Open dielectric resonators (DRs) offer attractive features as antenna elements. These include their small size, mechanical simplicity, high radiation efficiency due to no inherent conductor loss, relatively large bandwidth, simple coupling schemes to nearly all commonly used transmission lines, and the advantage of obtaining different radiation characteristics using different modes of the resonator. In this article, we give a comprehensive review of the modes and the radiation characteristics of DRs of different shapes, such as cylindrical, cylindrical ring, spherical, and rectangular. Further, accurate closed form expressions are derived for the resonant frequencies, radiation Q-factors, and the inside fields of a cylindrical DR. These design expressions are valid over a wide range of DR parameters. Finally, the techniques used to feed DR antennas are discussed. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.