Courses in 2015

Microwave Components and Antennas (2015)

EEE 5121Z (2015) Microwave Components and Antennas – Class photo

Course Information

Dates: 13-17 July 2014

Course code: EEE5121Z

Venue: Menzies Seminar Room, 6th Floor, Menzies Building (Upper Campus), University of Cape Town

Course Description

This course presents the technology underlying the implementation of the RF and Microwave parts of Radar Systems and Microwave Radio Systems. Although digital components and signal processing are very important for modern systems, high performance RF & Microwave Components and Antennas are key to overall system implementation.

The course requires students to have a good background in Mathematics and Physics, the latter with an exposure to propagating electromagnetic waves. This course will provide some revision, but students may need to carry out extra reading. Students should also be familiar with the use of a computer to carry out calculations: the use of spreadsheets and a programming language is essential. Some packages may be introduced in the course.

Course Handout: Clutter and Detection in Clutter 2015
and Antennas

Course Overview

Specific course topics include:

  • Overview of radar and microwave radio
  • Circuits and transmission lines
  • Microwave oscillators
  • Microwave amplifiers
  • Diodes in switches and limiters
  • Mixers and receivers
  • Antennas

Upon completion of this course, students will be conversant in the important parameters of antenna systems. They will have strong appreciation of the important properties of antennas and will be familiar with antenna systems, whether single elements or array configurations, implemented in many radar and EW systems.


Professor Barry Downing completed an MScEng degree by research into electronically tuned Gunn oscillators in 1970. He then worked for the Plessey Allen Clarke Research Centre as a Senior Research Engineer working with Microwave and Millimetre wave GaAs oscillators and wide band GaAs monolithic low noise and power amplifiers. He completed a PhD part time at the University of Sheffield in 1973. He accepted a company transfer to Plessey South Africa, where he was a senior design engineer responsible for developing transmitters and receivers for fixed point to point and mobile electronic distance measuring systems.

He joined the University of Cape Town as a full professor in 1983 and established a research group in novel Microwave transducers, components and circuits. He was Head of the Electrical Engineering Department for 12 years and a Deputy Dean for 10 years. He retired in December 2010 and he has continued to be actively involved at UCT to date as an Emeritus Professor.

He is presently the Program Convener for the MEng Professional Taught Masters degree in Radar.

Dr. Daniel W. O’Hagan currently works at Fraunhofer FHR in Bonn, Germany. Daniel was an associate Professor in Radar at the University of Cape Town and will occupied the post from mid-2014 to 2018.

Since 2009, Dr. O’Hagan has been employed as a Radar Scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) in Wachtberg, Germany. He has been extensively engaged in passive radar (commensal radar) research. Additional research interests have included VHF radar, antenna array design and beamforming, LPI techniques, low-observable platform design considerations, and bistatic clutter.

Dr. O’Hagan is the Chairman of the NATO Sensors and Electronics Technology group, “Advanced situation-specific modeling and vulnerability mitigation using passive radar technology SET-207”. He chairs a multinational team of distinguished scientists from throughout NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations.

From 2010 to 2013, Dr. O’Hagan has served as the German national representative to, and chairman of, the NATO “Advanced Modelling and Systems Applications for Passive Sensors group SET-164”. He has led research programmes concerning bistatic clutter analysis and studies to determine the suitability of passive radar for particular surveillance roles.

Dr. O’Hagan has been the project-leader on a nation-to-nation Technical Arrangement between Germany (FHR) and Australia (Defence Science and Technology Organisation – DSTO). In 2013, Dr. O’Hagan received a US Air Force Window-on-Science grant and was a visiting scientist at the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB).

He has obtained a Ph.D. in radar from University College London.