Sunday, 29 January 2012

Antenna Theory, Analysis and Design

Antenna Theory, Analysis and Design
by Dennis L. Feucht

This comprehensive and extremely well-written book covering many aspects of antenna theory has got to be a classic by this third edition. While some newer books, such as Small Antenna Design by Douglas B Miron (Newnes-Elsevier), cover antennas with some specific emphasis (such as smallness), this book provides broad coverage. It has a presentation style reminiscent of the good, rigorous books from the past glory days of electronics. (The post-WW-II MIT Rad Lab book series is an example.) The author has such a command of the subject matter that it is explained clearly and simply, without having to resort to entertainment or literary gimmicks to keep the reader's attention. The electromagnetic-fields math is still a ponderous argot for some, yet the author does not fill pages with arcane symbolism requiring an epigrapher. The math is there, but not overdone (nor underdone, it appears).
After introducing antennas and defining some basic terminology, the author covers (as does Miron) both linear wire and loop antennas. He expands this to arrays (Chapter 6), including design procedures. More on antenna synthesis techniques follow (Chapter 7). Two Chapters (3 and 8) pause to explain some math methods (radiation integrals, integral equations, potential functions, self- and mutual-impedances) before covering antenna types on a per-chapter basis: broadband dipoles (with matching techniques), traveling-wave, fractal, small, aperture, horn, microstrip, reflector, and smart antennas, eat up much of the rest of the book. As does Miron's book, it ends with a chapter on antenna measurements. Nine appendices pad out the back, where the CD-ROM is found, containing files of models as found in the book.
Now a closing confession: my very positive view of this book is based on a long history of looking through technical books (for instance, at Powell's Technical Books in Portland, Oregon, the largest independent new and used book store in the USA, so they say -- and I believe them) and picking up those sometimes inarticulate tokens of goodness in a book. I have little understanding of antenna theory as such and cannot offer you a probing critique of minutiae in the book. Perhaps that is a benefit in reviewing this (and Miron's) book in that, as a genuine learner, I am drawn in by this book and find its insight rate to be high. I would read it (as I did much of Miron's book) carefully if I really wanted to know antenna theory. I am very glad that my good friend and native Arizonan, Professor Dan Simon of Cleveland State University, and a (long-ago) graduate of Arizona State University, gave me this book when I was in his office last May. (He's a control theorist.) I will consider it a valuable reference book on a topic that I occasionally visit.
The author professes at ASU in Tempe (hinting of a possible connection to Simon), and the book contains problem sets at the end of chapters. If antenna theory is Greek to you, let this Greek (the dedication had some actual Greek writing) explain it to you!

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