Reducing Potential Gradients
Author: Edmund A. Laport
Potential gradients may be reduced by increasing conductor diameter or by using several conductors in parallel so that the charge per unit length on each conductor is reduced. Sharp edges and points on metallic hardware are smoothed to reduce localized gradients. The over-all capacitance loading is made as large as economically feasible so that, for a given power input, the potential is made as small as possible by decreasing the antenna reactance X α. In high-power low-frequency systems the amount of top loading and the final design of the aerial system are determined by the potential considerations rather than merely radiation resistance. Fortunately, the design factors that minimize the potential on the antenna are also those which increase the bandwidth capabilities and increase radiation efficiency.