Variations of Microwave Antennas
When it comes to networks that use microwaves, a crucial element that is never absent is the microwave antenna. There are essentially different types of microwave antennas. The majority of these antenna types are capable of meeting the different mechanical and electrical requirements that you may have. The parabolic antenna is most commonly used for the application of terrestrial microwave networks. There are still other kinds of antennas that are not often used for microwave networks. Examples of these antennas include the flat panel, sector, horn, Yagi, and dielectric lens. Each kind of antenna has certain features that make the most applicable for certain situations and systems. If you want to learn more about your antenna options, this article will serve as a basic guide to microwave antenna types.
As previously stated, parabolic antennas make up as one of the most common microwave antennas. There are essentially two types of parabolic antennas. These two types are the standard performance and high performance. If you look at the standard parabolic microwave antenna, you will notice that a parabolic shaped reflector comes with it, which is spun from an aluminum sheet. Such a parabolic shape is crucial because it helps focus the energy that the antenna gets at its focal point. This particular antenna helps to focus the signal more on a narrow beam. Unlike other antennas, these antennas have high gain from its narrow beamwidth. These antennas are most commonly used for networks that don’t entail the use of a high degree of F/B ratio and sidelobe suppression.
Meanwhile, high-performance parabolic microwave antennas make use of a shroud so that they can boost the front to back ratio and sidelobe performance of the antenna. How the shroud appears is like a shield or a drum. An absorber material called a low-density foam is used to internally line the shroud. Such a material aids in minimizing reflections as well as absorbing specific RF frequency signals. With this high-performance design, side lobes are reduced, allowing antennas to satisfy more specific pattern requirements to reduce interference.
Going beyond high-performance microwave antennas, you also have other antenna designs like the super high-performance or ultra-high performance antennas. To get a slightly elevated performance of pattern, there are modifications introduced into the feed system and antenna. This, thus, entails the use of more absorber material. For areas with high link density, making them more congested, they need these antennas.
Hub or sector antennas are another kinds of the microwave antenna. As the name implies, these antennas offer select areas with a segmented coverage pattern. This type of antenna is often used in the application for cellular communication systems. These antennas also apply to fixed wireless access networks like WLL, ISM, and WAN systems.