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What is an Antenna?

What is an Antenna ?

An Antenna is a transducer, which converts electrical power into electromagnetic waves and vice versa.

An Antenna can be used either as a transmitting antenna or a receiving antenna.

transmitting antenna is one, which converts electrical signals into electromagnetic waves and radiates them.

receiving antenna is one, which converts electromagnetic waves from the received beam into electrical signals.

In two-way communication, the same antenna can be used for both transmission and reception.

Antenna can also be termed as an Aerial. Plural of it is, antennae or antennas. Now-adays, antennas have undergone many changes, in accordance with their size and shape. There are many types of antennas depending upon their wide variety of applications.

Basic Types of Antennas

Antennas may be divided into various types depending upon −

The physical structure of the antenna.

The frequency ranges of operation.

The mode of applications etc.

Physical structure

Following are the types of antennas according to the physical structure. You will learn about these antennas in later chapters.

· Wire antennas

· Aperture antennas

· Reflector antennas

· Lens antennas

· Micro strip antennas

· Array antennas

Frequency of operation

Following are the types of antennas according to the frequency of operation.

· Very Low Frequency (VLF)

· Low Frequency (LF)

· Medium Frequency (MF)

· High Frequency (HF)

· Very High Frequency (VHF)

· Ultra High Frequency (UHF)

· Super High Frequency (SHF)

· Micro wave

· Radio wave

Mode of Applications

Following are the types of antennas according to the modes of applications −

· Point-to-point communications

· Broadcasting applications

· Radar communications

· Satellite communications



There are many types of antennas depending upon the applications

Type of antenna



Wire Antennas

Dipole antenna, Monopole antenna, Helix antenna, Loop antenna

Personal applications, buildings, ships, automobiles, space crafts

Aperture Antennas

Waveguide (opening), Horn antenna

Flush-mounted applications, air-craft, space craft

Reflector Antennas

Parabolic reflectors, Corner reflectors

Microwave communication, satellite tracking, radio astronomy

Lens Antennas

Convex-plane, Concave-plane, Convex-convex, Concaveconcave lenses

Used for very highfrequency applications

Micro strip Antennas

Circular-shaped, Rectangularshaped metallic patch above the ground plane

Air-craft, space-craft, satellites, missiles, cars, mobile phones etc.

Array Antennas

Yagi-Uda antenna, Micro strip patch array, Aperture array, Slotted wave guide array

Used for very high gain applications, mostly when needs to control the radiation pattern