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Vertical polarized VHF- UHF biconical antenna 170 – 1100 MHz with omni directional H-plane pattern.

An omnidirectional antenna is an antenna system which radiates power uniformly in one plane with a directive pattern shape in a perpendicular plane. This pattern is often described as "donut shaped". Omnidirectional antenna can be used to link multiple directional antenna in outdoor point-to-multipoint communication systems including cellular phone connections and TV broadcasts.

The only 3 dimensional omnidirectional antenna is the unity gain isotropic antenna, a theoretical construct derived from actual antenna radiation patterns and used as a reference for specifying antenna gain and radio system effective radiated power. Antenna gain (G) is defined as antenna efficiency (e) multiplied by antenna directivity (D) which is expressed mathematically as: G = eD. A useful relationship between omnidirectional radiation pattern directivity (D) in decibels and half-power beamwidth (HPBW) based on the assumption of a sinbθ / bθ pattern shape is:[1]

 D = 10\log_{10} {\left ({101.5\over {HPBW - 0.00272(HPBW)^2}}\right )} \;\; dB

Practical antennas approach omnidirectionality by providing uniform radiation or response only in one reference plane, usually the horizontal one parallel to the earth's surface.

Common low gain omnidirectional antennas are the whip antenna, a vertically orientated dipole antenna, the discone antenna, and the horizontal loop antenna (or halo antenna) (Sometimes known colloquially as a 'circular aerial' because of the shape).

Higher gain omnidirectional antennas are the Coaxial Colinear (COCO) antenna[2] and Omnidirectional Microstrip Antenna (OMA)[3].

Omnidirectional antennas are generally realized using colinear dipole arrays. These arrays consist of half-wavelength dipoles with a phase shifting method between each element that ensures the current in each dipole is in phase[4]. The Coaxial Colinear or COCO antenna uses transposed coaxial sections to produce in-phase half-wavelength radiatiors. A Franklin Array uses short U-shaped half-wavelength sections whose radiation cancels in the far-field to bring each half-wavelength dipole section into equal phase.

See also


  1. ^ McDonald, Noel, "Omnidirectional Pattern Directivity in the Presence of Minor Lobes: Revisited," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Volume 41, No. 2 April 1999, pp. 63-68
  2. ^ Judasz, T. and Balsley, B., "Improved Theoretical and Experimental Models for the Coaxial Colinear Antenna," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 37 No. 3, March 1989, pp. 289-296
  3. ^ Bancroft R, "Design Parameters of an Omnidirectional Planar Microstrip Antenna," Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, Vol 47. No. 5 December 5, 2005 pp. 414-418.
  4. ^ Johnson, R and Jasik, H Ed., "Antenna Engineering Handbook," McGraw Hill, 1984 page 27-14.


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