UCLA Extension

Fundamentals of Antenna Theory, Engineering, and Applications

This course provides fundamental aspects of antenna theory, engineering, and applications. Starting with Maxwell’s equations, techniques for the determination of antenna radiation patterns, directivity, gain, polarization, and impednce are presented. Link equation between transmitting and receiving antennas is discussed. Simple formulas are presented to help participants perform quick evaluations of antenna key parameters. Ample examples are also provided to help participants to fully appreciate the essential radiation features of antennas. Dipole, loop, patch, helical, array, horn, and reflector antennas are discussed as representative examples. Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding applicable to engineering applications.

The course is intended for engineers, engineering managers, and practicing antenna technicians who need to quickly and fundamentally understand the principles of antenna engineering.


The following experience is useful: understating vector calculus, some knowledge of Maxwell’s equations, electrical engineering principles; and bachelor’s or master’s degree-level mathematics.

Course Materials

The text, Antenna Theory and Design, W.L. Stutzman and G.A. Thiele (Artech House, 1997), and a comprehensive set of notes in PowerPoint format are distributed on the first day of the course. These notes cover all the material presented in the class. Similar course material has been successfully used in one of the antenna courses at UCLA.

Coordinator and Instructor

Yahya Rahmat-Samii, PhD, Distinguished Professor; holder of the Northrop-Grumman Chair in Electromagnetics; member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE); and past chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering, UCLA. Before joining UCLA, Professor Rahmat-Samii was a senior research scientist at California Institute of Technology/NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His pioneering research contributions cover diverse areas of modern analyses, designs, optimizations, and measurements in electromagnetics engineering and antennas. Many of his original concepts have been used in NASA’s planetary and earth observation missions and commercial personal communication systems.

Dr. Rahmat-Samii was the elected 1995 president of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and also appointed an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer presenting lectures internationally. He is the current Chairman of the U.S. National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (USNC-URSI), 2009-2011. He was elected as a Fellow of IEEE in 1985, a Fellow of IAE in 1986, and the Edmond S. Gillespie Fellow of AMTA in 2007. He also served as the vice president of AMTA.

Dr. Rahmat-Samii has authored and co-authored over 800 technical journal articles and conference papers; has written 30 book chapters; and is the author of four books: Electromagnetic Band Gap Structures in Antenna Engineering, Implanted Antennas in Medical Wireless Communications, Electromagnetic Optimization by Genetic Algorithms, and Impedance Boundary Conditions in Electromagnetics. He is also the holder of several patents and has received numerous awards, including the 1992 and 1995 Wheeler Best Application Prize Paper Award for his papers published in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Transactions, 1999 University of Illinois ECE Distinguished Alumni Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and AMTA’2000 Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2001, Dr. Rahmat-Samii was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Physics from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In 2001, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. In 2002, he received the Technical Excellence Award from JPL and in 2005 was the recipient of the URSI Booker Gold Medal. He was the recipient of the 2007 Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society. In 2009, he was selected to receive the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society highest award, Distinguished Achievement Award, for his outstanding career contributions. Dr. Rahmat-Samii is the designer of the IEEE AP-S logo which is displayed on all IEEE AP-S publications.

Course Program


  • Antenna history
  • Antenna research frontiers

Fundamentals of Electromagnetics

  • An overview of vector calculus
  • Maxwell’s equations in integral and differential forms
  • Wave equations and their solutions
  • Vector potentials as essential tools for characterizing radiation patterns
  • Near field and far fields

Basic Antenna Concepts

  • Radiation from an ideal dipole
  • Directivity and gain of an antenna
  • Input impedance and radiation resistance of an antenna
  • Plane wave and polarizations
  • Antenna classifications

Simple Radiating Systems and Antenna Practice

  • Dipole and monopole
  • Small loop
  • Reciprocity
  • Antenna in receiving modes
  • Communication links
  • Radar cross section

Fundamentals of Antenna Arrays

  • Basic concept in antenna arrays
  • Array pattern and array factor
  • Uniform array
  • Pattern multiplication
  • Non-uniform array
  • Scanned beams and feed networks

Resonant Antennas

  • Dipole antennas
  • Yagi-Uda antenna
  • Large loop
  • EM theorem: image theory
  • Microstrip antennas

Broadband Antennas

  • Helical antennas
  • Spiral antennas and log-periodic antennas
  • UWB antennas

Aperture Antennas

  • EM theorem: equivalence theorem
  • Horn antennas
  • Reflector antennas

Other Topics

  • Antenna numerical techniques
  • Antenna measurement techniques

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815