Key Features

  • Rapid design and visualization of antennas using predefined or custom elements
  • Design of arbitrary printed structures (PCB), and Gerber file generation for antenna manufacturing
  • Design of linear, rectangular, conformal, and custom antenna arrays
  • Large array analysis using the infinite array or embedded element pattern approach
  • Port analysis of impedance, return loss, and S-parameters of antennas and antenna arrays
  • Radiation field analysis of the pattern, E-H fields, and beam width of antennas, antenna arrays, and custom data
  • Surface analysis of antenna and antenna array current, charge, and meshing

Designing an antenna and visualizing the analysis results with the Antenna Designer app. Choose from the catalog the antenna that fulfills your specifications.

Antenna Catalog

Antenna Toolbox™ provides a catalog of parameterized antenna elements for rapid design and visualization of metal antennas in free space or on dielectric substrates. You can choose different antenna types and modify their geometrical properties, orientation, and feed point. The resulting antenna geometry can be visualized and inspected in 3D.

The catalog of antenna elements includes different types of dipole, monopole, patch, spiral, Yagi-Uda, and horn antennas, among others. You can add backing structures such as reflectors or cavities to any antenna element, and specify dielectric substrates.

Using the Antenna Designer app, you can rapidly choose an antenna that fulfills your specifications. In a few steps, you can design, analyze, and visualize the antenna performance, and iterate until the results match your expectations.

Starting from your specifications, choose, solve, and design an antenna in just a few steps using the Antenna Designer App. Visualize the simulation results and iterate on the antenna properties to meet the design requirements.

Examples of antennas available in Antenna Toolbox. Clockwise from top left: planar inverted-F antenna (PIFA) on a dielectric FR4 substrate, helix, Archimedean spiral placed inside a square cavity, cloverleaf, birdcage with human head phantom, and horn.

Custom Geometry and Fabrication

With Antenna Toolbox, you can design your own arbitrary planar (2D) antenna or array. You can combine geometric shapes to define the boundary of the antenna, or you can import the mesh generated with MATLAB®, Partial Differential Equation Toolbox™, or other CAD tools. After defining the feeding point of the custom antenna, you can use existing analysis functions to compute port, surface, and field properties, or you can integrate the custom antenna in an array.

If you have an existing printed antenna, you can import its geometry starting from a photo, and analyze it with Antenna Toolbox.

You can create and combine geometric shapes for multilayer printed circuit board (PCB) antennas, with arbitrary feed points, vias, and metal and dielectric layers. After selecting the PCB antenna connectors and choosing the manufacturing service, you can write and visualize Gerber files for PCB antenna manufacturing. Antenna Toolbox streamlines the process of designing, analyzing, and fabricating PCB antennas.

Design and rapidly prototype custom printed circuit board (PCB) antennas. Iterate on your design, solve the PCB structure, and generate Gerber files for antenna fabrication in just a few lines of MATLAB code.

Examples of custom antennas. Clockwise from top left: custom triple slot antenna, custom planar mesh, PCB antenna on two substrates and view of the generated Gerber files for antenna fabrication, photo of a printed antenna and layout generated from the photo.

Antenna array layouts that can be specified with Antenna Toolbox. Linear array of microstrip patch antennas (top left), rectangular array dipole antennas with arbitrary spacing between elements (top right), and turnstile (crossed dipole) antenna built as an array of two dipole elements vertically stacked (bottom).

Antenna Arrays

With Antenna Toolbox, you can design linear, rectangular, circular, and conformal antenna arrays. You can choose the antenna from the available catalog or use custom elements. You can define the spacing between elements, change the orientation of the antennas, and specify the layout of the array.

To speed up the analysis of large arrays, Antenna Toolbox provides the infinite-array approach, which treats an antenna as a cell repeated infinitely on a regular plane.

Antenna array analysis takes into account mutual coupling among elements of the array. You can determine the correlation between antennas in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems, study the effect of closely spaced antennas on the radiation patterns of phased array systems, and evaluate electrical coupling via a multiport S-parameters matrix.

The array analysis results can be used for accurate end-to-end simulation of wireless transceivers from digital baseband to antenna and back, including the effects of the transmission channel. You can use Antenna Toolbox to take into account array gain, directivity, loading, coupling, and other effects introduced by the antennas when simulating radar and wireless communications systems.

