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The electrical characteristics of antennas in their operational environment

Afacan, Gönenç
This thesis investigates the variations of electrical properties of linear antennas mounted on certain platforms, depending on the physical properties of that platform. In this respect, related basic antenna simulations, electromagnetic simulations from primitive to complex models of airframes, and scale model measurements were used. Firstly, electrical properties of monopoles at known environment were examined and basic analyses were performed via an electromagnetic simulation tool, named CST Microwave Studio®. In addition, important aspects of simulation tool were investigated. Then, an F-4 aircraft model was used to observe the electrical characteristics of antennas mounted on it. Using 3D model of F-4 aircraft, realistic antenna placement points were assigned and monopoles were attached to those points. Alternatively, a simplified F-4 model was also used and for two different models, identical simulations were done, followed by accuracy and performance analysis between the results obtained from simplified and exact models. As the outcome of these simulations, certain parameters like impedance, antenna-to-antenna coupling and radiation pattern values were examined. Additionally, change in antennas’ electrical characteristics due to their position over the airframe was investigated. In addition, a 1:10 down-scaled and copper-plated F-4 aircraft model was obtained and equipped with identical antennas. By using the measurements done on this scale model, antenna-to-antenna coupling results of MWS® were verified by measurements. Finally, advantages and disadvantages of using electromagnetic simulation tools and scale model measurements for such antenna studies were discussed.