Academic year 2015-16

Radio Communications

Degree: Code: Type:
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science 22630 Optional subject
Bachelor's Degree in Telematics Engineering 21752 Optional subject
Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Systems Engineering 22663 Optional subject


ECTS credits: 4 Workload: 100 hours Trimester: 1st


Department: Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies
Coordinator: Rafael Pous
Teaching staff:

Rafael Pous

Raúl Parada



Building: Communication campus - Poblenou



Radio-communications is a basic course on antennas and propagation, with a clear practical and hands-on orientation. The students will learn:

This subject does not have the intention of being a comprehensive course on antennas and propagation. Several important topics are left out (radiation integrals, numerical methods, etc.), but the fundamental principles will be covered, and the student will gain a basic understanding of the main topics relevant to antenna characterization, design and measurements. This basic understanding will be enough for those students interested in the subject to use some of the very good textbooks available to dig deeper in his or her particular areas of interest.



A good command of high-school level mathematics and physics is required. In particular, the following concepts must have been mastered before this course:

In particular, the student must have assimilated the 1st year required course on Waves and Electromagnetism.


Associated competences

Transferable skills:

Specific competences:



There will be a single evaluation itinerary for this subject based on:



Content blocks

The subject is organized around 6 content blocks, each content block being discussed in one 2-hour classroom session:

Content block 1.- Antenna parameters. Antenna radiation pattern.

Content block 2. - Link power calculations. Antenna temperature and SNR.

Content block 3. - Linear wire and loop antennas.

Content block 4. - Antenna arrays.

Content block 5. - Aperture and patch antennas

Content block 6. - Reflector antennas and antenna measurements



The course on Radio-communications will be based on a hand-on methodology that will keep classroom sessions to a minimum, and will base most of the learning activities on laboratory work, following the “learning by doing” principle.

Classroom sessions

There will be a reduced number of classroom session, in which only the most fundamental topics will be covered, leaving the details for the laboratory sessions. Classroom sessions will be two-hour long. There will be only 7 classroom session, one as an introduction, and one dedicated to each of the 6 content blocks.

For each classroom sessions, reading from the course textbook will be recommended. It is important to have read this material before the class. During the classroom sessions the teacher will pose questions relative to the recommended readings, and problems will be solved. Attendance and active participation by the students is expected, and will be evaluated.

Laboratory sessions

The laboratory sessions will be used to complete the three laboratory assignments. Laboratory sessions will be two-hour long. There will be 9 laboratory sessions, in which the professor will be present. The laboratory session will be organized in smaller groups, to be able to have a higher degree of interaction between the professor and the students. The students are welcome to use the lab in the sessions for which a different group is scheduled, in an “open lab” mode, during which the professor will give priority to the students of the groups scheduled for that session.

During the laboratory sessions there will be work on software simulation, building antenna prototypes, measuring these prototypes, and building simple communication links with them.

During the laboratory sessions the teacher will pose questions to the students. Active participation by the students is expected, and will be evaluated. Attendance is not only expected, but required, and more than two unjustified missed laboratory session will entail failing the course, even in July, and having to take it all over again the following year.

Invited speakers and visits

During the course one or two speakers, chosen among prominent professionals in the field, will be invited to give a presentation to the class. Attendance and active participation by the students are mandatory, and will be evaluated.

Additionally, one visit may be organized to a company or site relevant for the course. Given that a maximum number of visitors is usually imposed, only those student with a higher grade will be allowed to participate. Attendance to this visit will be optional, and it will not be evaluated.

Office hours

The teachers will publish the office hours during which the students will be able to resolve questions or difficulties encountered during the course.



The following textbook will be considered the basic bibliographic reference for the course, from which readings will be recommended for each of the classroom sessions:

An additional textbook, with very similar content, that can be used as a back-up is the following: