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Patch Antenna: modeling with ground plane vs. using PEC boundary condition

Question asked by aeroguy17 on Apr 1, 2014
Latest reply on Apr 10, 2014 by HSLEE
Hello, all,

I am new to EMPro and I have a very limited background in electrical engineering, so please bear with me and be easy with any jargon that I may not understand. I'm an Aerospace Engineering undergraduate student working on a senior design project designing a communications subsystem for a satellite. So what I have is an S-band patch antenna. My question has to do with how I'm setting up the software for simulation. In the tutorial video, it shows a patch antenna being simulated. The guy leaves off the ground plane on the bottom of the antenna and (I guess) models the ground plane by changing the lower z axis boundary condition to PEC (everything else is absorbing). He runs the simulation and gets good results. I took the same file that he was using and ran the simulation and got the same results as he did. But then I decided to see what would happen if I, instead, placed a copper ground plane on the bottom of the antenna and changed the lower z axis boundary condition to absorbing (I figured this would give more realistic results as opposed to having an ideal ground plane). This gave me completely different results. (the gain went from something around 7 dBi to -12 dBi... can't remember the numbers exactly). Am I interpreting something incorrectly? Which method will give me more accurate results? 

On an unrelated note, can someone tell me the quickest way to attach a project file to an email so that it will be easy for someone to open it in EMPro? Which file do I attach? I see an entire folder for each project file and nothing in the folder seems to be anything I can simply attach to an email. Can I zip the whole folder for the project and send it that way?