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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Antennas & Electromagnetics

The Antennas & Electromagnetics Research was established in 1968 with a mission of:

High Quality Research backed up by High Quality Measurements.

In the past 50 years, the centre has been at the heart of technology and innovation in antennas and electromagnetics, collaborating with academic and industrial partners working nationally and globally.

Its research output has made a significant impact to the UK through developing new technologies, supply chains and job creation through spinout activities.

The group consists of 12 academic staff, 8 postdocs and over 50 PhD students. The group, established in 1968, has an international reputation for microwave and THz research including feed and reflector systems for satellite communications, passive and active radar antenna arrays, body centric wireless antennas and propagation, metamaterials, bio-electromagnetics, and recently THz devices and antenna & EM metrology. Antenna Metrology has been a constant research thread throughout the groups history having built an extensive Antenna Measurement Laboratory (AML) including several major antenna test ranges and electromagnetic characterisation facilities, covering the whole RF to THz frequency bands, from 400MHz to 3THz. Supported by 3 full-time professional staff, the facility is arguably one of the most comprehensive among European universities, supporting both industry and academia. QMUL has provided strong infrastructure support through:

  • £1m refurbishment (2011) of the Antenna Measurement Laboratory (AML) and the establishment within the AML of a new Terahertz Laboratory;
  • Rohde & Schwarz ZNA Network Analyser with operation up to 500GHz (£260k, 2020).
  • £1.5m refurbishment of all the groups office space for staff and students (2020);

Plus, in 2018 an EPSRC Strategic Equipment grant for a millimetrewave (40-500GHz) NSI/MI spherical near-field test system and Nanoscribe 200nm resolution 3D printer (TERRA, EP/S010009/1, £1.2m).

Interdisciplinary research interfacing with materials, physics and chemistry, life sciences and medicine has led to new transformative research ideas and clearly shapes its grant portfolio. The group has strong links with industry and its work has raised the international status of UK antenna research attracting many citations and a number of patents (several with BAE Systems). The group has doubled its size over the last 6 years  by attracting talented ECR’s, who, in turn, extend our portfolio of research to: THz spectroscopy for space exploration (Ioppolo); power electronics and battery control technology for Green Energy (Mehran); digital manufacturing of antennas via 3D printing (Castles); and 5G wireless communications (Kelly and Qin). The group has hosted research fellows from the Royal Society and EPSRC.  The group has a current active grant portfolio of over £7M.


From invisible cloaks to improving antenna design - Prof. Yang Hao and his team describe how metamaterials could have an impact in all walks of life.

Our research on antennas for mobile communications includes multiband antennas, multiple antennas for MIMO applications, Ultra wideband (UWB) antennas, semi-smart base station antennas and antennas and radio propagation for body-centric wireless communications.

In the area of metamaterials we study computational electromagnetic models for both active and passive structures. We are studying new nano-materials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes that offer possible advances in antennas and metamaterials.

We are developing software techniques to exploit the concepts of Transformation Electromagnetics, offering such novel devices as flat multi-reflector antennas and cloaking devices. Our research on Terahertz Spectroscopy aims to help scientists visualize structures such as proteins and actively enhance chemical reactions.

In the area of antennas and healthcare we study the interaction of electromagnetic waves with biological tissue, dosimetry, wireless implants and RF sensors for example in blood glucose monitoring.

We also apply CEM to Microwave Electron Tube Devices to understand design of magnetrons with the aim of developing compact high power millimetrewave sources. In the area of metrology we work on near-field measurement, millimetrewave imaging for security and compact antenna test range development.

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We have a comprehensive range of facilities, many of which can be hired by outside organisations. Our facilities include:

  • Antenna Measurement Laboratory – offers comprehensive measurement facilities for investigation and verification of microwave and millimetre-wave antenna systems.

These include:

  • A nine metre millimetre-wave far-field anechoic chamber
  • a Terahertz facility that is unique in the UK offering both coherent vector network analyser spectroscopy up to 325GHz as well as a 0.1 to 3 THz Time-Domain Spectrometer system both housed in a purpose built vibration damped facility.
  • A 0.75-5GHz fully EM screened anechoic chamber provided by Nokia, UK NSI planar near-field measurement range A range of advanced test equipment including an Agilent PNA-X operating from 10MHz-325GHz.
  • Mechanical workshop – provides most of the Group’s prototype manufacturing needs including a developing CAD/CAM capability supported by a NC milling machine and NC lathe.

We have used and developed many methods including:

  • Physical Optics
  • Geometric Optics
  • Geometrical Theory of Diffraction(GTD)/Unified Theory of Distraction (UTD)
  • Method of Moments
  • Modal Matching
  • Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD)
  • Numerical optimisation
  • DGBA - Diffractional Gaussian Beam Analysis
  • PMM - Periodic Method of Moments
  • Correct Modal Matching to Cylindrical and Spherical Modal Matching Technique
  • We also have a wide range of EM modelling tools available such as GRASP 9, CSTMicrowave Studio, HFSS, Feko and Agilent ADS.

 

More

Professor Yang Ha, Head of Antennas and Electronmagnetics Research Group, was the winner of the £300,000 IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize 2015. Professor Hao presented his lecture titled ‘Antenna Engineering in the Era of Big Data’ at IET London on 17 March 2016.