How Do Antennas Work Exactly? The Technology Explained

How Do Antennas Work Exactly? The Technology Explained

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Technology, Published On
September 23, 2021

Have you wondered how you can hear a radio station in your car while driving hundreds of miles? Are you puzzled about how you can use a mobile phone to connect with someone hundreds of kilometers away? Antennas are responsible for making all of this possible.

How Do Antennas Work Exactly? The Technology Explained

How do antennas work? This is a problematic issue for most people to answer. Fortunately, we’ve outlined the most important facts about antennas in our guide.

What Is An Antenna?

  • An antenna is a device made of conductive metal (metal that conducts electricity). The conductive metal transmits and receives electromagnetic radio waves.
  • These electromagnetic radio waves are made up of light waves that are invisible to the naked eye. The waves are made up of light waves that are invisible to the naked eye.
  • Consider extending your hand out and grabbing words, images, and information as they pass by. That’s essentially what an antenna (also known as an aerial) accomplishes.
  • An antenna is a metal rod or dish that picks up radio waves. It then converts them into electrical impulses fed into either a television, radio, or phone network. You refer to this type of antenna as a receiver.
  • A transmitter is a kind of antenna that performs the opposite function as a receiver. It converts electrical impulses into radio waves, allowing them to travel hundreds of kilometers even into space.
  • Almost all types of contemporary communications rely on different types of antennae, both receivers, and transmitters.

How Do Antennas Work?

  • The most simple and widely used antenna is a dipole antenna. A dipole consists of two wires equal in length and connected to a receiver or a transmitter at one end.
  • When you apply an alternating voltage to the antenna, the electric charges oscillate along the wire. As a result, these charges shift between positive and negative over time.
  • The electric charges, and the electrons carrying the charges (electric current), generate magnetic and electric waves. These waves carry signals and information through the air at the speed of light.

Charge Oscillations and Created Fields

The number of times per second that the charged electrons travel down the antenna cable is the number of oscillations of charges.

You determine the frequency of the antenna by the charges that oscillate around it. Hertz is the unit of measurement for frequency. One Hertz (Hz) is equal to one oscillation per second.

Its frequency determines the antenna’s size and span. The wavelength and antenna size increase with decreasing frequency.

Antenna Radiation Pattern

  • Radiation patterns are a graphical representation of how you distribute radiated energy in space as a directional product.
  • A dipole antenna’s radiation pattern, for example, is referred to as omnidirectional. This is because the antenna radiates equally in all directions.
  • The directions in which an antenna does not radiate are known as nulls, and the antenna will not be able to receive any signal from those directions.
  • On the other hand, a parabolic antenna, such as a satellite dish, has a directed radiation pattern and is employed in satellite communications. It implies that the antenna only transmits in one direction and must be oriented in a specific direction to receive signals.

Antenna Gain

Antenna gain is another essential antenna property that has to be considered when you install my antenna. It refers to the radiation patterns and defines how much power is emitted in a particular direction.

A simple dipole antenna has less gain than a dish antenna since it only radiates a set quantity of power.

A simple dipole antenna distributes radiation evenly in all directions, while a satellite-dish antenna focuses it in one direction, increasing its strength (gain).

Keep Those Antennae Twitching!

Antennas technology is continually evolving. The need for compact, effective, and low-cost antennas is increasing as electronic gadgets become smaller and more intelligent.

This article barely skims the surface of the crucial subject of ‘how do antennas work.’ It’s just a short introduction to antennas.

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