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12, DECEMBER 1994

220 I

Analysis and Design of Quadruple-Ridged Waveguides

Weimin Sun, Member, IEEE, and Constantine A. Balanis, Fellow, IEEE
Abstract-In a previous paper, a unified approach has been proposed for the analysis and design of single- and doubleridged waveguides by a magnetic field integral equation (MFIE) formulation [l]. This paper presents a continuing work with emphasis on the design of quadruple-ridged waveguides. The characteristicsof square, circular and diagonal quadruple-ridged waveguides, including cutoff frequencies, attenuation, impedance and modal field distributions, are first time systematically analyzed and reported. Distinct to being in a single- or doubleridged waveguide, the fundamental mode in a quadruple-ridged waveguide has a cutoff frequency very close to that of the second-lowest mode, thus the natural single mode bandwidth is very small. However, when the second-lowest mode is effectively suppressed or not excited, a very wide bandwidth (6:l) can be achieved. This unique property, plus the capabilities of dual-polarization, high power, and low impedance, makes the quadruple-ridged waveguides well-suited to many antenna and microwave applications. 1. INTRODUCTION

HILE the tendency is toward increasing the frequency bandwidth of an antenna, versatile polarizations are highly desirable. The natural extension of a double-ridged waveguide in applications requiring dual or circular polarizations is to use a quadruple-ridged waveguide. Quadrupleridged waveguides are those which have four ridges loaded symmetrically in a square, diagonal, circular or shaped cross section. A quadruple-ridged waveguide supports a fundamental propagation mode polarized in either of two orthogonal directions, which in turn supports a mode in virtually any polarization (left hand circular, right hand circular, slant linear, dual-linear and etc.). As the employment of frequency spectrum spreads and the use of dual-polarizations becomes more popular in antenna and radar systems, thorough knowledge of the characteristics of quadruple-ridged waveguides is essential to design engineers. The previous research work on quadruple-ridged waveguides was substantially incomplete. The published papers [2]-[7] relevant to this subject of quadruple-ridged waveguides are few. Reference [2] pioneered the analysis of a square quadruple-ridged waveguide by using transverse resonance technique. The transverse resonance technique was only able to solve the TEno modes in a square waveguide with rectangular ridges. In addition, the fundamental approximation of the technique also limited the accuracy of analysis. Reference
Manuscript received July 6, 1993; revised January 17, 1994. The authors are with the Telecommunications Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-7206 USA. IEEE Log Number 9405379.

[3] reported an application of circular quadruple-ridged waveguides in phased arrays and presented cutoff frequencies of a couple of low-order modes in the waveguide. However there were no techniques introduced for general analysis and design of such waveguides. Reference [4] did an excellent work by using an FEM program to calculate the cutoff frequencies of the dominant modes in a square and a circular quadruple-ridged waveguides. Reference [6] used the RitzGalerkin approach and fractional-order Bessel functions to obtain cutoff frequencies of the TEll and TE31 modes in a circular quadruple-ridged waveguide. His work was restricted to the waveguides with the ridge surfaces aligned with polar coordinate planes, and to the symmetrical TE modes. Reference [7] used boundary element method to solve the cutoff frequencies of the first TE and TM modes in a circular quadruple-ridged waveguide, consequently only the two cutoff frequencies were provided. In these works except for [4], efforts were all focused on the cutoff frequencies of a few dominant modes in a circular or square quadruple-ridged waveguide in which analytical functions can be used to model transverse fields. There was no efficient and flexible method introduced which can lead to accurate modeling of modes in a waveguide. Also in these works, the suppression of the second-lowest mode (TE11 in a square waveguide and T E ~ ~ in L a circular waveguide) was not discussed. In fact, this mode has a cutoff frequency very close to that of the fundamental mode, especially when the ridges are heavily loaded, and has to be suppressed in wide-band applications. To do so, knowledge of modal field distribution pattems is needed. Therefore, an efficient method should be applied to conduct complete analyses of quadruple-ridged waveguides. In a previous paper [I], the surface magnetic field integral equation (MFIE) was proposed to analyze ridged waveguides in an efficient and unified way. The MFIE approach allows an accurate and complete solution via a simple numerical implementation of pulse basis functions. The theory has been verified by comparison with exact closed-form solutions and other published results. In this paper, the same MFTE technique is used to pursue complete solutions of quadruple-ridged waveguide modes, including cutoff frequencies, attenuation, waveguide impedance and modal field distributions. The waveguides considered include circular, square and diagonal quadrupleridged waveguides. In Section 11, formulations are briefly reviewed for determination of cutoff frequencies, surface modal currents, attenuation constant, waveguide impedance

