What is Aperture Antenna : Working & Its Applications

We know in a wireless communication system, the antenna is a transducer that changes radio waves into electrical currents & voltages. More particularly, these devices are mainly designed to transmit & receive electromagnetic signals efficiently in a prescribed way. There are different types of antennas available in the communication field like wire, reflector, lens, aperture, microstrip, and array. So this article discusses one of the types of antenna namely aperture antenna and its working with applications.

What is an Aperture Antenna?

An Antenna including an aperture at the ending is known as an Aperture antenna. The best example of this antenna is Waveguide. Here, the aperture may be square, cone, rectangular or circular. Antenna aperture is the area around an antenna where power can be derived from electromagnetic field effects.

It is a multiband ortho-rectified antenna. It’s built according to the Wilson Leaky-tube design, where an array of microstrip transmission lines is wrapped by a large loop. This design yields a compact omnidirectional pattern with good gain and elevation patterns in accordance to the first Hata’s square law.


Aperture Antenna
Aperture Antenna

The effective aperture of the antenna is in a circle shape around the antenna that can be determined through different factors like the available electromagnetic field density and available voltage around the antenna. This antenna size mainly depends on the signal strength transmitted within a single direction. The gain of the wider aperture is high whereas for narrower aperture, it is small.

The efficiency of this antenna can be determined in two ways evaluating one antenna’s aperture to another and measuring the gain & power in watts through mathematical calculations to describe the aperture. The size of an Aperture is a significant factor to consider with an antenna and others include impedance, bandwidth, frequency & beamwidth.

Working Principle of Aperture Antenna

In an aperture antenna, the aperture available on the antenna’s surface will allow the electromagnetic energy to get produced throughout it otherwise to get the transmitted energy & transmit it to the load. The antenna aperture is the area whose orientation is standard toward the direction from where the electromagnetic signal is coming. So this can be done to interrupt the equal power from the incoming electromagnetic signal as it can be emitted through the antenna which is receiving it.

Types of Aperture Antenna

These antennas are classified into three types namely slot antenna, horn antenna, and microstrip slot antenna.

Waveguide Antenna

A Waveguide antenna is mainly useful for radiating energy once the antenna one end is excited & opened at the remaining end. The radiation within the waveguide is higher than a two-wire transmission line The waveguide antenna’s operating frequency ranges from 300MHz – 300GHz, so this type of antenna works in frequency ranges of UHF & EHF.

Waveguide Antenna
Waveguide Antenna

This waveguide through terminated performs as an antenna except a small energy portion is radiated only while a large energy portion will get reflected within the open circuit. The diffraction in the region of the waveguide provides a non-directive radiation pattern & poor radiation.

Slot Antenna

A slot Antenna can be designed by just making a slash on the outside where they are mounted on. Generally, these antennas are used in the frequency range of 300MHZ – 24 GHz. So, these are very helpful in navigating radar generally as an array fed through a waveguide.

Slot Type
Slot Type

This antenna works based on Babinet’s principle of optics, which states that an Infinite plane conducting display is taken & pierced through desired size and shape of aperture then this will be the display of a slot antenna. The slot antenna’s polarization is linear and the antenna fields are approximately very similar to the dipole antenna, except the components of fields are interchanged. Slot antennas are used for radar navigational purposes and also an array fed through a waveguide.

Microstrip Slot Antenna

These antennas have a simple structure and it is also called a practical slot antenna. There is a microstrip feed that is mainly for connecting electromagnetic waves throughout the slot above & the slot radiates. By using this antenna, better isolation can be obtained in between the feed & the metal under measurement.

Microstrip Slot Type
Microstrip Slot Type

This is a low-profile antenna that includes several benefits as compared to other antennas like inexpensive, lightweight, and simple to use with accompanying electronics. These antennas have 2.45GHz of resonance, 0.474 wavelength & 2.35 to 2.55 GHz bandwidth. These antennas are used in spacecraft, satellite communication, mobile communication, aircraft & missile applications because of its low production cost and simple structure.

Horn Antenna

A horn antenna mainly includes a flaring metal waveguide formed as a horn to direct radio waves within a beam. These antennas are used at microwave & UHF frequencies > 300 MHz. These antennas have a high gain of a directional radiation pattern that ranges from 10 to 20dB, in some cases, it is 25dB. The impedance bandwidth of this antenna is wide so input impedance will be change slowly with a wide range of frequency.

Horn Antenna
Horn Antenna

Once the frequency of this antenna increases then the horn antenna gain will be increased. These antennas have fixed physical size and less loss. Thus the directivity & gain are approximately equal. These antennas are applicable in space applications. These antennas have many benefits like operating at a wide range of frequencies, no resonant elements, and wide bandwidth. Please refer to this link to know more about Horn Antenna

Radiation Pattern of Aperture Antenna

The radiation pattern of waveguide type aperture antenna is poor & the pattern is omnidirectional or non-directive. This pattern doesn’t have certain directivity however radiates within all directions, so it is known as a non-directive radiation pattern. The following radiation pattern diagram demonstrates an Omni-directional pattern in a top section view which is also known as s non-directional pattern.

Radiation Pattern
Radiation Pattern

Relation between Gain and Aperture of Antenna

The antenna gain for a fixed wavelength is proportional to the effective aperture. Similarly, the antenna gain for a fixed effective aperture is inversely proportional to the square of the wavelength. The relation between gain and aperture of the antenna can be derived as

Ae = (λ^2/4π)*G


‘Ae’ is an antenna effective aperture gain

Gain – Antenna gain

‘λ’ is the wavelength

‘π’ is 22/7 =3.14159


The advantages of an aperture antenna include the following.

  • Higher radiation as compared to the two-wire transmission line.
  • Omni-directional radiation.
  • Simple construction.
  • Better performance.


The disadvantages of aperture antenna include the following.

  • Poor radiation.
  • VSWR increases.

What is the use of Aperture Antenna?

The applications of aperture antenna include the following.

  • These are mainly designed with different geometry configurations, so these are used in space applications as they are more practical in these applications. Some other applications are,
  • Micro wave-based applications.
  • Surface search radar applications.

Thus, this is all about an overview of aperture antenna, types, working with applications. These antennas are available with an opening through which electromagnetic signals are transmitted or received. The best examples of this antenna are waveguides, horns, lenses, slots, reflectors. These antennas are used in spacecraft or aircraft applications. Here is a question for you, what is the helical antenna?

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