Antenna Magus 2017 released

March 14th, 2017

We are pleased to announce the release of Antenna Magus Version 2017! This is a major product update that includes new features as well as improved workflow and options.

Some of the highlights of this release are:

  • Over 315 antennas and transitions now available
  • Antenna Magus now exclusively available in native 64-bit architecture
  • For licensed users of CST STUDIO SUITE® it is now possible to license Antenna Magus using the CST License Manager.
  • The relative spacing and distance between array elements may now also be specified in physical distances (e.g. meters or inches)
  • Improvements to the current Specification based workflow.
  • Various performance improvements have been made, impacting specifically on Find Mode and responsiveness when switching between Designs and Prototypes.
  • The Performance Estimation of many antennas have been accelerated and additional Designs and Tweaking options added.

For more information on this release, please visit the Antenna Magus Website or read the Version 2017 Newsletter.

Antenna Magus 2016 released

July 14th, 2016

We are happy to announce the release of Antenna Magus 2016! This is a major release that includes some exciting new features and improvements as well as new antenna and transition designs.

Some of the highlights of this release are:

• Over 300 antennas and transitions now available
• New Specification-driven workflow
• Easily ‘request a new antenna’ or ‘request a new feature’ mechanism
• Improved Find and Design Mode interfaces
• Updated export models and New Connector Library
• Automated design updates and faster estimation

For more information on this release, please visit the Antenna Magus Website or read the Version 2016 Newsletter.

Version 2016 antennas

The new antennas added in the version 2016 release

Antenna Magus Version 5.5 Released

October 7th, 2015

We are pleased to announce the new release of Antenna Magus Version 5.5! In addition to some small feature extensions, this release includes new antenna designs and some exciting new transitions – which are extremely useful when designing feed structures and networks for antennas.

The new transitions are:

  1. Microstrip-to-waveguide transition
  2. Microstrip quadrature-hybrid coupler
  3. Microstrip ‘rat race’ coupler
  4. Broadband microstrip radial stub (band-stop structure)
  5. Coax-to-circular waveguide transition
  6. Coax-to-microstrip line transition
  7. Broadband coax-to-quad-ridged waveguide transition
  8. Coax-to-coplanar waveguide (CPW) transition

and the new antennas are:

  1. Quad-ridged conical horn antenna (QRFH)
  2. Pyramidal horn antenna with spherical Luneburg lens
  3. Pyramidal horn antenna with cylindrical Luneburg lens
  4. 2-by-2 array of sequentially rotated wire helix antennas
  5. Planar elliptical dipole antenna

For more information on this update, please visit the Antenna Magus Website or read the Version 5.5 Newsletter.

Cylindrical Luneberg lens

A 6-layer cylindrical Luneberg lens (cut-away to show layering) with pyramidal horn excitation and 3D radiation pattern.

Folded Dipole – bent and twisted…

October 7th, 2015

Antenna Magus simplifies the task of choosing a suitable antenna. Of course if you simply need a structure that will radiate at a certain frequency – without a specific pattern or impedance requirement – the task is a lot simpler!

I have seen a number of articles and papers where the possibility of using logos as antennas is considered – most notably Apple in the iPhone and Macbook following the 2010 “Antennagate”  scandal. Designing a ‘logo-antenna’ seems quite straight-forward:

1.  Figure out how big the structure should be
2.  Figure out how to excite the structure

… and then see if it radiates efficiently.

How do you go about doing this for a general logo though? If you can start from a well-known antenna that has a similar structure or shape to the logo then (even without extensive EM and antenna knowledge) the principles and guidelines of  the known radiating structure can probably be used as a good starting point to determine how to achieve some form of semi-efficient radiation for the logo.

btfd_3D

To illustrate, we have done a simple investigation using the official Magus logo. The “known” Folded dipole antenna can be morphed into a structure resembling the Antenna Magus logo… essentially a bent and twisted folded dipole. Starting from the Folded dipole designed at 1 GHz (courtesy of Antenna Magus) the “logo-antenna” above was designed.

btfd_s11

And how does this “logo-antenna” perform… quite well! At the 1 GHz centre frequency, the reflection and radiation performance is comparable to the original Folded dipole, with a 14% (-10 dB) reflection bandwidth and a gain of 2.3 dBi at the centre frequency. Nice!

And what about other well known logos?

Some are easy:

While some of the best known logos such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Ford are not that easy to match up… any ideas?

Antenna Magus Version 5.4 Released

May 29th, 2015

We are pleased to announce the new release of Antenna Magus Version 5.4! This release sees the number of antennas available in Antenna Magus grow to 277 and introduces a number of profiled horn antenna types. The new antennas are:

  1. Conical horn reflector (Cornucopia)
  2. Circular polarised circular patch with trimming stubs
  3. Axial-mode wire helix with linearly tapered ends
  4. Axial-mode helix with tapered ends on a conical ground plane
  5. Pin-fed 2-by-2 patch array with underside corporate feed
  6. Profiled corrugated conical horn
  7. Profiled smooth conical horn with dielectric loading
  8. Profiled smooth conical horn
  9. Gaussian-profiled corrugated conical horn
  10. Sinusoidal-profiled (Bowl) corrugated conical horn
  11. Piecewise linear (PWL) spline-profiled pyramidal horn

Read more about these as well as other features and improvements in newsletter 5.4.

Radiation pattern of a profiled horn antenna designed in Antenna Magus 5.4

Radiation pattern of a profiled horn antenna designed in Antenna Magus 5.4

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