PCAAD 7.0 FAQs
Can PCAAD 7.0 be used to analyze a PCB loop antenna?
Can PCAAD 7.0 be used to generate AutoCAD files for mask layouts?
Can PCAAD 7.0 be used to analyze a microstrip feed network?
Can PCAAD 7.0 be used to design a cavity-backed slot antenna?
Can PCAAD 7.0 be used to calculate mutual coupling between microstrip antennas?
The short answer to each of these questions is: no.
The purpose of PCAAD 7.0 is to provide an easy-to-use, fast, and versatile first-cut solution to a number of common antenna design and analysis problems. PCAAD is also offered as a relatively inexpensive software tool that has a very short learning curve. For these reasons, PCAAD 7.0 is not suited to the intensive sort of numerical analysis that is required for problems of the type listed above. For these problems, much more sophisticated software is needed. Packages such as Ansoft's Ensemble and HFSS, Zeland's IE3D, Microwave Office, and similar products are well-suited to working with very general 2D, 2.5D, and 3D geometries. Of course, you should realize that these software products typically range in cost from $25,000 to $50,000, while PCAAD 7.0 lists for $549. So it is not reasonable to expect PCAAD 7.0 to have the same capabilities as these more expensive products.
What is the useful frequency range for PCAAD 7.0 ?
PCAAD 7.0 has been used for antenna analysis and design problems ranging from low RF frequencies (20 MHz) to high millimeter wave frequencies (94 GHz). Antennas generally scale with frequency, so a solution that works for one frequency in principle will also work at lower (or higher) frequencies as the antenna dimensions are scaled up (or down). There is no inherent frequency limit for the solutions implemented in PCAAD, but of course there are practical frequency limits for specific types of antennas.