Examples of antenna arrays designed with Antenna Toolbox. Clockwise from top left: conformal array of dipole antennas, linear array of four patch antennas, turnstile antenna designed as an array of two dipoles, and the infinite array approach.

Analysis of a meander dipole antenna on a ground plane (top left). The radiation pattern of the antenna at 2.45GHz Wi-Fi bandwidth and an azimuth of 0 degrees with highlighted antenna metrics (top right). A VSWR plot for the antenna shows good matching properties over the bandwidth of interest (bottom).

Analysis, Design, and Tuning

Antenna Toolbox uses the method of moments to analyze antenna elements and arrays. You can compute port properties such as impedances, S-parameters, and voltage standing wave ratios (VSWR) to determine the resonance frequency of antennas or to study impedance matching conditions. In MIMO systems, you can estimate and simulate the effects of coupling between antenna elements by computing the multiport S-parameters of the antenna array.

Current and charge distributions on the surface of an antenna can be computed at different frequencies and then visualized. You can also inspect and control the density of the mesh used for the analysis.

The electromagnetic field can be computed at any point in space and at any frequency, and can be visualized in 3D or in 2D over different planes. The far-field radiation pattern can be used to design isolated antennas and antenna arrays, and you can estimate the effects of adjacent structures by computing the array pattern of antenna elements when embedded in an array.

You can excite an antenna with a voltage source at the feed point, or you can solve the receiving antenna problem and compute the scattering solution using a plane wave excitation. You can connect lumped RLC elements to the surface of an antenna to tune it and improve its resonance.

You can explore the design space and optimize antennas and arrays to fulfill system specifications. For example, you can use Optimization Toolbox™ and Global Optimization Toolbox with Antenna Toolbox to design antennas and arrays with optimized patterns and matching characteristics.

Examples of analysis results obtained with Antenna Toolbox. Clockwise from top left: complex impedance over frequency of a meander antenna, azimuth polar plot of the pattern of a meander antenna, optimized pattern of a Yagi-Uda antenna, magnetic field of two coupled spirals for wireless power transfer.

Analysis of an 11x11 dipole antenna array geometry, taking into account mutual coupling between elements (top left). Array directivity patterns are computed for the H-field and E-field using the embedded element approach and compared with the full-wave solution (top right). A larger array of size 21x21 is computed using the infinite-array approach and compared with the full wave solution (bottom).

System Integration and Simulation

Antenna and array analysis results can be used for the accurate end-to-end simulation of wireless transceivers from digital baseband to the antenna and back, including the effects of the transmission channel.

Antenna Toolbox can be used with Phased Array System Toolbox™ and Communications System Toolbox™ for the design of radar and MIMO communications systems. The complex radiation pattern of antenna elements that are isolated or embedded within an array can be applied in the development of beam forming and beam steering algorithms. With Antenna Toolbox, you can estimate the coupling between antenna elements, account for the edge effects of an array, and simulate MIMO channel performance, including antenna correlation.

The impedance and S-parameters of antennas and antenna arrays computed with Antenna Toolbox can be used for the design of matching networks using RF Toolbox™. The effects of the antenna loading on power transfer and signal-to-noise ratio in the RF front end can be incorporated into the simulation of wireless communication systems using RF Blockset™.

Work with scattering parameters (S-parameters), and import touchstone files in MATLAB so you can manipulate, visualize and save S-parameter files. Use matrix and signal processing to automate RF data analysis.

Example of system-level simulation including antenna array analysis results. From left to right: Phased Array System Toolbox beam steering of the array pattern computed using Antenna Toolbox embedded element approach; RF Blockset model of an 8-element receiver including the S-parameters of the antenna array; received signal constellation taking into account the far-field radiation pattern and the coupling of the antenna elements.

RF Propagation

With Antenna Toolbox, you can visualize antenna sites for transmitters and receivers, inspect communication links, and compute coverage (signal strength), using propagation models for free space, weather, and more.

You can use map-based visualization tools to analyze different scenarios for radar and base station positioning, while accounting for the Earth’s curvature on interactive geographical maps.

Visualization of communications links and transmitter coverage projected on Earth.