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Reflector Antennas

Reflector Antennas
Dish (small)
Reflector antenna current distribution

Reflector antennas are typically used when very high gain (e.g. satellite transmission or reception) or a very narrow main beam (e.g. secure communication) is required. Gain is improved and the main beam narrowed with increase in the reflector size.  Large reflectors are however difficult to simulate as they become very large in terms of wavelengths.

FEKO is well suited to the simulation of reflector antennas and provides the following relevant techniques:

  • Multilevel Fast Multipole Method (MLFMM): This is an efficient version of the MoM, suited to multi-wavelength structures. This full-wave method yields very accurate results.
  • Physical Optics (PO): The PO high frequency approximation can be used to approximate current flow on the reflector. This technique is generally computationally inexpensive. It is most suited when the feed can be considered decoupled from the reflector. Large element PO (LE-PO) is particularly efficient for reflector antenna modelling. Continuous current flow can be modelled from standard MoM regions to PO regions.
  • Ray launching Geometrical Optics (GO): This is another high frequency approximation method. The GO is even less expensive than the PO. It can take multiple reflections into account at little cost. It is based on shooting and bouncing rays.
  • Uniform Theory of Diffraction (UTD): Computational cost is independent of reflector size, but only flat plates can be considered.

To keep computational costs down further, domain decomposition can be used. The feed antenna is simulated in isolation and the result is then used to replace it with an equivalent source (e.g. radiation pattern or spherical mode point source) when simulating the reflector.


Reflector antenna near fields 200x228
Near-field phase fronts in front of reflector antenn
Additional Information

Additional Information