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Thursday 31 January 2019

Third year students were pleased to welcome Arqiva’s Dan Johnston for a talk on antennas today. Dan recently graduated from BSc (Hons) Broadcast Systems Engineering and has been working in spectrum planning for communications infrastructure provider Arqiva since. He kindly came to share some of his knowledge on antenna design with students studying Media Networks and Communication or Broadcast Distribution Technology as part of the final year of their course.

Dan took us through some fundamental concepts such as common antenna designs and their polar responses. We then discussed the trade-offs between bandwidth, gain, directionality and polarization, including how multiple antennas may be combined to produce desired radiation patterns. The talk was particularly timely as Arqiva complete their 700 MHz clearance project to move television and radio channels from part of the spectrum that is to be used for 5G mobile data services. This has meant an overhaul of their transmitter network as channels move to frequency bands that are outside of the existing antenna’s operating range. The domino effect of these changes has been pronounced so it was great for the students and course team to understand more about the technologies and design behind the new network.

Many thanks to Dan for preparing the talk and to Arqiva for releasing him for the morning. Industrial relations are highly valued by the Media Technology programme and its fulfilling when our graduate network is able to help the current undergraduates to develop.