Antenna Design Genetic Algorithm


For certain classes of antennas, e.g. Yagi-Uda antennas, the design characteristics have no known “best case” numeric values.  That is, if you want to design a Yagi-Uda antenna for a particular frequency, there is no known numeric solution for the width of the dipoles, number of dipoles, and distance between each dipole in order to achieve the highest gain.  Instead, people rely on experimental evidence: the designs of a number of common frequencies have been tested in the field to produce certain amount of gain, so if you know what frequency you’re looking to design for, you go look up the tables based upon what others have tested for.  If you’re looking for an entirely unique frequency, you have to go experiment yourself.

New Approach

I wrote a MatLab program to use a genetic algorithm to modify the parameters of a antenna and eventually “give birth” to a “best known case” antenna based upon forward gain, etc. Currently, it uses NEC2 (Numerical Electromagnetics Code 2) as the processing engine. It writes out a text file to disk, then calls NEC2 to process that file.  This allows us to try a number of unknown antenna designs and permute possible solutions.  It can be run in a distributed fashion, with each machine “phoning home” to a central database which then redistributes the best-known designs to the worker machines.


The output is something like the following, which shows the forward gain of a given design through a set of frequencies

Output from a forward gain analysis


Genetic Algorithm:


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