Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Engineering (M.S.E.)

Degree Program

School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Ward

Second Advisor

Dr. Karl Brakora

Third Advisor

Dr. Greg Wolffe

Academic Year



This thesis paper talks about the study of current distributions on dipole antenna immersed in collisional plasma. Analytical models like Balmain’s[6] one dimensional triangular current distribution, Staras[8] proposed and developed by Nikitin’s[10] threedimensional exponential current distribution and the PF-FDTD (Plasma Fluid- Finite Difference Time Domain) model[11] are compared against the Auroral Space Structure Probe (ASSP) flight data in order to show how data analysis can benefit. PF-FDTD model is used to study the antenna in weakly collisional plasma and the comparisons of the analytical and numerical solutions show that numerical model match better for data analysis of flight data sweeps than the analytical models. Advantages and disadvantages of these different models are discussed.