EMC Antenna Fundamentals

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  • Author: Zhong Chen

Selecting the right antenna for the job can be a difficult task. In many cases, manufacturer terminologies and specifications are so varied that it is difficult to compare them. A firm grasp of the basic terminologies and their limitations is essential. The right antenna is an essential part of a test system. Depending on the specific application and the equipment used, one type of antenna may be better suited than another.

The discussion in this article is focused on antennas, which by definition are devices that convert time-varying voltages into a radiated electromagnetic field. The keyword here is “radiated”. Many field generating devices, such as TEM (or Crawford) cells, GTEM, parallel plates, or tri-plates (widely used in automotive component testing), are strictly speaking not antennas. Energies stay within the devices and are not radiated into space.

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