Antenna Magus 4.5 Released

October 31st, 2013

We are pleased to announce the new release of Antenna Magus Version 4.5. This release sees the addition of 7 new antennas – taking the total number of antenna templates shipped with Antenna Magus to 225. The new antennas are:

 

  1. Linear resonant narrow wall slotted guide array
  2. Linear array of rectangular patches (including a corporate feed network)
  3. Short dual-waveguide-fed pyramidal horn antenna
  4. Dual-ridged pyramidal horn antenna with sidewalls removed
  5. Dual-band self-phased quadrifilar helix antenna
  6. 4-arm Sinuous antenna with an absorber-loaded cavity-backing
  7. 2-arm log-periodic antenna with an absorber-loaded cavity-backing

 

Read more in newsletter 4.5.

A selection of new antennas in Version 4.5.

A selection of new antennas in Version 4.5.

Author: Brian Woods

Version 4.4 released

July 5th, 2013

We are pleased to announce the release of Antenna Magus Version 4.4. This release sees the addition of 5 new antennas:

  1. Horn-fed truncated reflector antenna
  2. Shunt-fed slanted V-dipole pair
  3. Offset Pattern-fed Cassegrain reflector antenna
  4. Monopole dielectric resonator antenna
  5. Bifilar helix antenna

The array synthesis tool has also been extended to include the effects of a reflective ground plane when calculating the radiation pattern of a synthesized array.

Read more in Newsletter 4.4

Planar array excluding the reflective ground plane.

Planar array excluding the reflective ground plane.

Planar array including a reflective ground plane at z = - 0.25 ?.

Planar array including a reflective ground plane at z = – 0.25 ?.

Author: Robert Kellerman

Version 4.2 released

December 11th, 2012

We are very pleased to announce a new release of Antenna Magus Version 4.2. This release boasts 4 new antennas and an article about commonly used coaxial RF connectors which contains useful FEKO and CST MICROWAVE STUDIO simulation models of each connector.

As 2012 draws to a close we look back at an exciting year where Antenna Magus has become an integral part of the design process of more antenna engineers, assisting in making intelligent antenna design and modelling choices. 2013 is going to be an even more exciting year with lots of feature extensions and antenna additions planned.

Read more in newsletter 4.2

Preview of RF connectors included in Antenna Magus

Preview of RF connectors included in Antenna Magus.

Author: Robert Kellerman

So how well does my antenna have to be matched?

October 26th, 2012
Friis equation illustration

Friis equation illustration

Friis equation

Friis equation

I recently had some trouble matching an integrated antenna over the whole operating band, while sticking to the available space for mounting on a PCB? so? I got to wondering things like: ?what is the actual effect of return loss and gain on the communications range??

After spending some time musing about the Friis equation (above) – with the help of the Friis tool in Antenna Magus – I rediscovered why some general guidelines like ?- 10 dB is a good enough match and stick to lower frequencies for long distance communications?, are worth following.

I picked the following typical values:

Gt = Gr = 10 dBi, |S11|t = |S11|r = -20 dB, Pt = 1 W, Pr = 10 pW and Freq = 900 MHz.

and considered the effect of varying frequency, gain and |S11|t within this typical system. Note that the black marker on each graph represents the above-mentioned typical design case.

Relationship between return loss (|S11|)  and range (R)

Relationship between return loss (|S11|) and range (R)

The above graph clearly shows why threshold for acceptable return loss is -10 dB. At -20 dB there is less than 2% reduction in range, at -10 dB and -6 dB the range is reduced to 5.5% and 14.5% respectively. In communication systems where maximal range is not such a strict specification 85.5% of the theoretical maximum range does seem like a reasonable trade-off, but if you can, it is definitely worth the effort to try get the extra meters!

Relationship between gain and range.

Relationship between gain and range.

Next I plotted the relationship between antenna gain and range. The plot illustrates the communication engineers mantra: “for every 6 dBi increase in antenna gain, the range will double” – therefore range will increase from 80 km to over 2600 km when increasing the gain from 5 dBi to 40 dBi (equivalent to replacing a patch antenna with a large, high gain reflector antenna while changing nothing else in the system).

Relationship between frequency and range.

Relationship between frequency and range.

What about frequency? If we ignore all the pitfalls of propagation absorption and environmental effects, Frequency and Range are indirectly proportional to each other ? so doubling the frequency will halve the range. If one plots this relationship (as shown above) it is clear why long distance communication systems typically operate at lower frequencies.

So what did I learn from this exercise that helped me make some design choices?

  1. I could increase my operating frequency so that I can use an electrically larger antenna that is easier to match. If, however, I need to increase the operating frequency by anything more than 10% to help me improve my reflection coefficient from -6 dB to -10 dB, the net result will be a reduction in range.
  2. If I can design an antenna with similar size (and similar impedance), but with increased gain in the direction of interest, then I can achieve the same effect as improving the matching. The additional gain required in this instance is around 0.8 dB. For a low gain antenna like mine (with around 3 dBi gain) getting an additional 0.8 dB might be a challenge in the space I have. In another situation, optimising a higher gain antenna, like a 12 dBi horn – to get an extra 0.8 dB sounds a lot more doable.

