Antenna Array

What Does Antenna Array Mean?

An antenna array is group of antennas connected and arranged in a regular structure to form a single antenna that is able to produce radiation patterns not produced by individual antennas.


Antenna arrays are groups of isotropic radiators of electromagnetic frequency and energy. They provide a solution to the problems caused by single antennas. For instance, the dipole antenna allows better control of direction than an isotropic antenna, but as length the of the dipole increases, control direction may decrease. More control and flexibility can be easily regained for beam direction with a multiple radiator arrangement.

Techopedia Explains Antenna Array

There are two basic types of antenna arrays:

  • Parasitic Array: Used for controlling radar and various other narrow beams such as the microwave communication system.
  • Driven Array: Radiating elements are connected to an energy source and have less loss when compared to parasitic arrays, but still maintain the narrow beam characteristics. The driven arrays are used as search radar antennas where narrow beams are less critical when compared to low losses.

When arrays are arranged in straight lines, it is called a linear array, while antennas arranged in parallel lines on one plane have plane arrays in two dimensions. Numerous planes in a group of antennas results in a three dimensional array. The same orientation results in reinforcement of electric field intensity and ensures polarization in the same direction.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.