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Design and Build of a Dipole Antenna for EMC Testing
This paper discusses a practical approach to the design and build of a sleeve dipole antenna used for ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing. The physical antenna must meet the design specifications related to its input impedance and operating frequency. The design process begins with a simplified theoretical model where rough design dimensions of the antenna are derived. The next step in the design process is the creation of a complex 3D model that more closely represents the antenna that will be built but is still drawn to the rough theoretically derived dimensions. The model is simulated with full wave 3D solver using an optimizer. The optimizer tunes the antenna element lengths to match the desired input impedance as closely as possible over the desired operating frequency range. The optimization results are implemented in a physical antenna which is subsequently subjected to impedance measurements using a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) in an EMC laboratory. Laboratory measurements reveal the fact that despite following a detailed analytical design process and using advanced simulation software, the actual physical antenna must be tuned to satisfy the performance specifications. The tuning is performed by altering the antennas element lengths until the desired input impedance is achieved over the desired operating frequency range.