An antenna is another name for an aerial. It is essentially a device for radiating or receiving electromagnetic waves, and is vital in radio communication systems. There is little fundamental difference between transmitting antennas and receiving antennas, since the same antenna is often used for both purposes (as we shall see later when we look at SNG). While some antennas can be as simple as a wire thrown out of a window, for the best performance the right type of antenna needs to be used!

The most important properties of an antenna are its radiation pattern and its gain (magnification of the signal), whether it is being used at the transmitter or receiver. In the case of a transmitting antenna, the radiation pattern is a plot of ...

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