Antenna Theory and Design
Catalog Data: 

Graduate Course Information


ECE 584 Antenna Theory and Design              

Course Description: Introduction to the fundamentals of radiation, antenna theory and antenna array design. Design considerations for wire, aperture, reflector and printed circuit antennas.

Credits: 3.0

Lectures:                      available on the web


Class requirements:

                                    1. Two 75 minute lecture sections per week

2. Approximately 2 to-be-graded homework problems per week

3. Two 75 minute exams

4. One take-home project

5. Comprehensive Final Exam


Computer Usage:       Computer assignments for visualization and understanding purposes may be given throughout the course


Assessment of Course Goals:                         

  1. 1.     Through two in-class examinations.
  2. 2.     Through one take-home project
  3. 3.     Through a comprehensive final exam.

Grading policy: Graded work will include exams and homework problems. The following weights will be used to determine your point total:



Exam 1                      20%   (75 min.)

Exam 2                      20%   (75 min.)

Take-home project    25%

Final Exam               25%   (120 min)

Graduate Standing; Prerequisites by Topic: ECE 381

Antenna Theory and Design, Third Edition, with multimedia CD, Constantine Balanis        


Course Learning Outcomes: 

This course give students in ECE the concepts and background necessary to design antennas for a

variety of applications. The course also discusses the engineering trade-offs involved in designing

antennas and microwave systems given other constraints, such as cost and packaging.

  1. Develop the ability to understand a systems level specification of antenna performance and relate the specifications to the various issues and trade-offs necessary to design an antenna to meet these goals.
  2. Develop a working knowledge of several different types of antennas for radar, wireless communications, and space applications.
  3. Develop a “toolbox” of antenna design programs to be able to design several different types of antennas.
  4. To appreciate the diversity of issues required to realize a microwave system design given other constraints such as schedule, cost, and packaging.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to break down a large open-ended design project into smaller components.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate in clear technical language the results of a large open-ended design project.
  7. Develop the mathematical skills necessary to solve real-world antenna related design problems
  8. Explain the operating principles of how an antenna works
  9. Identify several candidate antenna elements that would be suitable for a particular application
  10.  Understand how to formulate Maxwell’s Equations
  11.  Derive the wave equation from Maxwell’s Equations
  12. Determine whether or not a given solution is a valid solution for the wave equation or Maxwell’s Equations
  13. Plot an antenna pattern in dB from a given set of electric field data
  14. Compute basic antenna parameters such as Directivity, beamwidth, and number of sidelobes
  15. Compute various parameters in the antenna link budget equation
  16. Numerically integrate the radiated power given a dataset containing an antenna pattern
  17. Compute variants of the Radar Range Equation
  18. Identify the importance of the vector potential function
  19. Demonstrate “the recipe” using potential functions for computing antenna far-fields from current distributions.
  20. Explain the concept of duality in electromagnetic.
  21. Compute the antenna patterns of an infinitesimal dipole
  22. Identify the reactive near-field, radiation near-field, and far-fields of an infinitesimal dipole
  23. Explain the concept of the far-field and employ the “far-field approximation”
  24. Identify the boundary between the near-field and far-field surrounding an antenna
  25. Identify the “images” of infinitesimal dipoles near conductors. This applies to vertical or horizontal electric or magnetic dipoles near either perfect electric or magnetic ground planes
  26. Define antenna resonance
  27. Determine the input impedance of a finite-size dipole antenna
  28. Compute the reflection coefficient of wire antennas connected to transmission lines
  29. Explain the purpose and uses of an array antenna
  30. Identify the element factor and array factor of an antenna array
  31. Compute the sidelobe levels, beamwidth and directivity of an antenna array
  32. Plot an array pattern and compute the important antenna parameter
  33. Explain array tapering and beam scanning.
  34. Demonstrate calculations on the Schelkunoff unit circle applied to antenna arrays.          
  35. Analyze the impact on performance due to failures or errors in the production of antenna arrays.
  36. Explain the difference between a continuous line source and a discrete antenna array.
  37. Discuss the significant advances in antenna arrays and its historical importance to  worldwide events
  38. Demonstrate how to use EM simulation and design software (High Frequency Structure Simulator, or HFSS).
  39. Evaluate an antenna using HFSS (584 students must modify an existing antenna design in HFSS.)
  40. Describe the Equivalence Principle as it applies to evaluating the far-field of aperture antennas
  41. Demonstrate the Equivalence Principle for rectangular apertures with or without an infinite ground plane
  42. Explain the key differences between a Planar Inverted F Antenna and a microstrip patch antenna
  43. Name three different feeding methods commonly used for microstrip patch antennas
  44. Use IEEE/Explore to search and download technical papers on a certain antenna
  45. Draw a complementary antenna
  46. Write Booker’s relation for complementary antennas
  47. Name three types of reflector antennas
  48. Name three types of antenna measurements

Prepared Date: 
April 2013

University of Arizona College of Engineering