Predicting Conformal Aperture Gain From 3-D Aperture and Platform Models

Timothy Pelham, Geoffrey Hilton, Evangelos Mellios, Rob Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
508 Downloads (Pure)


Conformal Antenna Arrays are becoming increasingly attractive for aerospace, medical imaging, and 5G communications. While developments in Electro-Magnetic solvers allows accurate conformal array analysis, this study presents a method for predicting the maximum gain pattern for conformal antenna arrays using Standard Triangular/Tessellation Language (STL) models for aperture and obstruction geometry. Using raycasting techniques, the aperture model allows the prediction of the maximum gain pattern in the presence of obstructions. The maximum gain patterns are shown for a conformal antenna array integrated into the curved corner of a building, and a conformal antenna array integrated into the wing leading edge of an aircraft. This technique presents an invaluable tool to assess the viability of a conformal aperture on a structure, while allowing for variation of the structure to assess performance implications for the conformal antenna array. This study shows the increase in maximum beam steering angle of 13 degrees from a purely planar array for the array integrated into a building, and the aeroplane wing leading edge is shown to produce a maximum achievable gain of 41.7dB, which is 1.7dB higher than a conventional nose mounted planar array could be expected to achieve with a greatly increased field of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-703
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters
Early online date7 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aerospace
  • antenna arrays
  • antenna theory
  • conformal antenna arrays
  • mobile communications
  • ray tracing


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