Antennas and Propagation

2-6 March 2009



Please note that our "Antennas and  Propagation" course is endorsed by the IET and that the CE Office, FEPS University of Surrey is an Endorsed Provider. Endorsement requires the courses going through the IET Quality Assurance process and training organisations cannot claim to be Endorsed without undertaking assessment by the IET.

Please note that we do not charge VAT on this course. It is possible for UK and EU citizens to obtain a grant of £400 towards the cost of this course. Please scroll down for details.



This course is now FULL. We are planning on running another course in November 2009 so please email me if you want to have details.




Price per person, including lunch, refreshments and printed course notes

For IET Members (proof of membership needed)


CEESI offer grants of £400 towards the cost of this course. There is a link from our website for bursary applications. These grants are available for UK and EU-based attendees - subject to certain criteria being met. Click below for further details.


This course is always well subscribed so early registration is advisable. If you wish to make a provisional registration please email the CE Manager on

Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment. This makes the price of this course very competitive!

Some on-site accommodation is available from Monday-Thursday inclusive. See bottom of page for further information.

Discounts are also given for group bookings of 3 or more delegates on the course from the same company. Please phone +44 (0)1483 686040 for further information.

Course Overview

The course is designed to provide an overview of the fundamental principles associated with microwave and RF antennas and propagation. The course will present the underlying theory in an accessible manner, together with techniques for application of the theory to satellite and mobile communications scenarios as well as broadcasting and indoor wireless applications. The course is partly based on a MSc modules taught at Surrey University. Topics include antenna principles and calculations from electromagnetic theory; radio propagation modelling, overcoming channel impairments, antenna design with the inclusion of laboratory demonstrations.



Please note that the University of Surrey reserves the right to update and alter these courses – please check our website for updates


Introduction and Antenna Fundamentals I and II – Dr Tim Brown


An introduction to the whole course and its structure. What is an antenna? Why does antenna design and propagation modelling matter? Examples of applications in this regard. Overview of relevant textbooks in the field.


Brief introduction to Maxwell’s equations, Poynting Vector, Plane waves, Hertzian Dipole. Isotropic radiator. Definitions of gain, radiation resistance, effective area, link budget and far field criteria, impedance and reflection coefficient. Polairsation, Basic wire antennas: dipole, loop. Helix antennas.


Antenna Characterisation Design Lab – Dr Tim Brown and Dr Steven Gao

Brief introduction to how antennas are designed characterised. To have a hands on experience in the laboratory with building and testing a liner wire antenna.


Types of Antennas – Dr Steven Gao

Following the introduction to antennas, this session will cover a brief introduction to the different types of antennas such as a Yagi-Uda antenna, Horn Antenna, helical antennas, microstrip antenna, slot antenna, Reflector Antennas and others.


Wire Antennas I and II – Prof Mike Underhill

Hertzian dipole. Half wave dipole. Folded dipole. Baluns. Resonant and non-resonant antennas. Antenna matching. Arrays, Yagi-Uda, broadside. Rhombic, helical. Mobile Station Antennas: - Monopole. Loading with capacitance and inductance. Loops, Helicals. Planar inverted F antennas. Base Station Antennas: - Vertical gain. Collinear. Sector antennas. Corner reflectors. Printed arrays.


Aperture Antennas - Dr David Jefferies

Reflector antennas, Cassegrain, Gregorian, Offset. Ray optical design. Diffraction theory for far field polar pattern. Gain and pointing accuracy. Rigidity, blockage, profile errors. Noise temperature and effects of rain. Ground station considerations - target tracking. Optics. Feed geometry. Cross polar performance. Satellite antennas - beam forming techniques using multiple feeds. Shaped reflectors. Multi frequency systems. Performance parameters from a systems point of view. Antenna measurements - Pattern, gain, and cross polar measurements. Terrestrial ranges. Near field measurements. Extra-terrestrial source measurements. Noise temperature measurements.

Transmission Lines and Feeders – Dr David Jefferies

Simple wave propagation on transmission lines. Reflection coefficient, SMITH chart, network analyser, balanced and unbalanced transmission, lossy transmission lines, horn feeds, apodisation, power handling.

LABS – Prof Mike Underhill

Demonstration of small tuned loops and log periodic antenna, and microwave can antenna.

Introduction to NEC Simulations – Dr David Jefferies

Introduction to NEC simulations, demonstration of slow wave structure antennas (Zagi, Fishbone)

“Here is one I did earlier” – Dr David Jefferies

This lecture presents original work done by the Lecturer on the invention, simulations and measurements of very wideband antenna structures (up to 4:1 bandwidth at VSWR=2.0), and also the invention and development of slow wave structure Zagi and Fishbone dipoles, with measurements and simulations. It illustrates the kinds of work that can be done with the simple equipment and software packages that we have seen in the Lab demonstration sessions.


