# Antenna Physical Characteristics

## Antenna Physical Characteristics

The radiation properties of an antenna when represented graphically can be expressed as the radiation pattern of an antenna. By the graphical method, an antenna is surrounded by a sphere, and evaluation of the electric and magnetic fields is done at a distance that is equal to the radius of the sphere.  Generally, it is more fruitful to do the plotting of a field in a number of principal planes in 2D for a polar plot. And the plane that contains the electric field vector is referred to as the E-plane of an antenna.

While explaining the physical characteristics of an antenna, the following concepts are important.

• Power density

Whenever there is an emission of electromagnetic waves from the antenna, the field strength diminishes as it goes away from the source. This change or alteration in strength of electromagnetic waves per unit length is expressed as the power density of an antenna.

• Inverse square law

The inverse square law states that the power density of an electromagnetic waves emitted from an antenna is directly proportional to the total power radiated by the source and is inversely proportional to the squared distance from the source.

• Characteristic impedance

This is the square root of permeability as the numerator and permittivity as the denominator.  This is also expressed as the Zo in free space.

Some of the other important characteristics of an antenna can be enlisted as follows:-

• Maximum usable frequency
• Electromagnetic waves interference
• Distance of skip
• Critical frequency
• Gain of power
• Directivity
• Width of beam
• Ratio- front to back
• Electrical and physical length of an Antenna
• Lobes
1. Minor lobe or side lobe
2. Major lobe or main lobe

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Antenna Physical Characteristics