Design, analyze, and visualize antenna elements and antenna arrays
Antenna Toolbox™ provides functions and apps for the design, analysis, and visualization of antenna elements and arrays. You can design standalone antennas and build arrays of antennas using predefined elements with parameterized geometry, arbitrary planar structures, or custom 3D structures described with STL files.
Antenna Toolbox uses electromagnetic solvers, including the method of moments (MoM), to compute impedance, current distribution, efficiency, and near-field and far-field radiation patterns. To improve the antenna design, you can use manual methods or use the optimization methods provided in the toolbox. Antenna geometry and analysis results can be visualized in 2D and 3D. The toolbox lets you integrate antenna array patterns into wireless systems for simulating beamforming and beam steering algorithms. The impedance analysis results can be used to design matching networks for integration with the RF front-end. You can install the antennas on large platforms such as vehicles or aircraft and analyze the effects of the structure on antenna performance. You can import STL and Gerber files to analyze a pre-existing structure or export them to share or manufacture your design. A site viewer enables you to visualize antenna coverage on a 3D terrain map using a variety of propagation models, including ray tracing.
Antenna and Array Catalog
Design and visualize antennas using a catalog of almost 100 parameterized elements including different types of dipole, monopole, patch, spiral, fractal, and horn antennas, among others. Add backing structures such as reflectors or cavities. Specify metal properties and dielectric substrates to estimate losses and efficiency.
Design linear, rectangular, circular, and conformal arrays and compute the effect of mutual coupling. Perform infinite array analysis for modelling large antennas.
Antenna Designer and Array Designer App
Rapidly choose and design an antenna or an array that fulfills your specifications. Refine, analyze, and visualize the performance in a few steps, and iterate on geometric and material properties until the results match your requirements.
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and Custom 3D Antennas
Design arbitrary planar (2D and 2.5D) antennas and arrays. Import Gerber files or combine geometric shapes to define the boundary of the antenna, add multiple metal and dielectric layers, insert vias, and specify probe or inset feed points. Generate and visualize Gerber files for PCB antenna fabrication. Import and analyze 3D STL files to optimize existing antenna designs or to describe installation platforms.
Antenna Installation and Large Structure Analysis
Install antennas and antenna arrays on platforms such as cars, airplanes, or ships. Determine the radar cross section (RCS) of large objects for accurate target detection. Approximate large arrays with an infinite number of elements. Analyze infinite arrays over a range of scan angles and calculate scan element patterns.
Tuning, Matching, and Antenna Optimization
Tune the resonance frequency and bandwidth of your antenna by connecting lumped elements to its surface. Use the impedance and S-parameters of antennas and antenna arrays in the design of matching networks using RF Toolbox™.
Apply local and global optimization methods for multiple design variables to improve the performance of your antenna. Speed up the optimization using parallel computing and machine learning techniques such as surrogate models.
Benchmarking and Verification
Analyze antenna elements and arrays using the full-wave 3D MoM. Compute port properties such as impedance and S-parameters, current and charge distribution, and near- and far-field radiation patterns. Compare analysis results with antenna measurements or with state-of-the-art scientific articles.
Import and Visualize Custom Patterns
Import radiation patterns from MSI Planet antenna files (.MSI or .PLN). Visualize far-field and near-field data using 3D or polar plots. Interactively inspect the data and compute antenna metrics.
RF Propagation Models
Compute coverage and communication link properties using 3D geographical maps.
Account for earth diffraction and reflection using Longley-Rice or TIREM™ (Terrain Integrated Rough Earth Model) propagation models. Evaluate coverage in urban scenarios using ray tracing propagation models.
MIMO System Simulation
Determine the correlation matrix between antennas in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems, study the effect of closely spaced antennas on the radiation pattern of phased array systems, and evaluate electrical coupling.
Develop beamforming and beam steering algorithms using radiation patterns of antenna elements embedded within an array. Simulate antenna arrays in RF front-ends while estimating impedance mismatches, coupling, and non-linear effects.
This article on building an antenna from a photo covers segmenting an image, finding geometric boundaries, calibrating antenna size, and analyzing the antenna using full-wave method of moments.