Propagation Fundamentals – Dr Tim Brown

Free space propagation, Scales of Variation in Mobile Systems, Path loss, Shadowing, Fast Fading, Plane earth loss, Spherical earth effects, Multipath Effects, Fast Fading Statistics. Reflection - Specular reflection. Fresnel coefficients, polarisation effects. Rough and random surfaces. Refraction - Refractive index. Snell’s Law. Fresnel Transmission Coefficients.


Propagation Modelling – Prof Simon Saunders

Diffraction - Huygen’s Principle. Knife-Edge Diffraction. Fresnel Zones. Tropospheric Refraction. Path profiles - Line of sight versus non-line of sight. Multiple knife edge diffraction.  Tropospheric refraction - N-units. Effective earth radius. Inversion layers and ducting.

Overview of Mobile Systems - Cell Types.

Macrocells - Empirical: power law, clutter factor, Okumura/Hata. Theoretical: Multiple Building Diffraction, COST-231 Walfisch-Ikegami, flat edge. Comparison of theoretical and empirical models.

Shadowing - Statistics. Availability at cell edge and over cell area.

Microcells - Empirical: Dual slope, attenuation factor.

Picocells – Propagation in buildings and other enclosed spaces.


Introduction to Array Antennas – Dr Steven Gao

This session will provide an introduction to the fundamental theory behind array antennas and their structure. This will include linear 1-D and 2-D array antennas.


 Base Stations and Printed Mobile Antennas – Simon Kingsley

Antennas for mobile radio base stations. The relationship between network requirements and antenna design. Antennas for space and polarisation diversity, multi-band arrays and arrays with adjustable tilt. Practical considerations - weather resistance and power handling.

Antennas for handsets and small wireless devices. Problems of size, efficiency and bandwidth, user interactions and SAR. The rapidly increasing pressures of complex device integration. Future directions.


The Lecturers

Professor Mike Underhill MA, PhD, FEng, FIET, FRSA joined the University in 1991 and was formerly Head of the Applied Electronics Research Group and Dean of Engineering. Previously, he worked for Philips Research Laboratories then as Technical Director for MEL-Philips and for Thorn EMI Sensors as Engineering Director. He has been involved in Defence Electronics (mainly H F Radio) since 1961 and EW and Radar and IR since 1980. His current research interests include low phase noise in oscillators and frequency synthesis, low jitter clocks and clock recovery, HF transmitting loops and associated electromagnetic theory, millimetric and satellite borne HF radar and ionospheric sounding. He holds about 50 patents in these and related fields and has published about sixty papers. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering since 1993.


Dr David Jefferies MA,  PhD, MIET, MInstP, CEng, CPhys, is an experienced lecturer and a member of the Institute of Physics. He is also a former editor of the International Journal of Electronics and has worked for Oxford, Stanford, Aberdeen and Nottingham Universities. In the 1980s he ran the Oxford Physics Laboratory’s electronics option course and researched non-linear properties of ferroelectrics. His current research interests include: chaos in electronic circuits, complex systems and parallel non-deterministic computation and has published many papers in these subjects.


Prof Simon Saunders, BEng, PhD, FIET, CEng is an independent specialist in the technology of wireless communications, with a technical and commercial background derived from senior appointments in both industry (including Philips and Motorola) and academia (University of Surrey). He is an author of over 140 articles, books and book chapters, including "Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems", now in its second edition. He has acted as a consultant to companies including BAA, BBC, O2, Ofcom, BT, ntl, Mitsubishi and British Land and was CTO of Red-M and CEO of Cellular Design Services Ltd. Simon speaks and chairs a wide range of international conferences and training courses and has invented several novel wireless technologies. Particular expertise includes in-building wireless systems, radiowave propagation prediction, smart antenna design and mobile system analysis. He currently serves on technical advisory boards of several companies and the industrial advisory board at University College London. He is a Visiting Professor to the University of Surrey and is founding chairman of The Femto Forum. He was recently appointed as a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board.


Dr Tim Brown BEng, PhD, MIET is a lecturer at the University of Surrey who has had several years of experience at the University both as an undergraduate and postgraduate student. During this time as a student, Tim specialised in antennas and propagation through his tuition and industrial experience with Nortel Networks and Nokia Mobile Phones, where his PhD title focussed on diversity antennas at the mobile. After spending over two years of postdoctoral research at Aalborg University, Denmark, he has developed long term experience in antennas and propagation for mobile and wireless applications.


