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An Antenna is an electrical device used in the field of radio and electronics to convert electrical power into radio wave. An Antenna works by radiating the energy from the current supplied by a radio transmitter or radio receiver to its terminal as an electromagnetic waves. For the antenna to generate currents at its terminals, it interprets the electromagnetic wave that is amplified by the receiver. Antennas are used to transmit and receive radio signal, and as such are vital in equipment that use radio technology. They are used in devices such as cell phones, computer wireless networks, satellite communication, TV and radio broadcasting, it can also be used in a whole lot of other communication devices like two way radio, communication receiver and wireless microphones. It is composed of metallic conductors, connected to a transmitter or a receiver.
Antennas are of different types, and technological application, and generally fall into two categories, which are Omnidirectional antennas also called weak directional antennas, these antennas can radiate and receive in all direction, and are used in transmission which the position of the interacting station is not known, and Directional antenna or beam antennas, which are employed when radiating or receiving in a specific direction. An example of omnidirectional antenna is the whip antenna used on cars.
Other examples of Antennas are:
+ Dipole Antennas,
+ Resonant Antennas,
+ Isotropic Antennas,
+ Monopole Antennas,
+ Loop Antennas,
+ Aperture Antennas,
+ Traveling Wave Antennas.
In the design and selection of an antenna, some characteristics features that are used to measure performance are considered. Among these characteristics is the antenna’s power gain or just gain. Power gain is the measure of degree of directivity of an antenna’s pattern of radiation.
Antennas with a high power gain will radiate its power in a specific direction while antennas with a low power gain will radiate their power at a wider angle. To increase the power of power gain its power is channelled in a horizontal direction. Some other characteristics are directional characteristics, efficiency of the antenna, frequency, the impedance of the antenna, polarization, and bandwidth.
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