June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Engineering Physics & Physics
Abstract – The helical antenna has several advantages over other directional antenna types. These include universal polarization, relatively high gain, broad band with respect to both directionality and SWR, as well as relatively simple structure and feed system to name a few. Helical antennas are widely used in space satellite communication as well wireless local area networks. The aforementioned reasons justify why helicals are an important topic for an undergraduate antennas course. This paper will present a student oriented, experimental approach to learning about the axial mode helical antenna. Specifically students design, simulate, build and test their helical antenna. We use software available in the public domain for simulation. Students then construct their antennas using readily available materials and finally test their products using a portable RF analyzer to measure the SWR and radiation pattern. The RF analyzer enables the student to see first-hand that the radiation pattern from their newly constructed helical does indeed match their simulations. In both our empirical testing and simulations, we seek to have the student understand how the three basic parameters of the helical namely circumference, pitch angle, and number of turns, affects its performance. We also look at how dielectric loading can be employed to achieve size reduction. Students also explore helical antennas with differing polarizations (right hand vs left hand) and thereby better appreciate how spatial multiplexing is accomplished. Our approach allows students the opportunity to gain more insight into the characteristics of helical antennas so they can fully appreciate their capabilities as well as their limitations. Student assessment has shown that our approach greatly enhances understanding of helical antenna systems and has caused significant increase in student enthusiasm for selected topics in antennas.
Crilly, P. B., & Corbett, S. P. (2017, June), Using Antenna Modeling Software and an RF Analyzer - A Study for Student Oriented Helical Antenna Projects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29071
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