Dr Steven Gao, BSc., MSc, and PhD, MIEEE is a Senior Lecturer in Antennas and RF Systems at the University of Surrey. His research covers antennas, active integrated antennas, smart antennas, electromagnetic modeling, RF power amplifiers, satellite communication and radar. He has published over 90 papers in refereed journals and international conferences, and 6 book chapters. He is a reviewer for many international journals, including IET Proc. Microwaves, Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Trans. on Antennas and Propagation, etc. He is a TPC member, invited speaker and technical session chairman of some international conferences on RF/microwave, antennas and propagation, and EM.


Simon Kingsley BSc, MSc, PhD, FIET, FRAS, MIEE is Chief Scientist and co-founder of the antenna company Antenova Ltd and an Honorary Professor of Antenna Systems at both at Sheffield University and Griffith University, Brisbane. He is the author of many technical journal publications, conference publications and presentations, patents and major technical reports and is the author of a textbook on radar. In 1997 he was an IEE Faraday lecturer and toured Britain with a road show aimed at attracting young people into Engineering. In 2007 Simon received the IET Ambrose Fleming Medal for achievement in Communications for his key role in the field of radio and antennas for mobile communications.

Course Content

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Introduction and Antenna Fundamentals I

Electromagnetics Simplified and Extended


Propagation Fundamentals

Propagation Modelling

Introduction to Array Antennas


Dr Tim Brown

Professor M Underhill

Dr Tim Brown

Prof. Simon Saunders

Prof. M Underhill


Antenna Fundamentals II


Wire Antennas Old and New


Propagaton in the antenna environment - LF to THz

Propagation Modelling

Base Station  Antennas

Dr Tim Brown

Professor M Underhill

Professor M Underhill

Prof. Simon Saunders

Simon Kingsley



Antenna Characterisation and Design Lab


Aperture Antennas


LABS Demonstrations

Propagation Modelling

Printed and Mobile Antennas

Dr Tim Brown


Dr Steven Gao

Dr David Jefferies

Dr David Jefferies and Professor Mike Underhill

Prof. Simon Saunders

Simon Kingsley



15:00-15:30 TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA

Types of antennas


Transmission lines, and feeders,

Introduction to NEC simulations.

Propagation Modelling



Dr Steven Gao

Dr David Jefferies

Dr David Jefferies

Prof. Simon Saunders




“Here is one I did earlier”





 Dr David Jefferies



Updated 10 February 2009


A list of hotels in the Guildford area is available

Currently we cannot offer accommodation for this week on campus. This is a very busy week in Guildford generally so early booking of accommodation is highly advisable!




Price per person, including lunch, refreshments and printed course notes

For IET Members (proof of membership needed)


CEESI offer grants of £400 towards the cost of this course. There is a link from our website for bursary applications. See section on Funding.

Some grants for small UK companies (less than 300 employees) may be available. Please enquire for details.

Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment. This makes the price of this course very competitive!

Discounts are also given for group bookings of 3 or more delegates on the course from the same company. Please phone +44 (0)1483 686040 for further information.

To reserve a place on the above course please complete this Registration Form

Please note that this course books up early so please telephone for availability or preregistration.

Credit Card Payments.

We can accept payment by credit card. However, these take time to process and can hold up registration, particularly in the case of overseas attendees where a VISA application is required. Therefore, when faxing us credit card details please include the following:

We cannot process your card without these details


Satellite Communications is also an element within the unique MSc awarded by the University of Surrey. Suitably registered candidates can obtain MSc credit through this course.

A sample exam paper for the 2002 short course is attached here in pdf format.

Courses currently participating in the Modular Masters Programme are listed below.

* It is possible to gain extra credits on these modules by taking examinations/assignments based on the full Module MSc syllabus.

 (1) Counts as one module.
Registration on the Modular Masters scheme is optional and currently free. In addition to the opportunity to build credits towards a recognised qualification, benefits will include the availability of tutorial support and the opportunity to increase understanding through integrated exercises.

Assessments are mainly by examination with some Assignment content.

All courses are stand alone modules and therefore can be attended on an individual basis.

Students will have up to 4 years to complete their studies.

Pre-registration for the MSc via short courses is currently free, however, a charge of £100 per module is made for the examinations.


CCSR is a post-graduate research centre within the School of Electronic Engineering, Information Technology & Mathematics, running MSc courses in Satellite Communication Engineering, Satellites & Mobile Systems as well as research in:

Mobile Communication Systems Multimedia Systems Networks Digital Signal Processing

CCSR has 60 PhD students in the above area and research grants and contracts worth £5M. It is involved in the Virtual Centre of Excellence in Mobile & Personal Communications and is a major player in EU Framework awards.

CCSR and CSER were recently awarded the 1996 Queens Anniversary Prize for outstanding work in Satellite Communications & Engineering Research and Teaching.

Further Information

For further information and general enquiries, contact the Continuing Education Office

Back to Main Short Courses Page

Updated 10 February 2009 Barbara Steel