Improving Return Loss of Bi-Conical Antennas  By Mohammed A. Quddus

Abstract:  A method for improving return loss of a bi-conical antenna has been investigated using FEKO simulation.  Simulated results for the conventional and modified bi-conical antennas are plotted as: (1) Return Loss vs. Frequency, and (2) Directivity vs. Theta.  A 3.5dB improvement in return loss for the band, (0.5 - 2.0) GHz, is predicted for the modified bi-conical antenna over the conventional bi-conical antenna.  A comparison of simulated results for the two cases indicates a small reduction in directivity due to the modification, by 0.01dB at the low end and 0.75dB at the high end of the band.


MEC's experience in airborne rigid and flexible waveguides and passive components extends to virtually every military aircraft including the following: A-3, A-4, A-6, A-7, AV-8, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-130/AC-130U, E-2C, E-3A, EA-6B, E-8, EF-111, F-4, RF-4B, F-8, F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18C/D, F/A-18E/F, F-27, F-104, KC-135, P-2J, P-3C, RA-5C, SR-71, U-2, UH-60, Air Force One, FSX, Patriot, PAC-3, Space Shuttle and Tornado


MEC has a unique expertise in multi-frequency horns, multiplexers and millimeter wave components and High-Q filters for radiometry and weather satellites for NASA, JPL, Aerojet, Ball Aerospace, TRW and Hughes. Missile work includes: AMRAAM, COMPASS TIE, Condor, ERINT, Firebrand, Hawk, Improved Hawk, Patriot and TOW

MEC has over 15 years experience in the design, fabrication, and test of microwave and millimeter-wave antennas, feeds, and components for space-based applications. In addition to our internal capabilities in material selection, fabrication, and RF testing, MEC has developed long term relationships with environmental test laboratories to provide vibration, thermal cycling, thermal/vacuum, and launch environment testing of MEC's hardware.

Some of our most recent projects include



Program: NMP DS-J (Deep Space Comet Rendezvous)

Description: MEC delivered two high-gain, dual circularly polarized Ka-band corrugated horn antennas; all RF tests were performed by MEC.



Program: EQS/A MS U-A (Space-based Radiometer)

Description: MEC is currently providing millimeter-wave hardware including hybrid tees, diplexer/feedhorn assemblies and 4-frequency multiplexer/feedhorn assemblies. MEC is responsible for environmental as well as RF testing. MEC’s Q/A Plan for this program is in compliance with NASA Handbook NHB 5300.4 (1B).



Program: Jason (Space-based Radiometer)

Description: MEC is currently providing two three-frequency (one dual-polarized) corrugated feedhorns. MEC has performed all RF testing including pattern testing of 1.2 meter offset reflector.

In addition to these recent projects, note that MEG has provided space-qualified hybrids, multifrequency horns, multiplexers, High-Q filters and other millimeter-wave components for NASA, JPL, Aerojet, Ball Aerospace, TRW, and Hughes in support of programs such as



In shipboard installations, MEC's repertoire includes: AEGIS, LCAC, MK-86, MK-92, NATO Sea Sparrow, Phalanx, SLQ-32, SPG-55, Types 8 & 15 periscopes and WLR-1.

  • LAND

On land, MEC supplies high power combiners and dividers for Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR4) to Northrop-Grumman, and Tri-Band Earth stations to L3, Comsat, Harris, Motorola, AT&T. and CPI (Varian).  


MEC has worked with the major prime contractors in the field, among them in the United States: AT & T, Boeing, GEC-Marconi, GTE, Honeywell, Hughes, IBM, ITT, Intel, Lockheed Martin, L3, LTV, McDonnell-Douglas, Raytheon, RCA, Rockwell, Texas Instruments, Northrop-Grumman and many others. On the international market, we supply Alcatel, BAE, Dassault, Decca, EEV, Elettronica, Ericsson, Fokker, Fujitsu, Hawker-Siddeley, Inisel, Mitsubishi, Plessey, Saab, THALES and Thorn.


From its inception as a supplier of many unique and innovative products, MEC's greatest asset has been a closely knit team of creative engineers, machinists and technicians who are accomplished craftsmen in their trade. Our structure encourages teamwork and has always been based on principles of TQM even before it became fashionable. Our highly responsive management sustains complex programs from design and prototype stages through full qualification, production and subsequent upgrades. MEC has exhibited continuous growth despite a highly competitive environment. This sustained growth is a direct result of the loyalty of our customers and the recognition, which we have earned through our support and teaming relationships.

MEC is classified as a small business; our CAGE code is 06351.


MEC is a vertically integrated and quasi-self sufficient where all key processes are performed in-house giving maximum control over the design and fabrication of the end product. Central to our capabilities is an expert shop with CNC multi-axis machines and lathes, abrasive machining, diamond grinding and tool making. Our fabrication facilities include dip-brazing, welding, waveguide bending, winding, heat treating, chemical treatment, rubber molding and painting. Our testing laboratories include powerful RF vector and scalar systems up to 100 GHz, antenna ranges, high power transmitters, environmental chambers for temperature, altitude, salt fog and humidity. Extensive software and analytical tools are used throughout for CAD, CAM, CAE, synthesis, analysis and simulation to design, produce and optimize our products.

All of MEC's products are passive microwave devices and can easily be customized for specific frequency, power, configuration and environment. The categories itemized below are only meant to suggest common uses of our interwoven product lines. We welcome your inquiries and look forward to working together with you.

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Updated  12/22/10