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Plasma antennas for the undergraduate student

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Physics and Physics Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Paul Crilly United States Coast Guard Academy

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Paul Crilly is Department Head and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He has served as a chair for the ASEE-NE Section and is an ABET PEV. His interests are in antennas and propagation, communication systems and instrumentation.

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Julian Blanco

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Abstract – We describe the theory, practical construction, and experiments of a plasma antenna to radiate VHF wireless signals. The results show that a plasma antenna can be an effective radiator of RF signals with characteristics that favorably compare with a comparable metal antenna. Furthermore, when de-energized, the plasma antenna effectively disappears and thus can be useful when an object equipped with this antenna requires stealth (i.e., undetectable to RADAR). This paper provides a gentle introduction to plasma antennas for undergraduate physics and electrical engineering students who are studying general electromagnetic theory and basic antenna design. Building, measuring and characterizing a plasma antenna will enable experiential learning of not only the plasma antennas, but will also enhance the students’ knowledge of electrical conductivity, dielectric breakdown and quantum mechanics.

Crilly, P., & Blanco, J. (2022, August), Plasma antennas for the undergraduate student Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40390

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