Madeleine Schilliger Kildal testing antenna system on car at Volvo
Madeleine Schilliger Kildal is working on a measurement setup for testing the wireless performance of cars, in cooperation with Volvo Cars. ​​​​

Antenna systems

Head of Unit: Marianna Ivashina

Members of the Antenna systems research unit

Antennas is an essential part of any wireless communication and sensor system that use the energy of electromagnetic waves to transfer information wirelessly through space. There are many different applications that drive the development of antenna systems. The most known sectors include telecommunications, radars, transport, astronomy and space sciences. Other applications are quantum computers, metrology and biomedicine. Because of this wide range of applications and uses, antennas can operate at a large range of frequencies, from low gigahertz up to terahertz bands. Antennas can be embedded in various and complex environments, from human tissues to space.

The research in antenna systems is strongly driven by new applications, such as the fifth/sixth generation of cellular networks (5G/6G), Internet of Things (IoT), and autonomous systems. These applications aim at connecting devices by gathering and sharing information in real time. This approach will greatly improve safety and sustainability of our society, enable more flexible, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly businesses, as well as enhancing ‘smart homes’ and enable more engaging education. The potential is enormous, and strongly rely on technological innovations, especially in the area of antenna systems. 

There are many actors within the antennas, microwave and terahertz (AMT) area in Sweden. Traditionally, large Swedish industries have been leading the area, particularly in telecommunications, defense and space. Today, several smaller companies have entered the antenna industry. Some of them are spinoff-companies that have emerged from antenna research at Chalmers, e.g. Bluetest AB, Gapwaves AB, RanLos AB, and Metasum AB.

Education programmes

Today, there is a high demand in antenna experts at the wireless communication and sensor industries – both in Sweden and abroad – which strive for the leadership in the emerging future applications such as 6G and IoT.
At Chalmers, we offer specialised education programmes and thesis projects that aim to equip Master's and doctoral students with transferable skills relevant for innovation and long-term employability in this area of new antenna technologies.

Master's programme in Communication Engineering, MSc 2 yrs
Master's programme in Wireless, Photnics and Space Engineering, MSc 2 yrs

Are you interested in doing a Master's thesis within antenna systems? Welcome to send an e-mail describing your area of interest to Marianna Ivashina.

Training experts in key technologies for future telecommunication systems

Chalmers is involved in two major innovative industrial training programs for young researchers in the area of 5G-6G technologies, Silicon-based Ka-band massive MIMO antenna systems for new telecommunication services (SILIKA), and Efficient Millimetre-Wave Communications for mobile users (MyWave). The EU-funded training programs are developed in collaboration with several universities and leading industries in Europe.
Being an active board member of the The European School of Antennas (ESoA), we offer international PhD courses where we extend the fundamentals in antennas to a more advanced content. In these courses we gather recent developments in the mathematical framework for multi-antenna systems (so called signal processing phased arrays, and multiple-input-multiple-output antennas) and unique engineering solutions for the applications with demanding performance requirements, such as those mentioned above.

Research directions

Research on antennas for future applications is highly challenging and creative at the same time. At Chalmers, we are active in the following directions of research:

  • Computationally-efficient numerical methods and software tools for fast designing and optimisation of antenna systems and optimal array antenna signal processing.
  • Mm-wave antenna integration techniques for coupling electromagnetic energy between free space and the sensors/transmitters that are embedded in the network of devices and “things”; Examples of such integration techniques include Antennas-On-Chip and Systems-In-Package in III/V+Si semiconductor technologies.
  • Synthesis and Customized Usage of new metamaterials and meta surfaces that do not exist in nature but can be artificially created by properly manipulating the behavior of electromagnetic waves: Examples of such surfaces have been implemented in low-loss Gap waveguide technology, which enables various high-frequency RF component designs and packaging solutions. These designs enhance frequency bandwidth, spatial filtering capabilities while offering compact and mechanically flexible implementations.
  • Advanced phased-array antenna architectures and optimal array beamforming methods; Examples include 5G/6G Miltiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) array antennas, focal plane arrays, and phased arrays feed for hybrid reflector antenna systems.
  • Ultra-wideband antennas for different applications, including large radio telescopes, Space and Earth observation instruments, sensors, and medical diagnostics systems. Examples of innovative ultra-wideband antenna technologies include decade bandwidth feeds for reflector antennas such as Eleven feed and quad-ridge feed.
  • Antenna Over-The-Air (OTA) measurement methods and platforms, realised with the help of both hardware and algorithms, that can emulate 'real-life' propagation scenarios of electromagnetic waves (e.g. indoor, outdoor) for testing antenna systems, in particular for applications in 5G/6G, and car radars. Examples include antenna anechoic- and reverberation chambers, as well as custom platforms for MIMO testing and Antennas-on-Chip (AoC) measurements.

Successful solutions to these technological challenges require a combination of hardware and software methods, which is nowadays a unified interdisciplinary area. Therefore, modern antenna designers closely collaborate with the experts in active devices and circuits, signal processing algorithms, and advanced processes for manufacturing conducting and semi-conducting materials.

Research projects within Antenna systems
Publications within Antenna systems

Antenna measurement infrastructure ​for education and research

The Millimeter wave / THz antenna chamber is a first-class education-scientific infrastructure that has been put into operation to contribute to further advances of wireless communication and sensor technologies in Sweden and the rest of Europe. The lab is open to students, researchers, and collaborators from January 2021.

Learn more about the antenna infrastructure and how to collaborate with us

Strong c​o​llaboration between academia and industry

Chalmers is a strong academic player within antennas and microwave technologies, both in Sweden and internationally. We are hosting one of the largest consortia in Europe within antennas and microwave technology, consisting of the two competence centres ChaseOn and GigaHertz Centre, funded by Sweden’s Innovation Agency Vinnova. Chalmers is a also a member of Microwave road – a national cluster which brings together industry, universities, research institutes as well as public authorities within antennas and microwave technology. Microwave road is an excellent platform for antenna industries in Sweden to meet students, and for students to find their best employers.

Page manager Published: Fri 18 Dec 2020.