EMACS Research Group

Electromagnetics and Microwave, Antenna and Computational Systems

 

The Electromagnetics and Microwave, Antenna and Computational Systems (EMACS) group is focused on postgraduate training and leading research in engineering electromagnetics for high-frequency (HF) applications. The scope is broad and covers design, analysis, modelling and measurement of antennas and passive and active microwave components/systems. It also covers the development of computational electromagnetics methods and tools for improved broad-based and application-specific HF EM simulation.

 

       

Academic and technical staff

Petrie Meyer
Distinguished Professor

Microwave design

pmeyer@sun.ac.za

Jacki Gilmore
Lecturer, PhD

Antenna systems and design

jackivdm@sun.ac.za

/staff/jackivdm/


Dirk I. L. de Villiers
Professor

SARChI Chair in Antenna Systems for SKA

ddv@sun.ac.za

/staff/ddv/

Danie J. Ludick
Lecturer, PhD

Computational electromagnetics and high-performance computing

dludick@sun.ac.za


Matthys M. Botha
Professor

Computational electromagnetics

mmbotha@sun.ac.za

/staff/mmbotha/

Lanche L. Grootboom
Junior Lecturer, MEng

Microwave measurements and imaging

llgrootboom@sun.ac.za


Johann B. de Swardt
Associate Professor

Microwave systems

deswardt@sun.ac.za

Anneke Bester
Measurement Laboratory Manager, MEng

 

annekeb@sun.ac.za


Other team members

Postdoctoral researchers

PhD students

Master’s students

Alumni

Research activities cover the areas of antennas and propagation, numerical methods for solving complex electromagnetic field problems, microwave systems and devices, RADAR and electromagnetic compatibility. More details on the main research focus areas within this division are listed below.

Computational Electromagnetics

HF Metrology and Electromagnetic Compatibility

High Frequency Antennas

Microwave Active Components and Systems

Microwave Passive Systems

SKA SARCHI Research Chair

The research publications from the whole group are listed here. Visit the staff’s personal profile pages for more on their individual publication records.

2019

Journals

  1. CUYT A, LOUW R, SEGERS C, DE VILLIERS DIL. Rapid design and modelling of wideband sinuous antenna reflector feeds through blended rational interpolation. International Journal of Numerical Analysis and Modeling 2019; 32(1):1-14.
  2. FOURIE CJ, JACKMAN K, BOTHA MM, RAZMKHAH S, FEBVRE P, AYALA CL, XU Q, YOSHIKAWA N, PATRICK E, LAW M, WANG Y, ANNAVARAM M, BEEREL P, GUPTA S, NAZARIAN S, PEDRAM M. ColdFlux superconducting EDA and TCAD tools project: overview and progress. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 2019; 29(5):1-7.
  3. HEYWOOD I, CAMILO F, COTTON WD, YUSEF-ZADEH F, ABBOTT TD, ADAM RM, ALDERA MA, BAUERMEISTER EF, DE VILLIERS DIL, ET AL. Inflation of 430-parcec bipolar radio bubbles in Galactic Centre by an energetic event . Nature 2019; 573(7773):235-237.
  4. KENNED RJ, MEYER P. On techniques for optimal noise matching of a class of multimode antenna. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RF AND MICROWAVE COMPUTER-AIDED ENGINEERING 2019; 29 (10):1-11.
  5. KLOPPER B, DE VILLIERS DIL. Efficient impedance response modeling of broadband antenna elements in large sparse-regular phased arrays. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation 2019; 67(4):2809-2812.
  6. NEL BAP, BOTHA MM. An Efficient MLACA-SVD Solver for Superconducting Integrated Circuit Analysis. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 2019; 29(7):1-10.
  7. NEL BAP, BOTHA MM. MLACA With Modified Grouping Strategy for Efficient Superconducting Circuit Analysis. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 2019; 29(5):1-5.
  8. PRINSLOO DSVDM, MAASKANT R, IVASHINA MV, MEYER P. Characterization and performance of an ultra-wideband wide-coverage multimode MIMO antenna. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation 2019; 67(9):5812-5823.
  9. STEEB JW, DAVIDSON DB, WIJNHOLDS SJ. Mitigation of Non-Narrowband Radio Frequency Interference Incorporating Array Imperfections. Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation 2019; 8(1):14.
  10. WIID PG. 2018 IEEE 4th GEMCCon: Stellenbosch, South Africa. IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Magazine 2019; 8(1):82-84.

