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The objective of this paper is to summarize the work that has been developed by the authors for the last several years, in order to demonstrate that the Theory of Characteristic Modes can be used to perform a systematic design of different types of antennas. Characteristic modes are real current modes that can be computed numerically for conducting bodies of arbitrary shape. Since characteristic modes form a set of orthogonal functions, they can be used to expand the total current on the surface of the body. However, this paper shows that what makes characteristic modes really attractive for antenna design is the physical insight they bring into the radiating phenomena taking place in the antenna. The resonance frequency of modes, as well as their radiating behavior, can be determined from the information provided by the eigenvalues associated with the characteristic modes. Moreover, by studying the current distribution of modes, an optimum feeding arrangement can be found in order to obtain the desired radiating behavior.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007