Antennas and Propagation

22-26 November 2010


Please note that the IET has decided to discontinue the IET Endorsed Provider Scheme for all former participants. However, we will continue to offer Early Bird special discounts for IET members provided a current membership numbers is given at the time of booking. We expect this to continue for 2010-2011.


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

This course is popular so early booking is advised.


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.

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.


Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for anyone who is completely new to antennas and/or radio propagation or who has begun working in the area within the past two years and needs to develop a firm grounding of knowledge in the area. Its content will begin with the fundamentals of antenna theory and design, introductory laboratories, basic propagation modelling using visual and interactive material. Later on in the course sessions will be delivered containing knowledge from cutting edge research and innovation  by leading academics, consultants and industrial speakers. It is assumed that those undertaking the course have graduate qualifications or equivalent in science or technology and have competence in mathematics that would be required by such qualifications. Participants working in communications, radar, defence, aerospace and broadcasting as well as other areas have benefitted from this course.


Course Syllabus

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. Polarisation, 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 linear wire antenna.


Types of Antennas and Introduction to Arrays – 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. It will also introduce the concept of array antennas where multiple antenna elements can be combined. This will include 1-D and 2-D array antennas.


Propagation Fundamentals – Dr Tim Brown

Free space propagation, Scales of Variation in Mobile Systems, Path loss, Shadowing, Fast Fading. Reflection - Specular reflection. Fresnel coefficients, polarisation effects. Rough and random surfaces. Refraction - Refractive index. Snell’s Law. Fresnel Transmission Coefficients. Multipath Effects. Introduction to stochastic, deterministic and empirical channel models.


Fixed Link Propagation Models – Dr Tim Brown

Plane earth loss, spherical earth effects. Diffraction and 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. Ducting.


Slant Path Propagation for Fixed Satellite Links – Dr Paul Thompson

This session provides an appreciation of propagation impairments relating to satellite links and focuses on fixed satellite links. The various impairments introduced in the troposphere and ionosphere are presented along with a description of the methods for assessing the impact of these effects. Reference will be made to the course book and appropriate ITU-R Recommendations. Some examples of calculations as well as measurement results will be presented.

Antenna Simulations – Speaker TBC

A lecture on antenna simulations

Wire Antennas Old and New, Small Antennas – 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.


Laboratory Demonstrations – Prof Mike Underhill

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

Laboratory Demonstrations – Speaker TBC

A laboratory session will be delivered by an industrial speaker.

Mobile Systems Overview, Microcells and Macrocells – Prof Simon Saunders

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.

Indoor Propagation – Prof Simon Saunders

Picocells – Propagation in buildings and other enclosed spaces.

Femtocells – Challenges in propagation over a small proximity.


Base Stations Antennas – Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

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.

HF Antennas and Propagation – Brian Collins – BSC Consulting

HF propagation: basics, effects of sunspot number, season, time of day and location, prediction methods.

HF antennas: matching the antenna to the medium, broadband antennas, broadcasting antennas, NVIS antennas, receiving antennas.


GPS Systems Antennas – Simon Kingsley – Antenova

The GPS satellite system and basic location concepts. Different types of antennas, measurement of antenna systems, antenna-radio modules. Integration of antennas into application devices, how to demonstrate application devices

Printed Mobile Antennas – Simon Kingsley - Antenova

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.

Antennas Simulations – Dr Mohan Jayawardene and Marc Rütschlin


This Lecture will give a short overview of modern 3D electromagnetic modelling techniques with a particular focus on the simulation of antennas. A typical design workflow will be presented. The analysis and optimisation of a simple patch antenna will form a starting point upon which several levels of complexity will be added before finally simulating a full four element array with its feed network. During the course there will be an extensive hands-on session which will allow attendees to use a market-leading 3D modelling tool for themselves.


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.


