Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research

Metamaterials research underpins the development of novel antennas
Metamaterials research underpins the development of novel antennas

Enabling modern communication systems

  • Understanding the characteristics of metamaterials underpins the development of novel antennas

Improvements in modern communication systems place increasing demands on the antennas and related components (such as filters) used within them.

Meeting these demands requires advanced performance from these devices which can only be met by the use of sophisticated metamaterials. Understanding the properties of these materials is key to successful novel antenna designs.

Metamaterials exhibit unusual electrical properties allowing, for example, highly directional beams to be produced or high bandwidth operation in small physical spaces.

Producing workable designs becomes an ever greater challenge, requiring advanced simulation tools and experimental facilities as well a high degree of technical competence in the research engineers.

Loughborough has developed world-recognised expertise in this area that extends from the design of specialised antennas to dedicated tools and simulation techniques to enhance them.

Using these resources, antennas for sat navs, GPS location devices, PDAs and specialised applications such as earthquake detectors have been produced and manufactured by an antenna company while the University spinout – Antrum – has developed a range of small, high-performance advanced digital TV antennas which are not dependent on physical orientation.

This work has made the University a focal point for the antenna and propagation community, who meet annually at the Loughborough Antennas and Propagation Conference (LAPC).

Impact

  • Spinout company 

    Antrum designs and develops specialist antennas and microwave devices which can be used in a wide range of applications, including aerospace and defence systems, smart commercial and industrial communications, medical and automotive markets

  • Industry endorsed 

    Novel product development for an antenna manufacturer

  • Embedded in everyday life 

    Antennas for Sat Navs and TVs, GPS location devices, PDAs and specialised applications such as earthquake detectors

  • International conference 

    LAPC attracts members of the global antennas and propagation community and has been convening for 10 years