The Effect of Antenna Shape on Signal Strength

In modern western society, the world economy and large portions of people’s personal lives are driven by wireless communications found in cell phones, radios, GPS, and many other devices and services. These technologies make use of antennas to communicate information across large distances of empty space. The design of an antenna can have an impact on its ability to transmit signal. In search of an ideal design, three different shapes (loop, monopole, and dipole) were tested to determine their relative signal strengths. One antenna was connected to a frequency generator to act as a transmitter, and another antenna (which was manipulated in shape) was connected to a multimeter that measured the voltage generated inside the receiving antenna when the frequency generator was turned on.

After many trials, an ANOVA statistical test was carried out on the data to determine which shape of an antenna yielded the highest signal strength. The loop antenna demonstrated the highest signal strength, while the monopole and dipole were roughly the same, and much lower. The ANOVA test had a p-value of less than 0.0001, which is less than 0.05, the standard barrier of statistical significance, leading, after further analysis using t tests, to the conclusion that the loop antenna had a significantly higher ability to receive signal in the existing experimental conditions.

Research Conducted By:

Stuart Coles
Sterling Heights High School

Francois Corpel
Cousino High School