Create plane wave excitation environment for antenna or array


The planeWaveExcitation object creates an environment where a plane wave excites an antenna or array. Plane wave excitation is a scattering solution that solves the receiving antenna problem. By default, the antenna element is a dipole. The dipole is excited using a plane wave that travels along the positive x-axis having a z-polarization.




h = planeWaveExcitation creates an environment where a plane wave excites the antenna or array. By default, the plane wave excites a dipole antenna.


h = planeWaveExcitation(Name,Value) returns a planeWaveExcitation environment, with additional properties specified by one or more name-value pair arguments. Name is the property name and Value is the corresponding value. You can specify several name-value pair arguments in any order as Name1, Value1, ..., NameN, ValueN. Properties not specified retain their default values.


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Antenna or array element, specified as an object handle.


For infinite array, support for unit cell analysis is for only transmit scenarios.

Example: 'Element',linearArray

Incidence of plane wave, specified as a three-element real vector.

Example: 'Direction',[0 0 1]

Data Types: double

Polarization of incident electric field in x, y, and z components, specified as a three-element complex vector in V/m The polarization vector gives the orientation and magnitude of the electric field.

Example: 'Polarization',[0 1 0]

Data Types: double

Object Functions

axialRatioAxial ratio of antenna
beamwidthBeamwidth of antenna
chargeCharge distribution on metal or dielectric antenna or array surface
currentCurrent distribution on metal or dielectric antenna or array surface
EHfieldsElectric and magnetic fields of antennas; Embedded electric and magnetic fields of antenna element in arrays
meshMesh properties of metal or dielectric antenna or array structure
meshconfigChange mesh mode of antenna structure
patternRadiation pattern and phase of antenna or array; Embedded pattern of antenna element in array
patternAzimuthAzimuth pattern of antenna or array
patternElevationElevation pattern of antenna or array
showDisplay antenna or array structure; display shape as filled patch


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Excite a dipole antenna using a plane wave and view it.

h = planeWaveExcitation;

The blue arrow shows the direction of propagation of the plane wave. By default, the direction is along the x-axis. The pink arrow shows polarization of the plane wave. By default, the polarization is perpendicular to the direction of propagation i.e. along the z-axis.

Excite a dipole antenna using plane wave. Calculate the feed current at 70 MHz.

h = planeWaveExcitation
cur = feedCurrent(h, 70e6)
h = 

  planeWaveExcitation with properties:

         Element: [1×1 dipole]
       Direction: [1 0 0]
    Polarization: [0 0 1]

cur =

   0.0179 - 0.0040i

Excite a dipole antenna using a plane wave. The polarization of the wave is along the z-axis and the direction of propagation is along the negative x-axis. View the antenna.

p = planeWaveExcitation('Element', dipole, 'Direction', [-1 0 0], 'Polarization', [0 0 1]);

Plot the current distribution on the dipole antenna at 70 MHz.

current(p, 70e6);

Consider a dipole excited by a plane wave.

p = planeWaveExcitation;
p.Direction = [0 1 1];

If you use the above option, any analysis of this antenna will error out as the polarization and direction vector are not orthogonal to each other.

Use the cross-product function to find the appropriate polarization direction of such a wave.

p = planeWaveExcitation;
p.Polarization = cross(p.Direction, [0 1 1]);

Calculate the current distribution of the antenna.


Excite an infinite array using a plane wave.

p = planeWaveExcitation('Element',infiniteArray)
p = 
  planeWaveExcitation with properties:

         Element: [1x1 infiniteArray]
       Direction: [1 0 0]
    Polarization: [0 0 1]



[1] Balanis, C. A. Antenna Theory. Analysis and Design. 3rd Ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Introduced in R2017a