What are Horn Antennas?
Waveguide Horn Antennas are directional antennas that have high gains and can operate at high frequencies with a large bandwidth. Horn antennas consists of a flared waveguide which is shaped like a horn and is ideally used in the transmission and reception of RF microwave signals. It is normally used in conjunction with waveguide feeds and also directs radio waves in a beam. The flared portion can be square, rectangular, or conical. For proper functioning, a horn antenna must be a certain minimum size relative to the wavelength of the incoming or outgoing electromagnetic fields. If the horn is too small or the wavelength is too large (the frequency is too low), the antenna will not work efficiently.
Horn antennas are popular at high frequencies usually above 1 GHz, going as high as 140 GHz. They provide a high gain, low VSWR (with waveguide feeds), relatively wide bandwidth, and are not difficult to make. Horn antennas are used all by themselves in short-range radar systems, particularly those used by law-enforcement personnel to measure the speeds of approaching or retreating vehicles. They also find applications in the areas of wireless communications, electromagnetic sensing RF heating and biomedicine.
These antennas are commonly used as the active element in a dish antenna. In this case, the horn is pointed toward the center of the dish reflector. The use of a horn, rather than a dipole antenna or any other type of antenna, at the focal point of the dish minimizes loss of energy (leakage) around the edges of the dish reflector. It also minimizes the response of the antenna to unwanted signals not in the favored direction of the dish.
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