Conferences

  1. ADAMI KZ, FAULKNER AJ, DE LERA ACEDO E, RAZAVI-GHODS N, PIENAAR H, ABRAHAM J, COLINBELTRAN E, GRAINGE K, BROWN AK, ZHANG D, DANOON LR, CAO R, PRINSLOO DSVDM, GILMORE J. The mid-frequency aperture array. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 1149-1154.
  2. CHOSE M, BOTHA MM. Improvements to the Domain Green’s function method for antenna array analysis. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 392-395.
  3. COETZER KM, WIID PG, RIX AJ. Investigating lightning induced currents in photovoltaic modules. 2019 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility – EMC EUROPE, Barcelona, Spain, IEEE 2019: 261-266.
  4. COETZER KM, WIID PG, RIX AJ. PV Installation design influencing the risk of induced currents from nearby lightning strikes. 2019 International Conference on Clean Electrical Power (ICCEP), Otranto, Italy, IEEE 2019: 204-213.
  5. COETZER KM, WIID PG, RIX AJ. The MOV as a Possible Protection Measure for Bypass Diodes in Solar PV Modules. 2019 International Conference on Clean Electrical Power (ICCEP), Otranto, Italy, IEEE 2019: 286-291.
  6. DE LANGE L, LUDICK DJ, GROBLER TL. Detecting Failed Elements in an Arbitrary Antenna Array using Machine Learning. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 1099-1103.
  7. DE VILLIERS DIL, ASAD KMB, SMIRNOV O, LEHMENSIEK R, DE VILLIERS M, JONAS JL. Primary beams of the MeerKAT radio telescope: measurements and simulations. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting, Atlanta, USA, IEEE 2019: 393-394.
  8. DU TOIT HJ, DE VILLIERS DIL, BEYERS RD. A simple low loss partially-filled 16-way radial power combiner. 2019 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS), Boston, USA, IEEE 2019: 440-443.
  9. JOHNSTON MA, VAN NIEKERK C, DE VILLIERS DIL. Coaxial Marchand balun – design and fabrication. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting, Atlanta, USA, IEEE 2019: 739-740.
  10. JOHNSTON MA, VAN NIEKERK C, DE VILLIERS DIL. Ultra-wideband planar Marchand balun design for the pyramidal sinuous antenna. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting, Atlanta, USA, IEEE 2019: 735-736.
  11. KLOPPER B, DE VILLIERS DIL, BIJ DE VAATE JG, DAVIDSON DB. Sparse-regular array design for SKA mid frequency aperture array. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting, Atlanta, USA, IEEE 2019: 397-398.
  12. KLOPPER B, DE VILLIERS DIL. Efficient performance modelling of a broadband sparse-regular aperture array antenna element. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-5.
  13. KOECH J, WIID PG, DE VILLIERS DIL. Hyperband antenna design for RFI testing. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 280-285.
  14. KOTZE K, GILMORE J. SLM 3D-printed horn antenna for satellite communications at X-band. 2019 IEEE-APS Topical Conference on Antennas and Propagation in Wireless Communications (APWC), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 148-151.
  15. KRIEL SGH, DE VILLIERS DIL. Probe positioning error sensitivity analysis for planar near-field antenna measurements. 2019 URSI Asia-Pacific Radio Science Conference (AP-RASC), New Delhi, India, IEEE 2019: 1-4.
  16. LEHMENSIEK R, DE VILLIERS DIL. On the performance of the SKA mid-frequency array’s reflector system and its feeds. 2019 URSI Asia-Pacific Radio Science Conference (AP-RASC), New Delhi, India, IEEE 2019: 1-3.
  17. LEHMENSIEK R, DE VILLIERS DIL. Wideband feed performance limits on shaped and unshaped offset Gregorian reflector antennas. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-4.
  18. LUDICK DJ. Applying the theory of characteristic modes to the analysis of finite antenna array elements and ground planes of finite sizes. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-4.
  19. MEYER P. A mode-switched wifi antenna offering full hemispherical coverage. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 1279-1282.
  20. MOKHUPUKI FTT, DE VILLIERS DIL. Surrogate based optimization of wideband reflector feed antennas. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-5.
  21. NEL BAP, BOTHA MM. Performance of MLACA with modified grouping for superconducting circuit analysis. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 404-407.
  22. OOSTHUIZEN HLG, GILMORE J. SLM 3D-printed active phased array for X-band satellite communications. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 223-226.
  23. SEWRAJ K, BOTHA MM. Computation of MBF Reaction Matrices for Antenna Array Analysis, with a Directional Method. 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA), Granada, Spain, IEEE 2019: 385-389.
  24. VAN TONDER G, MEYER P. Beamforming techniques for a quad-mode antenna array. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-4.
  25. WILKE CR, WIJNHOLDS SJ, GILMORE J. Performance improvement of self-holography based aperture array station calibration. 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2019), Krakow, Poland, IEEE 2019: 1-5.

