Antenna and Antenna Array Fundamentals

Start Date:

12/10/2019 12:00 am

Course Length:



$2090 per person


This three-day course teaches the basics of antenna and antenna array theory. Fundamental concepts such as beam patterns, radiation resistance, polarization, gain/directivity, aperture size, reciprocity, and matching techniques are presented. Different types of antennas such as dipole, loop, patch, horn, dish, and helical antennas are discussed and compared and contrasted from a performance – applications standpoint. The locations of the reactive near-field, radiating near-field (Fresnel region), and far-field (Fraunhofer region) are described and the Friis transmission formula is presented with worked examples. Propagation effects are presented. Antenna arrays are discussed, and array factors for different types of distributions (e.g., uniform, binomial, and Tschebyscheff arrays) are analyzed giving insight to sidelobe levels, null locations, and beam broadening (as the array scans from broadside.) The end-fire condition is discussed. Beam steering is described using phase shifters and true-time delay devices. Problems such as grating lobes, beam squint, quantization errors, and scan blindness are presented. Antenna systems (transmit/receive) with active amplifiers are introduced. Finally, measurement techniques commonly used in anechoic chambers are outlined.

What you will learn:

– Basic antenna concepts that pertain to all antennas and antenna arrays.
– The appropriate antenna for your application.
– Factors that affect antenna array designs and antenna systems.
– Measurement techniques commonly used in anechoic chambers.

This course is invaluable to engineers seeking to work with experts in the field and for those desiring a deeper understanding of antenna concepts. At its completion, you will have a solid understanding of the appropriate antenna for your application and the technical difficulties you can expect to encounter as your design is brought from the conceptual stage to a working prototype.

Course Outline:

  1. Basic concepts in antenna theory. Beam patterns, radiation resistance, polarization, gain/directivity, aperture size, reciprocity, and matching techniques.
  2. RF Field Locations. Reactive near-field, radiating near-field (Fresnel region), far-field (Fraunhofer region) and the Friis transmission formula.
  3. Types of antennas. Dipole, loop, patch, horn, dish, and helical antennas are discussed, compared, and contrasted from a performance/applications standpoint.
  4. Propagation effects. Direct, sky, and ground waves. Diffraction and scattering.
  5. Antenna arrays and array factors (e.g., uniform, binomial, and Tschebyscheff arrays).
  6. Scanning from broadside. Sidelobe levels, null locations, and beam broadening. The end-fire condition. Problems such as grating lobes, beam squint, quantization errors, and scan blindness.
  7. Beam steering. Phase shifters and true-time delay devices. Some commonly used components and delay devices (e.g., the Rotman lens) are compared.
  8. Measurement techniques used in anechoic chambers. Pattern measurements, polarization patterns, gain comparison test, spinning dipole (for CP measurements). Items of concern relative to anechoic chambers such as the quality of the absorbent material, quiet zone, and measurement errors. Compact, outdoor, and near-field ranges.
  9. Software simulation concepts. Discussion and distinction between: Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD), the method of moments (MoM), and the Finite Element Method (FEM.) Some commercial codes that use these techniques.
  10. Throughput and data rates. Various antennas are examined to quantify suitability for data transmission.
  11. Special topics: The class can be tailored to meet the desired needs of the students.
  12. Questions and answers.


If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410) 956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead time. For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410) 956-8805, or email us at


  • Dr. Steven Weiss is lead engineer for antenna development at the Army Research Lab where he as worked since 1989. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in the development of numerous specialized antennas for military applications. Dr. Weiss has influenced and contributed to the advancement of antenna and antenna systems for the Army.

    He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985 (BSEE) and graduate degrees from The George Washington University in 1989 (MS) and 1995 (DSc) both with concentrations in Electrophysics. Dr. Weiss has been a lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University School for Professionals since 2002 teaching graduate level courses in Antenna Systems, Advanced Antenna Systems, and Intermediate Electromagnetics. Dr. Weiss has also taught graduate courses at the Catholic University of America and The George Washington University. Working with Morgan State University, he has successfully co-advised two doctoral students to the successful completion of their studies.

    Dr. Weiss is a fellow of the Washington Academy of Science and is on the board of directors of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES). He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has served in all of the officer positions for the Washington Section of the IEEE. He is a member of USNC/URSI Commissions A, B and C. He is a registered professional engineer in the states of Maryland and Delaware. He has published numerous papers in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation societies’ transactions, letters, and conferences.


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