Antenna gain is a performance indicator gauged in comparison to a reference source. In compliance engineering, antenna gain is measured in decibels over isotropic (dBi), referring to an isotropic antenna — an “ideal” antenna that transmits/receives energy uniformly in all directions, exhibiting a gain of 0 dBi.
In a transmitting antenna, gain describes the antenna’s ability to convert input power to radio waves sent in a specified direction. In a receiving antenna, gain describes the antenna’s ability to convert radio waves (incoming from a specified direction) into electrical power.
This article explains antenna gain and dispels some of the misconceptions surrounding this valuable metric. It also discusses the gain typical of common antenna types and provides tools to calculate vital parameters relevant to antenna gain.
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