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Antenna Coursework and Matlab

  1. Jan 12, 2013 #1

    I recently just started a Masters program in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Electromagnetics. I'm also currently working for a large engineering company.

    I'm considering purchasing the student version of Matlab so I can work on antenna problems. What packages should I consider purchasing, such as SimRF and the RF Toolbox? It would also benefit me to learn Matlab, or other simulation software for work.

    Another option is MultiSim from National Instruments. Also, LTSpice which is free.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2013 #2
    You will not be able to do any real world antenna analysis with Matlab,
    you will only be able to work with trivial antennas such as a Hertzian dipole.

    Personally, I don't think there is any value in learning how to do Smith Charts using Matlab when this is probably not the tool you will be using if you do actual antenna or RF design.

    The school you are attending does not provide software packages needed for classes?
  4. Jan 14, 2013 #3
    I'm an doing a distance learning program at the moment. I currently work at an engineering company and am willing to spend around 100 bucks on a nice, student edition sw package.

    I've dealt with Agilent before and they seem to have some great tools.
  5. Jan 14, 2013 #4
    Sorry, I'm not sure what to suggest for that budget.

    You may want to consider checking out NEC2 or EZNEC, both are free.

    These will allow you to analyze real wire antennas (no dielectrics), including ground plane effects, tuning, observing currents, near fields, far fields etc.

    I think you may get a better feel for antennas playing with these vs. plugging formulas into Matlab.
  6. Jan 14, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I second emi_guy's suggestions. There are some inexpensive antenna design/simulation packages out there that will teach you a lot more than trying to use MATLAB for raw calcs.

    Unfortunately the senior engineer at my work who has experience with different levels of antenna sim packages just left on a 1-week vacation. I will hit him up when he gets back, but emi_guy's suggestions are a great starting point.
  7. Jan 15, 2013 #6
    I appreciate the suggestions. I'll be waiting for what your RF engineer suggests!
  8. Jan 15, 2013 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'll check when he gets back, but from the file extensions on some of his antenna simulation files, (*.EZ), I think this it the package:


    There are inexpensive versions $90-$150, and a Pro version for around $500. I think our engineer started with the inexpensive package, and later upgraded to the Pro version after he decided he liked it.

    The package is actually written by a HAM radio guy, and looks to be pretty good quality for the price.
  9. Jan 18, 2013 #8
    Do you want to make antennas or you want to simulate circuits with antennas?

    If you want to make antennas and design them, you should go for Ansys HFSS and try to get some students license(contact them).

    If you want to simulate antennas in circuit, you should get Ansoft Designer SV(student version), its free.
  10. Jan 19, 2013 #9
    I will definitely check out the simulation software package. I did and it seems it's no longer available, Ansoft Designer SV. Do you have a link?

    I will probably get this toolbox from matlab too. http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/4456

    It's free and it's written for one of the books in my class.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  11. Jan 19, 2013 #10
    Since its free I will upload it and send you a link via PM.

    Doing it right now.
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