An antenna is a specialized transducer that converts radio-frequency (RF) fields into alternating current (AC) or vice-versa. There are two basic types: the receiving antenna, which intercepts RF energy and delivers AC to electronic equipment, and the transmitting antenna, which is fed with AC from electronic equipment and generates an RF field.
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In computer and Internet wireless applications, the most common type of antenna is the dish antenna, used for satellite communications.Dish antennas are generally practical only at microwave frequencies (above approximately 3 GHz). The dish consists of a paraboloidal or spherical reflector with an active element at its focus. When used for receiving, the dish collects RF from a distant source and focuses it at the activeelement.When used for transmitting, the active element radiates RF that is collimated by the reflector for delivery in a specific direction.
At frequencies below 3 GHz, many different types of antennas are used. The simplest is a length of wire, connected at one end to a transmitter or receiver. More often, the radiating/receiving element is placed at a distance from the transmitter or receiver, and AC is delivered to or from the antenna by means of an RF transmission line, also called a feed line or feeder.