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A survey of microstrip antenna elements is presented, with emphasis on theoretical and practical design techniques. Available substrate materials are reviewed along with the relation between dielectric constant tolerance and resonant frequency of microstrip patches. Several theoretical analysis techniques are summarized, including transmission-line and modal-expansion (cavity) techniques as well as numerical methods such as the method of moments and finite-element techniques. Practical procedures are given for both standard rectangular and circular patches, as well as variations on those designs including circularly polarized microstrip patches. The quality, bandwidth, and efficiency factors of typical patch designs are discussed. Microstrip dipole and conformal antennas are summarized. Finally, critical needs for further research and development for this antenna are identified.