A new generation of metasurface antennas (Prof. Stefano MACI)


Engineering the SKA-Low telescope (Prof. David Davidson)



A new generation of metasurface antennas

Prof. Stefano MACI ,  Professor at the University of Siena



“Metasurface” (MTS) denotes a surface constituted at microwave frequency by PCB or 3D printed elements small in terms of wavelengths that collectively exhibits equivalent homogeneous boundary conditions to any interacting electromagnetic fields. MTSs have had and are having a strong impact in Antenna applications. In the years 2000-2010 MTS for antennas were essentially uniform in space and realized by periodic printed elements.  This was the first generation of MTS. In the second generation (2010-2020), MTS for antennas was constructed in such a way to change boundary conditions in space and  control the scattered field. Today we are facing a transition to the third generation of MTS antennas, where MTSs change boundary conditions in space and time, opening new perspectives in 5G communications and beyond. In this presentation, the evolution of MTS antennas is described, with new ideas and examples on future communication scenarios.



     Stefano MACI, is a Professor at the University of Siena since 97. The research interest of Prof Maci includes high-frequency and beam representation methods, computational electromagnetics, large phased arrays, planar antennas, reflector antennas and feeds, metamaterials and metasurfaces. Since 2000, he was member the Technical Advisory Board of 13 international conferences and member of the Review Board of 6 International Journals. In 2004 he was the founder of the European School of Antennas (ESoA), a post graduate school that presently comprises 34 courses on Antennas, Propagation, Electromagnetic Theory, and Computational Electromagnetics and 150 teachers coming from 15 countries. Since 2004 is the Director of ESoA. Since 2010 he has been Principal Investigator of 6 cooperative projects financed by European Space Agency.

Professor Maci has been a former member of the AdCom of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), associate editor of AP-Transaction, Chair of the Award Committee of IEEE AP-S, and member of the Board of Directors of the European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP). From 2008 to 2015 he has been Director of the PhD program in Information Engineering and Mathematics of University of Siena, and from 2013 to 2015 he was member of the first National Italian Committee for Qualification to Professor. He has been former member of the Antennas and Propagation Executive Board of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET, UK). He founded and has been former Director of the consortium FORESEEN, involving 48 European Institutions. He was the principal investigator of the Future Emerging Technology project “Nanoarchitectronics” of the 8th EU Framework program, and he is presently principal investigator of the EU program “Metamask”. He was co-founder of 2 Spin-off Companies. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), and EuRAAP distinguished lecturer in the ambassador program. He was recipient of the EurAAP Award in 2014, of the IEEE Schelkunoff Transaction Prize in 2016, of the Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator award in 2016, and of the URSI Dellinger Gold Medal in 2020. He has been TPC Chair of the METAMATERIAL 2020 conference and designed Chairperson of EuCAP 2023. In the last ten years he has been invited 25 times as key-note speaker in international conferences. He is President Elect of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society 2022. 

His research activity is documented in 180 papers published in international journals, (among which 100 on IEEE journals), 10 book chapters, and about 450 papers in proceedings of international conferences. The papers he coauthored have been cited about 8300 times (h index 47, source: Google Scholar).


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Engineering the SKA-Low telescope

Prof. David Davidson ,  Professor and Director of Engineering at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University node (Australia)



The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is one of the most ambitious international mega-science projects currently in progress. This paper focusses on the SKA-Low telescope; construction the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory is scheduled to start shortly. This telescope covers the “low-frequency” radio astronomy band from 50-350 MHz. It will consist of large number of stations each approximately 40m in diameter, comprising 256 dual-polarised log-periodic dipole antennas. The stations function as a receive-only phased array. The baseline design envisages 512 such stations. The core of the telescope is very dense and contains almost half of all the stations. The remaining stations are distributed along three quasi-spiral arms, with a maximum baseline of 65 km.

The talk will draw on the presenter’s involvement in the international SKA project for almost two decades, and will focus in particular on the computational electromagnetic simulation of SKA-Low stations.



David Davidson completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in electronic engineering at the University of Pretoria in 1982 and 1986 respectively. From 1985 to 1988 he was with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, South Africa. From 1988 until 2017, he was with Stellenbosch University (SU), SA; he received his PhD and D Eng from SU in 1991 and 2017 respectively. From 2011-17, he held the South African SKA Research Chair at SU; he was also a Distinguished Professor there and is presently Professor Extraordinary. He holds a B1 research rating from the (South African) National Research Foundation.


As of 2018, he joined Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, where he is Professor and Director of Engineering at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University node (Australia). He has held a number of visiting appointments, including at the University of Arizona (1993); Cambridge University (1997); Delft University of Technology (2003); and the University of Manchester (2009). He is a registered Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa and a Chartered Professional Engineer with Engineers Australia. He is a Fellow of the IEEE (2012) and an associate editor of the IEEE Transaction on Antennas and Propagation. He has been extensively involved with the ICEAA conference series, and chaired the local organizing committee for the ICEAA’12 Cape Town edition.


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