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 Paul Thompson BA(hons), MA, PhD, FIET, FBIS is a Senior Researcher in the Centre for Communications and Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Surrey. He has an extensive background in satellite communications and spent 30 years with British Telecom where he led the Technology Development Division covering a wide range of international communications disciplines. Subsequent to his time at BT he has worked with ERA Technology, developing a range of radio-communications products and was also the UK Director of Teledesic. He currently participates in the standards areas of DVB and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). He is a member of the ISI Steering Committee and manages the SATNEX II programme at the University.


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.


Brian Collins BSc(Eng), CEng, FIET, MIEEE was Technical Director at CSA Ltd where he spent 40 years designing antennas for a wide variety of terrestrial communications and broadcasting applications for major international civil and military users. He currently works with Antenova Ltd on the design of small antennas for consumer devices and operates his own consultancy company which is involved in a wide variety of projects in North America, Europe and Asia. He is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, and is well known as an author and conference speaker.


Dr Marc Rütschlin grew up and studied in Stellenbosch, South Africa. After completing his PhD in Electronic Engineering, he did post-doctoral studies at NIST in Boulder, Colorado, and at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, with a focus on small antenna design and electromagnetic wave propagation. Marc joined CST in January 2007, and currently works as a senior application engineer from CST's UK office in Nottingham.



Dr Mohan Jayawardene completed his PhD at Loughborough University and continued to work at the Centre for Mobile Communications Research (CMCR) as a Senior Research Engineer, focusing his work on antenna designs for the telecommunication and aerospace markets. Mohan joined CST in October 2005, and currently works as the Technical Sales Manager for CST UK Ltd based in Nottingham.


 Course Content - Provisional

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
09:00-10:30 Introduction and Antennas Fundamentals I Propagation Fundamentals Wire Antennas Old and New Mobile Systems Overview HF Antennas and Propagation

Dr Tim Brown

Dr Tim Brown

Prof. Mike Underhill

Underhill Research Ltd

Prof. Simon Saunders


Brian Collins

BCS Consulting

11:00-12:30 Antenna Fundamentals II Fixed Link Propagation Models Small Antennas Macrocell and Microcell Propagation GPS Systems Antennas

Dr Tim Brown

Dr Tim Brown

Prof. Mike Underhill

Underhill Research Ltd

Prof. Simon Saunders


Simon Kingsley

Antennova Ltd.

13:30-15:00 Antenna Characterisation and Design Lab Slant Path Propagation for Fixed Satellite Links LABS Demonstrations Indoor Propagation Base Station Antennas

Dr Tim Brown and

Dr Steven Gao

Dr Paul Thompson

Prof. Mike Underhill

Underhill Research Ltd

Prof. Simon Saunders


Brian Collins

BCS Consulting

15:00-15:30 TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA
15:30-17:00 Types of Antennas and Introduction to Arrays

Multiple Diffraction Models and Examples

Antenna Simulation Indoor Propagation Printed and Mobile Antennas

Dr Steven Gao

Dr Tim Brown

Dr Mohan Jayawardene / Dr Marc Rütschlin

Computer Simulation Technologies Ltd

Prof. Simon Saunders


Simon Kingsley

Antennova Ltd.

19:00     Complemenatary Course Dinner at the Thai Rum Wong Restaurant in Guildford    

Updated 25 November 2009



A list of hotels in the Guildford area is available



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

For IET Members (proof of membership needed)

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

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By reading for a Masters degree on a flexible part-time basis delegates are able to continue with their working careers and still gain a universally recognised qualification.  Antennas and Propagation can also form part of the “MSc in Electronic Engineering” via Short Courses. The purpose of the programme is to encourage those working in industry to continue with their professional development without necessitating an expensive career break.  The modular approach means that students can choose their own pace of study, to fit in with their work commitments. An attendee can elect to undertake assessment for this course should he or she so wish. These assessments are mainly by examination.


15 credits towards the MSc in Electronic Engineering can be awarded once the student has successfully completed the associated with this course. 


Registration for the MSc in Electronic Engineering via short courses is currently free, however, a charge of £100 per module is made for the examinations.



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



A full explanation of how the short course MSc works is given on our website.



CCSR is a post-graduate research centre within the Faculty of Engineeing and Physical Sciences 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

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Updated 19 July 2010