intensity (averaged over a sphere). The directivity of any source, other than isotropic, is always greater than unity.

Antenna Gain:

The maximum gain of an antenna is simply defined as the product of the directivity by efficiency. If the efficiency is not 100 percent, the gain is less than the directivity. When the reference is a loss less isotropic antenna, the gain is expressed in dBi. When the reference is a half wave dipole antenna, the gain is expressed in dBd (1 dBd = 2.15 dBi ).

Antenna Efficiency:

The total antenna efficiency accounts for the following losses: (1) reflection because of mismatch between the feeding transmission line and the antenna and (2) the conductor and dielectric losses.

Effective Radiated Power (ERP):

In a given direction, the relative gain of a transmitting antenna with respect to the maximum directivity of a half-wave dipole multiplied by the net power accepted by the antenna from the connected transmitter.

Power Handling:

Is the ability of an antenna to handle high power without failure. High power in antenna can cause voltage breakdown and excessive heat (due to conductor and dielectric antenna losses) which would results in an antenna failure.

Passive Intermodulation (PIM):

As in active devices, passive intermodulation occurs when signals at two or more frequencies mix with each other in a non-linear manner to produce spurious signals. PIM is caused by a multitude of factors present in the RF signal path. These include poor mechanical contact, presence of ferrous contents in connectors and metals, and contact between two galvanically unmatched metals. PIM spurious signal, which falls in the up link band, can degrade call quality and reduce the capacity of a wireless system.

Side Lobe Suppression:

Any process, action or adjustment to reduce the level of the side lobes or to reduce the degradation of the intended antenna system performance resulting from the presence of side lobes. For base station antenna, the first side lobe above the horizon is preferred to be low in order to reduce interference to adjacent cell sites. At the other hand, the side lobes below the horizon are preferred to be high for better coverage.

Null Filling:

Is the process to fill the null in the antenna radiation pattern to avoid blind spots in a cell site coverage.

Isotropic Radiator:

A hypothetical, loss less antenna having equal radiation intensity in all direction. For based station antenna, the gain in dBi is referenced to that of an isotropic antenna (which is 0 dB).

Omnidirectional Antenna:

An antenna having an essentially non-directional pattern in a given plane of the antenna and a directional pattern in any orthogonal plane. For base station antennas, the omnidirectional plane is the horizontal plane.

Directional Antenna:

An antenna having the property of radiating or receiving electromagnetic waves more effectively in some directions than others

Half-Wave Dipole:

A wire antenna consisting of two straight collinear conductors of equal length, separated by a small feeding gap, with each conductor approximately a quarter-wave length long.

Fiberglass Omni Directional Collinear Antennas
Stacked Folded Dipole Omni Directional Antennas
Broadband Omni Directional Antennas
Aero / Aviation Band Stacked Dipole Antennas
Folded Dipole Omni Directional Antennas
Folded Dipole Ceiling Mount Omni Directional Antennas
Cell Phone & Jammer Single Band Antennas
Cell Phone & Jammer Triple Band Antennas
Dual Band Omni Directional Antennas
Ground Plane Omni Directional Antennas
Marine Band Omni Directional Antennas
Yagi Antennas
Dual Stacked Yagi Antennas
Yagi Antennas Back-to-Back
Gold Anodized UHF Band Yagi Antennas
UHF Band Yagi Antennas with Fiberglass Radome
Yagi Antennas with Trough Reflector
Grid Parabolic Antennas
Mini Grid Parabolic Antennas
Solid Parabolic Dish Antennas
HF Broadband Two Folded Dipole Antennas
HF Broadband Three Folded Dipole Antennas
HF Broadband HF Monitoring Antennas
Cross / Circular Polarized Antennas
Dual Stacked Cross / Circular Polarized Antennas
Quad Stacked Cross / Circular Polarized Antennas
Helical RHCP / LHCP Antennas
Quadrifilar Helix Antennas
Vehicle Mount Whip Mobile Antennas
Vehicle Mount Magnetic Mount Whip Mobile Antennas
Frequency Independent Log Periodic Dipole Antennas
Frequency Independent Discone Antennas
Cavity Backed Dual Arm Archimedean Spiral Antennas
Glide Slope Monitoring Beacon Antennas
Localizer Monitoring Beacon Antennas
FM Broadcast Turnstile Antennas
Panel Antennas
Horn Antennas
Gas Discharge Tube Surge Arresters SLA-25
Gas Discharge Tube Surge Arresters SLA-58
SAH-001 Universal Clamps
SAH-002 Universal Crossover Assemblies
SAH-003 (SQR) Universal Crossover Assemblies
SAH-004 Clamp Sets
SAH-005 Side Mounts
SAH-006 (SQR) Side Mounts
SAH-007 Classic Two Plane Mounts
SAH-008 Classic Crossover Mounts
SAH-009 Two inch (U) Bolts
SAH-010 Ratchet Mount Assemblies 4-Way
Power Dividers SPD-011
Power Dividers SPD-012 VHF
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