Antenna design is a topic which, these days, is subject to much competition and usually requires advanced (and expensive) commercial software to stay ahead of the game. CST and HFSS are two of the market leaders in this field. However, there is still a role for the use of non-commercial and bespoke software. Dr Mackay has written bespoke software for antenna design, including an implementation of Physical Optics for shaped reflector antennas (see PO_userg) and has had considerable experience in the use of CST. He has designed many antennas including spiral and sinuous antennas, lensed antennas, ultra-wide-band ridged antennas and shaped reflector antennas.
We have written bespoke software for designing the radiating front faces of spiral and sinuous antenna for efficient use of the available area for both square and circular apertures and can provide advice on back cavity, balun and radar absorbent material requirements for optimal squint-free performance.
We can also offer advice on more general theoretical and practical issues in antenna design. For example there are frequent demands, mostly from newcomers to the field, for very small antennas that work efficiently at low frequencies (with wavelengths much smaller than the size of the antenna) which are impossible to fulfill. Knowledge of fundamental and practical performance limits is vital at an early stage in a design process. We have contributed to the theory of the fundamental bandwidth limitations of antennas. Dr Mackay may have been the first to identify (see DSTL contract reports, February 2004, Q-par/RT/COM/2/010/3/1.0,“Non-reciprocal transmit/receive semi-conductor screens. First year report” and Q-par/RT/COM/2/010/7/1.0, April 2006, “Non-reciprocal transmit/receive semi-conductor screens. Final report”) that the same rules applying to the Rozanov Brewitt-Taylor fundamental performance limitations of radar absorbers apply to antenna arrays.
Herefordshire has a number of companies specialising in antenna design. For satellite communications (satcoms) reflector and feed design as well as EW high power antenna design see Elite-Antennas. For ultra wide bandwidth (UWB) antennas including spiral and sinuous antennas, test and evaluation see Steatite-Antennas. We can offer consultancy on the design of non-standard antennas of all kinds.