001 8-9480/94$04.00 0 1994 IEEE



and modal fields. In Section 111, parametric design curves of a quadruple-ridged waveguide are plotted to show the dependence of cutoff frequency, waveguide impedance and attenuation constant on the ridge dimensions. To validate the numerical results, the calculated cutoff frequency of the first dominant mode in a circular or square waveguide is compared with the measurements. To have better insight of the modes in a quadruple-ridged waveguide, typical modal field distribution patterns in the waveguide are also provided. 11. THEORETICAL FORMULATION There are a number of analytical and numerical approaches available to study the characteristics of a ridged waveguide. Although the research has been continuously reported in the literature, the effort was primarily on a single- and doubleridged waveguides, with little attention to a quadruple-ridged waveguide. In [ 11, a general formulation for characterization of waveguides with an arbitrary cross section has been established. When a waveguide has a uniform cross section, only a two-dimensional formulation is necessary. On the inner surface of a perfectly conducting waveguide, the magnetic field can be represented by the surface integral of the electric current density as

where sin(a, b) represents the sine function of the angle between two unit vectors a and b, and t^ is the unit vector in the tangential direction. At cutoff a TE mode only supports circumferential surface current density, then, only (5) is needed to determine the cutoff frequency of the TE mode. In contrast, a TM mode only supports longitudinal current density, hence, only (6) is used to determine its cutoff frequency. When the cutoff frequency of a waveguide mode is determined, the modal surface current can be obtained from the solution of (1) as


where J is the electric surface current density, p is the position vector in two-dimensional space, fC is the circumferential contour integration, Vt is the transverse differential operator, pz is the wave propagation constant in the z direction, 2 is the unit vector in the z direction, and

For a TE mode, when the operation frequency is above cutoff, both the t^ and 2 components of surface current density will be excited. Equation (7) is used to obtain solution of Jt first, and (8) is subsequently used to determine J,. However for a TM mode only (8) is necessary to obtain solution of J , because Jt vanishes for a TM mode. After the surface current is determined, the magnetic field inside the waveguide are directly obtained from (1) via a simple integration as

with Hi2) being Hankel function of the second kind and k the wavenumber in free space. Equation (1) generally applies to waveguides with an arbitrary uniform cross section and multiple ridges. Moreover, the MFIE of (1) is sufficient to determine the cutoff frequencies of both the TE and TM waveguide modes. At cutoff, k = k,, and pz = 0, Equation (1) leads to

- -

( 2 ) (k,R)]dl

jk,J,-H, AY R

H y = -4

27~H(p) =


AX + .ik,JzRH~2)(kc,)

( 1 1)

J(p) x ViGdl


27rh x J ( p )

+ fJ(p) x VtGdZ = 0


where tk and t: are the X- and y-components of the unit vector AX = x - x, A y = y - y. and R = Ip - pl. In most applications, only the transverse electric field is of interest. Inside a conducting waveguide the transverse electric field is linearly proportional to the transverse magnetic field by
i ? ,

on the inner surface of waveguide with a normal direction of fi. The circumferential and axial components of (4), respectively, are

TE Mode Et = -wp/pz2 x H, TM Mode Et = P,/wcf x Ht.

As derived in [l], the attenuation constant is given by

(12) (13)





"" ""

' "0.9 '"


Fig. 2. Normalized cutoff wavenumbers, versus the ridge geometry, of T E l o , T E l l , TEZOL. TEzo[i, and TE12 modes in a square quadruple-ridged waveguide (refer to Fig. I(a) for a , s and d ) .


Fig. 1. Geometry of typical (a) square, (b) diagonal, and (c) circular quadruple-ridged waveguides.

and the power-voltage waveguide impedance by

In addition, the voltage-current waveguide impedance can be shown to be given by

Hence, once the modal surface current density is known, the tangential magnetic fields are obtained via (9)-( 1l), and in turn the waveguide impedances and attenuation by (14)-( 16).

Based on the formulations (1)-( 16), numerous quadrupleridged waveguides have been analyzed. The three typical waveguides, as shown in Fig. 1, are circular, square and diagonal waveguides with four ridges symmetrically loaded. In all analyses, the waveguide cross-section center was chosen as the origin of coordinates, so waveguide symmetry was fully considered to benefit the analyses.

