EE 438 is an electrical engineering technical elective course intended for students with a specialization in electromagnetics. This course presents antenna engineering concepts including in-depth studies of various antennas and arrays and computer modeling of antennas for analysis and design. The course has three lectures each week as well as an additional period for demonstrations and discussions of outside lab and computer projects. This course requires EE 330, the undergraduate electromagnetics course, as a prerequisite.

EE 438 begins with a review of electromagnetics which leads into an introduction of antennas. A lecture is given which shows how the evolution of a guided wave on a transmission line eventually leads into a device that can act as a wave launcher or antenna. A series of lectures are then given introducing the various classes and types of antennas. Performance parameters such as input impedance, radiation patterns, directivity, gain, polarization, and efficiency are then discussed. Examples and pictures of many antennas and their respective patterns are shown as part of these lectures.

Next, extensive lectures are given which describe definitions and antenna parameters in detail. Much time is spent on how to visualize radiation patterns and beamwidth. Derivations are carried out for directivity and gain adhering to IEEE standard definitions. Theorems are discussed on the subject of reciprocity and how it can be related to practical measurements of patterns. Another lecture deals with the subject of antenna polarization and cross-polarization. Link analysis is discussed for communication systems and real-world examples are given for its use.

The second half of the course involves extensive study of various types of antennas including center-fed dipoles, monopoles, loops, phased arrays, broadband antennas, Yagi antennas, traveling wave antennas, frequency antennas, and aperture antennas.

Throughout the course, students are introduced to and utilize an advanced antenna computer modeling software package for carrying out assigned projects and use in homework problems. They are also assigned a group design project during the last third of the course where extensive use of the software package is required. Each group gives an oral presentation of the project and the results during the last week of class and turns in a final report.