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In antenna theory, particularly in the context of directional antennas and microphones, a “back lobe” refers to a lobe in the radiation pattern that radiates or receives energy in the direction opposite to the desired main lobe direction.

Back Lobe in Antennas and Microphones:

  • Definition: The radiation pattern of an antenna or the pickup pattern of a microphone is typically represented graphically in polar coordinates. The main lobe is the primary directional sensitivity or radiation direction. The back lobe is a secondary lobe that points in the opposite direction to the main lobe.
  • Cause: Back lobes are often undesirable because they can cause interference or reduce the overall efficiency of the antenna or microphone. They may result from design imperfections, reflections, or scattering of signals.
  • Characteristics:
  • Direction: The back lobe is located diametrically opposite to the main lobe.
  • Strength: Back lobes are generally weaker than the main lobe but can still pick up or radiate signals in unintended directions.
  • Impact:
  • Interference: Back lobes can pick up unwanted signals or noise from directions opposite to the desired reception or transmission path.
  • Signal Clarity: They can degrade signal clarity by allowing reception of signals from directions not intended by the antenna or microphone design.
  • Mitigation:
  • Design: Antenna and microphone designs can incorporate measures to minimize back lobes, such as using directional elements or adding shielding.
  • Orientation: Proper orientation and placement of antennas or microphones can also reduce the impact of back lobes by maximizing sensitivity in the desired direction.


  • Antennas: Back lobes in antennas can affect signal reception or transmission quality, especially in applications where precise directional control is critical, such as in satellite communication, radar systems, and wireless networking.
  • Microphones: In microphone applications, back lobes can pick up ambient noise or unwanted sound sources, affecting the clarity and fidelity of recorded or transmitted audio.

Understanding and managing back lobes are essential in antenna and microphone design to optimize performance, minimize interference, and ensure efficient signal reception or transmission in various applications requiring directional sensitivity or radiation patterns.

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