A smart antenna system combines multiple antenna elements with a signal-processing capability to optimize its radiation and/or reception pattern automatically in response to the signal environment.
What does an antenna do in a telecommunications system? It is the port through which radio frequency (RF) energy is coupled from the transmitter to the outside world and, in reverse, to the receiver from the outside world.
Antennas have been the most neglected of all the components in personal communications systems. Yet, the manner in which energy is distributed into and collected from surrounding space has a profound influence on the efficient use of spectrum, the cost of establishing new networks, and the service quality provided by those networks.
The following tutorial is an introduction to the essential concepts of smart antenna systems and the important advantages of smart antenna system design over conventional omnidirectional approaches. The discussion also differentiates between the various and often dissimilar technologies broadly characterized today as smart antennas. These range from simple diversity antennas to fully adaptive antenna array systems.