525.618.81 - Antenna Systems

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Spring 2024


This course introduces and explains fundamental antenna concepts for both antennas and antenna arrays. Electromagnetic theory is reviewed and applied to antenna elements such as dipoles, loops, and aperture antennas, as well as antenna arrays. Antenna analysis is presented from a circuit theory point of view to highlight concepts such as reciprocity and the implications for transmit and receive radiation patterns. The importance of two-dimensional Fourier transforms is explained and applied to aperture antennas. Basic array constraints are examined through case studies of uniform, binomial, and general amplitude distributions. The concept of beam squint is explained through examination of constant-phase versus constant-time phase shifters. The Rotman lens is discussed as an example of a common beamformer. The class concludes with an explanation of antenna measurements.

Expanded Course Description


525.405 Intermediate Electromagnetics or 615.442 Electromagnetics or permission of the instructor.


Default placeholder image. No profile image found for Steven Weiss.

Steven Weiss


Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Course Modules on the left menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of ten (10) days with 3 days of overlap for each module. Exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

Topics include wire radiators, linear and planar arrays, loop, horn, and patch antennas. Antenna measurements are discussed in detail.

Course Goals

This course will introduce develop fundamental antenna concepts and use them to analyze basic antenna systems. Physical as well as electrical characteristics are considered for a variety of applications. Examples of actual systems are presented.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Required Software

The students will be required to use FEKO software for simulations of antennas. Details about getting the software will be given in an announcement.  Videos are provided that show how to use the software.

Student Coursework Requirements

It is expected that each class will take approximately 6–10 hours per week to complete. Here is an approximate breakdown: reading the assigned sections of the texts (approximately 2–3 hours per week) as well as some outside reading, listening to the audio annotated slide presentations (approximately 2–3 hours per week), and writing homework assignments (approximately 2–4 hours per week).

This course will consist of three basic student requirements:

  1. Preparation and Participation (Class Discussions) (10% of Final Grade Calculation)

    Each student is responsible for carefully reading all assigned material and being prepared for discussion. The majority of readings are from the course text, which consists of approximately 200 pages. The course will cover many basic topics in the text (e.g., Almost all the material of Chapters 2 and 3, portions of chapters 4, 5, 6, as well as material from chapters 12 and 17. Additional reading may be assigned to supplement text readings.

    As for the discussion questions, post your initial response to the questions by the weekend of that module week and subsequent comments, including responses to the comments of other students, before the end of the module (a Wednesday). Posting a response to the discussion question is part one of your grade for class discussions (i.e., Timeliness). Part two of your grade for class discussion is your interaction (i.e., responding to classmate postings with thoughtful responses) with classmates (i.e., Critical Thinking). Just posting your response to a discussion question is not sufficient; we want you to interact with your classmates. Be detailed in your postings and in your responses to your classmates' postings. Feel free to agree or disagree with your classmates, but please ensure that your postings are civil and constructive.

    The instructor will monitor class discussions and will respond to some of the discussions as discussions are posted. In some instances, the instructors will summarize the overall discussions and post the summary for the class.

    Evaluation of preparation and participation is based on contribution to discussions. Preparation and participation is evaluated by the following grading elements:
    1. Timeliness (50%)
    2. Critical Thinking (50%)
Preparation and participation is graded as follows:
100–90 = A—Timeliness [regularly participates; all required postings; early in discussion; throughout the discussion]; Critical Thinking [rich in content; full of thoughts, insight, and analysis].
89–80 = B—Timeliness [frequently participates; all required postings; some not in time for others to read and respond]; Critical Thinking [substantial information; thought, insight, and analysis has taken place].
79–70 = C—Timeliness [infrequently participates; all required postings; most at the last minute without allowing for response time]; Critical Thinking [generally competent; information is thin and commonplace].
  1. Assignments (25% of Final Grade Calculation)

    Reading assignments as well as readings from the texts and other outside sources will be important sources of material for your assignments.

    In preparing your written assignments, please put the class assignment number and your name on each assignment - even though it will be submitted electronically. Each question should be submitted on a separate page(s) but in the same document. The length of the written assignments varies depending on the complexity of the questions as does the point total for each question. Bear in mind that you are being graded on the process of getting to the correct result. As such, detailed work is expected for each question. It is perfectly fine to send in scanned versions of handwritten work. The purpose of the assignments are to give the students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the course concepts.

    To compute the assignments grade, a running total of points is kept, divided by the total number of possible points, and multiplied by a weight of 25. Usually, 10 points per problem are given. Students are encouraged to work together on assignments. If there is a question on how a particular problem was graded, make a note next to the problem and return it to the instructor. The instructor will look it over and return within one week with any adjustments. All assignments are due according to the dates in the Calendar.

    Assignments submitted after the solutions are passed out are subject to a 50% point reduction. If there are extenuating circumstances, which make it impossible for you to get the assignment submitted on time, it is up to you to tell the instructor before the due date, so that an arrangement can be worked out. Assignments are not accepted later than one week after the initial due date.

    Assignments questions are primarily graded on the conceptual understanding of the problem as well as the correctness of the mathematics. Minor math errors are not penalized as severely as conceptual errors.

  2. Computer Simulations (25% of Final Grade Calculation)

    Antenna software simulations using FEKO software. The course will contain up to 4 modeling assignments that are accomplished using FEKO software. Each assignment is graded out of a possible 100 points.

  3. Exams (40% of Final Grade Calculation, 20% for the Midterm and 20% for the Final)

    The midterm exam will be available in the week of Module 7 and the final exam will be available in the last week of the course. Module 7 will contain instructions as to the duration of the exam as well as when the exam becomes available. Students may use the course text and module materials to complete the exams.

    The exams are evaluated by the following grading elements:
    1. Generally, 4 questions with point totals adding to 100 points.
    2. Each question is graded more heavily on conceptual understanding of the problems as well as the clarity in your writing the process to which you arrive at the final answer. Minor math errors are not graded as heavily as conceptual errors.
    3. Partial credit often depends on detailed answers. It is to your benefit to include the steps that reflect your thinking.
    4. Exams are graded as out of possible maximum score of 100.

Grading Policy

Assignments are due according to the dates posted in your Canvas course site. In general, your grades become available one week after submission.

We generally do not directly grade spelling and grammar. However, egregious violations of the rules of the English language will be noted without comment. Consistently poor performance in either spelling or grammar is taken as an indication of poor written communication ability that may detract from your grade.

A grade of A indicates achievement of consistent excellence and distinction throughout the course—that is, conspicuous excellence in all aspects of assignments and discussion in every week.

A grade of B indicates work that meets all course requirements on a level appropriate for graduate academic work. These criteria apply to both undergraduates and graduate students taking the course.

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10).

100-98 = A+

97-94 = A

93-90 = A−

89-87 = B+

86-83 = B

82-80 = B−

79-77 = C+

76-73 = C

72-70 = C−

69-67 = D+

66-63 = D

Final grades will be determined by the following weighting:


% of Grade

Preparation and Participation




Course Project (FEKO Simulations)


Exams (Midterm + Final)

40% (20% + 20%)

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.