2018

2017 and earlier

Anechoic chamber for antenna measurements

The antenna measurement facility consists of an anechoic chamber with measurement capabilities that include a spherical near-field (SNF) scanner and a planar near-field (PNF) scanner. The facility can also measure far-field pattern cuts. The frequency range covered is from 0.75 – 26.5 GHz. SNF-scans can be done over the full range, but planar near-field scans are only possible from 3.85 GHz upwards; the constraint being suitable probes for PNF-scans at the lower frequency spectrum.

Reverberation chamber

The shielded reverberation chamber is used to do electromagnetic compatibility testing. The chamber size is 2.75 m x 2.45 m x 3.72 m and have a duel stirrer configuration. It is capable of performing both mode-tuned and mode-stirred measurements. The operating frequency range of the reverberation chamber is from 0.270 – 8 GHz.

Microwave system measurement facilities

A wide range of microwave and RF test equipment is on hand, which allows for precision measurements. A HP5810C network analyser extends the S-parameter measurement frequency range to 50 GHz; the Agilent PNA-X, that forms part of the anechoic chamber setup can also perform precision noise figure measurements; and a Rhode&Schwarz FSEK30 spectrum analyser with a 40 GHz frequency bandwidth, are some of the high end measurement equipment that is used on a daily basis.


This group’s research activities receive financial support from the NRF and several companies in the private sector. A specific, significant source of funding is the SKA SARCHI research chair.

To do

The group offers bursaries for postgraduate and postdoctoral study. The bursaries are funded from various sources.

Post-graduate bursaries from Altair Development S.A. (Pty) Ltd

This is an opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of commercial CEM technology. Interests in and an aptitude for electromagnetics and mathematics are important requirements. Bursaries may be awarded from time to time, based on merit and availability of funds. Altair Development S.A. (Pty) Ltd develops the leading electromagnetic simulation software suite FEKO. It is owned by Altair, a US-based engineering company. Typical applications of FEKO include antenna design, antenna placement, electromagnetic compatibility analysis, bioelectromagnetics, radio frequency components, 3-D electromagnetic circuits, design and analysis of radomes, and radar cross-section analysis. Altair HyperWorks contains a number of industry-leading solvers for modelling of wide-ranging physical phenomena, with multi-physics capabilities.

Research and collaboration

Contact the appropriate academic staff members. Their areas of specialisation along with contact details are listed on this site.

Prospective funders

Contact Petrie Meyer.

Prospective postdocs and postgraduate students

Contact Dirk de Villiers, or the specific academic staff members involved in your area of interest.

Postgraduate course modules

Contact Johann de Swardt regarding postgraduate modules administration.

Group administration

Contact Matthys Botha regarding internal administrative matters.

Measurement facilities

Contact Anneke Bester for more information about the services that are available at the university’s RF and antenna measurement laboratory.