I hope this exercise helped you (as it did me) put the different factors in a communication system in perspective.

Author: Robert Kellerman

Version 4.1 released

September 19th, 2012

We are pleased to announce a new release of Antenna Magus – Version 4.1. This release sees the addition of 15 new tools, expanding the toolbox to 24 tools and calculators to assist antenna designers with every day antenna-related tasks. Tools include a chart-tracing tool used to convert trace data to numerical values, a two-port network parameter conversion tool, an RCS calculator, and a decibel (dB) to linear power ratio converter, among others.

For those who were not aware of this fact previously, Antenna Magus broke the 200 antenna barrier with the previous release and now boasts 204 antennas – the largest commercially available database of antenna designs in the world.

The Version 4.1 database is expanded through the addition of four exciting new antennas: the Axial choke horn with a dielectric lens, the Offset-fed Gregorian and Cassegrain reflectors and the ?Eggbeater? antenna.

Read more about the added features and?extensions?in newsletter 4.1

Preview of newsletter 4.1

Preview of newsletter 4.1

Author: Robert Kellerman

Models available for export to the AWR Design Environment ? (AWRDE) increased by 50% in 3.4

January 13th, 2012

We have received very positive feedback and growing interest from customers about the AWR model export capability, which was released in 2011. As with all the EM Analysis products supported by Antenna Magus (like FEKO and CST MICROWAVE STUDIO) the number of exportable models for these tools is continually growing. With the release of version 3.4, the number of models that can be exported to from Antenna Magus to AWRDE increased by 50%!

This functionality enables users to export models of antennas directly to AWRDE for analysis using the AXIEM solver. As with all Antenna Magus export models, the AWRDE models are fully parametric and validated across the entire design range. A number of the models use specially developed PCELLS to provide flexible geometries that can?t otherwise be created parametrically. These models can easily be integrated into circuitry and optimized together with other parts of the system.

More information on exactly which antennas can be exported to AWR can be found in the latest release notes.

Example of a capacitive disc fed patch which was exported from Antenna Magus to AWR?s Design Environment. The S-parameter simulations were performed in AWR MICROWAVE OFFICE.

Example of a capacitive disc fed patch which was exported from Antenna Magus to AWR?s Design Environment. The S-parameter simulations were performed in AWR's?Microwave Office? software.

Author: Robert Kellerman

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Version 3.4 released

January 11th, 2012

During the development of a customer case study centered on the design of a Ka-band reflector antenna, the usefulness of exposing more of these design decisions to the user for parabolic reflectors became apparent. Version 3.4 is dedicated to releasing design algorithm extensions that do exactly that. There are 2 new parabolic reflector antennas, 2 new tools to aid in parabolic antenna design and 58 new objective groups added to existing parabolic reflector antennas. This added complexity makes the reflector class of antennas much more flexible, and will allow users to realise even better designs!

Read more about the added features and?extensions?in newsletter 3.4

Preview of newsletter 3.4

Preview of newsletter 3.4

Author: Robert Kellerman

Version 3.3 released

October 12th, 2011

We recently launched Antenna Magus 3.3. Antenna Magus Version 3.3 introduces some very exciting extensions to Antenna Magus.

  • 6 new antenna topologies
  • A new array distribution in the Array Tool
  • 3 new tools added to the Toolbox
  • Antenna Magus extended to include models for AWR Design Environment
  • Many improvements to the Antennas and Models that are already available.able.

Read more about the added features and?extensions?in newsletter 3.3

Preview of newsletter 3.3

Preview of newsletter 3.3

Author: Robert Kellerman

Version 3.2 released

August 30th, 2011

We recently launched Antenna Magus 3.2. Antenna Magus 3.2 is the 16th product update since the release of Version 1.0. With a growing database of 159 antennas, 10 transitions and more handy calculators added to every release, the product has established itself as an essential tool in any antenna engineers’ toolbox.

Read more about the latest antennas, transition and handy Friis calculator in newsletter 3.2

Click here to read newsletter 3.2

Preview of newsletter 3.2

Author: Robert Kellerman

Antenna Magus 3.1 released

July 6th, 2011

We recently launched Antenna Magus 3.1. This update features 6 new antennas and 2 new transitions. More useful additions are: 3D gain patterns were added as part of the performance estimation, info docs now include summarising thumbnails which indicate the electrical size and typical radiation pattern of each antenna and the array synthesis tool undergone some major UI improvements. Read more in the latest newsletter 3.1

Preview of newsletter 3.1

Preview of newsletter 3.1

Author: Robert Kellerman