Antenna Toolbox

Design, analyze, and visualize antenna elements and antenna arrays


Antenna Toolbox™ provides functions and apps for the design, analysis, and visualization of antenna elements and arrays. You can design standalone antennas and build arrays of antennas using either predefined elements with parameterized geometry or arbitrary planar elements.

Antenna Toolbox uses the method of moments (MoM) to compute port properties such as impedance, surface properties such as current and charge distribution, and field properties such as the near-field and far-field radiation pattern. You can visualize antenna geometry and analysis results in 2D and 3D.

You can integrate antennas and arrays into wireless systems and use impedance analysis to design matching networks. Antenna Toolbox provides radiation patterns for simulating beam forming and beam steering algorithms. Gerber files can be generated from your design for manufacturing printed circuit board (PCB) antennas. You can install the antennas on large platforms such as cars or airplanes and analyze the effects of the structure on antenna performance. A site viewer enables you to visualize antenna coverage on a 3D terrain map using a variety of propagation models.

Get Started:

Antenna Design

Starting from a catalog of parameterized elements or the Antenna Designer app, rapidly compute and visualize impedance and far-field radiation patterns.

Antenna Catalog

Design and visualize antennas using a catalog of parameterized elements including different types of dipole, monopole, patch, spiral, fractal, and horn antennas, among others. Add backing structures such as reflectors or cavities and specify dielectric substrates.

Antenna Designer App

Rapidly choose and design an antenna that fulfills your specifications. Refine, analyze, and visualize the antenna’s performance in a few steps, and iterate until the results match your requirements.

Wideband spiral antenna designed with the Antenna Designer app.

Array Design

Design linear, rectangular, circular, and conformal antenna arrays. Take into account mutual coupling and edge effects using S-parameters and embedded element radiation patterns.

Array Catalog

Design antenna arrays by choosing antennas from the catalog or defining custom elements. Use multiple instances of the same antenna element or define a heterogenous array.

Mutual Coupling

Determine the correlation matrix between antennas in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems, study the effect of closely spaced antennas on the radiation pattern of phased array systems, and evaluate electrical coupling via multiport S-parameters matrices.

Examples of antenna arrays designed with Antenna Toolbox.

Custom Geometry and Fabrication

Design arbitrary planar antennas or antenna arrays and generate Gerber files for rapid prototyping and fabrication.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Antennas

Design arbitrary planar (2D and 2.5D) antennas and arrays. Combine geometric shapes to define the boundary of the antenna, add multiple dielectric layers, insert vias to connect metal layers, and specify probe or inset feed points.

Gerber File Generation

Generate and visualize Gerber files for PCB antenna fabrication. Select the connectors and choose the manufacturing service to rapidly prototype your PCB antenna.

Microstrip-fed slot antenna designed and prototyped with Antenna Toolbox.

Platform-Installed Antennas and Large Structures

Import CAD files describing large structures such as planes, ships, or cars. Install antennas on a platform to analyze the effect on performance.

Large Structures

Approximate large arrays with an infinite number of elements. Analyze infinite arrays over a range of scan angles and calculate scan element patterns. Approximate large installation platforms and backing structures with an infinite ground plane.

Radiation pattern of a parabolic reflector and dipole exciter.

Antenna Installation on Platforms

Install antennas and antenna arrays on platforms such as cars, airplanes, or ships. Analyze the effect of the large structure on the antenna performance using physical optics in conjunction with the method of moments.

A plane structure described with an STL file used as the antenna installation platform.

RF Propagation

Visualize coverage and communication links on a 3D terrain map using different propagation models.


Evaluate antenna sites for transmitters and receivers, plot communication links, and visualize coverage and signal strength. Use 3D interactive geographical maps to analyze different scenarios for radar and base station positioning.

Communications links and transmitter coverage projected on Earth.

RF Propagation Models

Compute coverage and communication link properties using propagation models for free space and weather effects. Account for earth diffraction and reflection using Longley-Rice or TIREM™ (Terrain Integrated Rough Earth Model) propagation models.

Radiation Pattern Files

Import, export, and interactively visualize near- and far-field radiation patterns using 3D or polar plots.

Import and Visualize Custom Patterns

Import radiation patterns from MSI Planet antenna files (.MSI or .PLN). Visualize far-field and near-field data using 3D or polar plots. Interactively inspect the data and compute antenna metrics.

Polar plot and antenna metrics of custom data.

Analysis, Benchmarking, and Optimization

Analyze antennas with the full-wave 3D method of moments (MoM), optimize their performance, and compare results with measurements.

Method of Moments

Analyze antenna elements and arrays using the full-wave 3D MoM. Compute port properties such as impedance and S-parameters, current and charge distribution, and near- and far-field radiation patterns.

Antenna mesh structure including 3D dielectric layers analyzed with the MoM.

Antenna Optimization

Use local and global optimization methods for multiple design variables to improve the performance of your antenna. Speed up the optimization by using parallel computing and machine learning techniques such as surrogate models.

Yagi-Uda antenna structure optimized for maximum directivity at zenith.

Benchmarking and Verification

Use Antenna Toolbox to compare analysis results with antenna measurements or with state-of-the-art scientific articles.

Simulated and measured peak directivity (reproduced with permission from IEEE).

System Integration and Simulation

Perform end-to-end simulation of wireless transceivers including antennas and arrays. Develop matching networks and estimate the effects of mutual coupling in system simulation.

Tuning and Matching Antennas

Tune the resonance frequency and bandwidth of your antenna by inserting lumped elements on its surface. Use the impedance and S-parameters of antennas and antenna arrays in the design of matching networks using RF Toolbox™.

MIMO System Simulation

Develop beam forming and beam steering algorithms using the complex radiation patterns of antenna elements embedded within an array. Estimate coupling between antenna elements, account for edge effects, and simulate channel performance while accounting for antenna correlation.

Examples of system-level simulation including antenna array analysis results.

Latest Features

Gerber Files Import

Describe arbitrary geometry of PCB antennas for further design and analysis using pcbStack

Surrogate Optimization

Use SADEA optimization method from command line

Antennas and Reflectors

Design, visualize, and analyze ten new elements including Grid, Cylindrical and Spherical Reflectors, Bicone, Discone, Rhombic, and Rectangular Corrugated Horn antennas

Cartesian Positioning for txsite and rxsite Objects

Perform point-to-point RF propagation analysis using a cartesian coordinate system

Ray Tracing Analysis for Cartesian Sites

Use STL files to describe the 3-D environment for ray tracing analysis

See release notes for details on any of these features and corresponding functions.

Using a Photo for Full-Wave Antenna Analysis

This article on building an antenna from a photo covers segmenting an image, finding geometric boundaries, calibrating antenna size, and analyzing the antenna using full-wave Methods of Moments.