Achieving a large gain-bandwidth product from a compact antenna

Affan Aziz Baba*, Raheel M. Hashmi, Karu P. Esselle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a method to achieve high gain (>20 dBi) and wide bandwidth (>55%) from a compact antenna that is less than one wavelength tall and only 2.6λ0 in diameter at the lowest operating frequency. The antenna comprises of an optimized single-layer superstrate, made out of four dielectric sections, and a ground plane, which are separated by an air cavity. The permittivity and thickness of the dielectric sections decrease in the transverse direction. Two-step optimization method was implemented employing a customized full-wave optimizer to optimize the width and thickness of each dielectric section in the superstrate, while maintaining a fixed overall diameter of the antenna. This optimization results in an antenna with a high gain and a large 3-dB gain bandwidth, without compromising on antenna footprint. A prototype of the new antenna having a superstrate with stepped thickness was fabricated and tested. It exhibits a measured peak broadside directivity and a peak realized gain of 20.7 and 20.2 dBi, respectively. Its measured gain-bandwidth product of 5969 and directivity-bandwidth product (DBP) of 6580 are almost three times the best figures for resonant cavity antennas (RCAs). The total area of the new antenna prototype is 5.3λ0 2 and its overall height is 0.89λ0 at the lowest operating frequency. It is significantly more compact and its DBP per unit area and aperture efficiency are significantly greater than those of lens-based antennas. Its measured 3-dB gain bandwidth of 57% is unprecedented for high-gain short antennas, including RCAs. Moreover, over the entire bandwidth, sidelobe levels of the antenna are around -12 and -21 dB in the E- and H-planes, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3437-3446
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Fabry-perot cavity
  • high gain
  • lens
  • radiation pattern
  • resonant cavity antenna (RCA)
  • wide bandwidth


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