Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training

Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training

Course Delivery

This Course is available in the following format:

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GSA Schedule 70 Saving for Government Customers

Course Overview:

Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training – Hands-on

Microwave antennas are indispensable for wireless and RADAR applications in commercial and government environments. This three-day Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training covers the theory and practice of microwave antenna design and test, providing a thorough grounding in their principles and technology. After considering the physical foundations of microwave antennas, we move to discussions of specifications for performance for various designs: primary elements (monopoles, dipoles, slots, helixes, and patches), reflector antenna systems (prime focus and folded optics, center-fed and offset-fed), and array antennas (planar arrays and phased arrays). Array antennas figure prominently in current and future applications and so are considered in detail later in the Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course. Installation of microwave antennas on vehicles, aircraft (manned and unmanned) and vessels is reviewed in detail as there are many timely applications in government and industry.

Innovation in phased array antennas is covered based on case studies in space communications and terrestrial wireless. The integration of microwave principles and digital processing is described in the context of adaptive antennas, including MIMO and Smart Distributed Antenna Systems. Prediction of microwave antenna performance using software modelling tools is reviewed, including techniques for metallic structures and adaptive arrays. Measurement techniques are key to a successful antenna, so we consider the standard procedures for antenna measurement (anechoic near field ranges and far field ranges) as well as innovative approaches like the compact antenna range. Microwave antennas may pose a challenge when being installed on aircraft, ships and vehicles and so we review their integration under such constraints. The Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course wraps up with reviews of recent topics related to microwave antennas, including the NASA SCaN Test Bed on the International Space Station and a UAV case study.

Customize It:

• We can adapt this Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course to your group’s background and work requirements at little to no added cost.
• If you are familiar with some aspects of this Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course, we can omit or shorten their discussion.
• We can adjust the emphasis placed on the various topics or build the Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course around the mix of technologies of interest to you (including technologies other than those included in this outline).
• If your background is nontechnical, we can exclude the more technical topics, include the topics that may be of special interest to you (e.g., as a manager or policy-maker), and present the Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course in manner understandable to lay audiences.

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Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training – Skills Gained:

Upon completing this Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training course, learners will be able to meet these objectives:

• Obtain a fundamental understanding of antennas from both theoretical and practical bases
• Be able to identify the characteristics and designs of antennas in current and evolving applications in microwave and millimeterwave bands
• Understand the means to design and predict antenna performance through principles and actual hardware examples
• Evaluate the capabilities of various types of reflector and array antenna systems
• Consider modern adaptive array technology as applied to several fields
• Learn how microwave antennas can be integrated into various platforms such as vehicles, vessels and aircraft (manned and un-manned)

Microwave Antenna Principles and Practice Training – Course Content:

Theory of Microwave Antennas as related to modern applications

• Electromagnetic radiation, directivity patterns – three dimensional and two dimensional, microwave and millimeter wave regions, quasi-optical design
• Elemental antennas – monopole, dipole, helix, horn, slot, patch
• Linear and circular/elliptical polarization – performance, cross-polarization isolation
• Reflector antennas – illumination, optics, primary and secondary patterns, surface tolerance, pattern integration
Folded optics – Cassegrain, Gregorian, splash-plate/backfire
• Non-blocking structures – the offset fed paraboloid
• Planar array
• Controlled phased array principles
• Antenna requirements and constraints (directivity, gain, impedance, losses, beamwidth, sidelobes, polarization, power handling ability, RFI, antenna temperature, coverage)

Antenna characteristics, design and the selection of antenna elements

• Flyswatter, parabolic and spherical reflector, torus
• Helix designs, circular polarization, microwave polarizers
• Antennas for space communications (area coverage, spot beams, omni)

Microwave antenna mounts, drives and controls

• Az-El, X-Y and hybrid techniques
• Tracking systems – monopulse, amplitude-based (step track)
• Antenna control units
• Ground-based tracking system examples (S and X band)

Understanding the various factors of the integration of antennas on mobile platforms

• Vehicles – signal acquisition and tracking, stability on the move
• Aircraft – low profile installations, withstanding the operating environment, operation at extreme latitude
• Marine vessels – antenna placement above deck, harsh environment characteristics, stability

Special applications in antenna technologies and the associated challenges

• Phased array antenna – active element case study for the Main Mission Antenna
• Combining multiple microwave bands on the same antenna – multiport and dichroic feed systems
• Waveguide lens at 20 GHz
• Spatial multiplexing – adaptive arrays
• Digital processor control – beam to beam coupling
• Multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) – cellular coverage

In depth understanding of beam steering by discussing array antenna systems

• Current active element technology, with solid state amplifiers
• Low loss and low passive intermodulation (PIM) diplexing
• Phase shifters
• True-time delay devices
• Application issues: grating lobes, beam squint, quantization errors, and scan blindness

Antenna modeling techniques

• Modeling of conventional metallic structures
• Modeling of adaptive arrays; discrete transform techniques

Antenna and microwave measurement techniques

• Standard antennas for comparisons
• Antenna gain measurement using directivity as the basis
• Test beds for subsystem and system evaluation
• Anechoic chambers
• Bore sight ranges
• Compact range and near field range
• Satellites, radio stars and other reference sources

Antenna installation issues and solutions

• Operation in difficult environments – high winds, hot or cold temperatures, use and effect of radomes
• Interaction with structures and ground reflections
• Placement to optimize performance or esthetics

RF interference reduction techniques – sidelobe suppression, filtering, cancellation

Review of innovative projects

• SCaN Test Bed on the International Space Station
• Distributed antenna systems
• Discussion of the antennas used in an unmanned aerial system as real life case study in the class

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