The simplest waveguide is a square quadruple-ridged waveguide. The cutoff wavenumbers of several lowest modes (TElo, TE11, T E ~ O L TE2o~i, , and TE12). versus the geometry of the ridges, are presented in Fig. 2. The mode spectrum in Fig. 2 is consistent with the results of [4]. The TElo is a symmetrical mode which always represents the lowest mode in the waveguide, thus serves as the fundamental propagation mode in applications. The TE2o and TEll mode represent the two lowest odd modes. Contrary to being in a single- or dual-ridged waveguide, the TEll mode is not only the secondlowest mode, but also has a cutoff frequency very close to that of the TElo mode, when the ridges are heavily loaded (ridge gap d is small in Fig. 1). The TElz is the second-lowest symmetrical mode which has a much higher cutoff frequency than the TE10 mode. The mode splitting of TE20 mode, as reported by [4] and others, into T E ~ ~ and L TE~ou can be found in Fig. 2 . The T E ~ ~ is L evolved from two in-phase TE20 modes, each polarized in one of two orthogonal directions, in a square waveguide. The T E 2 o c r is evolved from two anti-phase T E 2 o modes in a square waveguide. Significant differences exist between a double-ridged waveguide and a square quadruple-ridged waveguide. As the ridge thickness increases, the cutoff wavenumber of the T E l o in a quadruple-ridged waveguide generally decreases. A lower kc is always obtained with a larger ridge thickness. While the cutoff wavenumber of the TElo mode in a double-ridged waveguide decreases first, then increases as the ridge thickness increases. The lowest k, is yielded at an ridge thickness of 0 . 4 5 ~ Moreover, . the cutoff wavenumbers of both the TElo and TEll are more sensitive to the ridge gap d than to the ridge thickness s. Therefore, the characteristics of a double-ridged waveguide can not be assumed to be true in a quadruple-ridged waveguide. It is also evident from the Fig. 2 that the natural single mode bandwidth in the waveguide is not optimistic, since the





12, DECEMBER 1994

Circular Quadruple-Ridged Waveguide



= 0.06

3.5 3

Measurement [21 MFIE







Fig. 3. Normalized cutoff wavenumbers, versus the ridge geometry, of TE11, T E ~ ~TEo1, L, TE~~u and , E 3 1 modes in a circular quadruple-ridged waveguide (refer to Fig. l(c) for Q, s, and d).

-+1.6 1.4 1.2


MFIE Mearnrement [31

L ' * * * I ' ' ' '.1

D1rgon.l Quadruple-Ridged Waveguide ' ' I . . ..-,.. ' I ' ' ' 'J



__..- --.- ..._.




- d/zI




= 0.06

Fig. 5. Comparison with measurements. (a) The cutoff wavelength of the TE1o mode in a square ridged waveguide versus the measurement results in [2], (b) The normalized cutoff wavenumber of the T E l o mode in a circular ridged waveguide versus the measurement results in [ 3 ] ((kc)rid is the cutoff wavenumber in the circular ridged waveguide and (k,),;,the cutoff wavenumber in a circular waveguide with the same radius a).

Fig. 4.

Normalized cutoff wavenumbers, versus the ridge geometry, of TElo,

T E P o ~ TEzou, , and TElz modes in a diagonal quadruple-ridged

waveguide (refer to Fig. I(b) for a , s, and d).

TE11 mode is close to the TElo in cutoff frequency. This fact distinguishes a quadruple-ridged waveguide significantly from a single- or dual-ridged waveguide. However, if the TEll mode is sufficiently suppressed or not excited, the bandwidth between the TElo and the T E ~ o can L be very large. A 6:1 bandwidth is achievable in a waveguide with heavily loaded ridges. In a circular quadruple-ridged waveguide, the cutoff wavenumbers of the lowest modes are given in Fig. 3. In the circular waveguide, the TE11, T E ~ ~TEzlu, L, m o l , and TE31 modes are, respectively, evolutions of the TElo, TE11, TEzou, T E ~ o Land , TE12 modes in a square waveguide. Therefore, similar behaviors of the cutoff frequencies, versus the ridge geometry, are as expected. The mode splitting of T E z ~ L and TE21u can also be found in Fig. 3.

In a diagonal quadruple-ridged waveguide, the ridges are loaded at the comers of a square waveguide. Its dominant mode is similar to the one in a square quadruple-ridged waveguide. Fig. 4 shows the cutoff wavenumbers of the TElo, TE11, T E ~ o L T , E ~ o uand , TE12 modes in the diagonal ridged waveguide. To verify the numerical results obtained in Figs. 2 and 3, both the cutoff wavelength of the TEl0 in the square waveguide and the normalized cutoff wavenumber of the TEll in the circular waveguide are compared against the measurements in Fig. 5(a) and (b). Fig. 5(a) shows the cutoff wavelength of the T E l o in a square ridged waveguide compared to the measurement results [ 2 ] .The cutoff wavenumber of the TEll in a circular ridged waveguide, normalized with respect to the cutoff wavenumber of the same mode in a ridgeless circular waveguide, is compared to the measurements provided in [3]. It is seen that the cutoff frequencies obtained in this work agree very well with the measurements, though those measurement results were obtained a few decades ago.



Square Q-ridged Waveguide



Diagonal Q-ridged Waveguide

f = 1.73fc













Fig. 6. Waveguide impedance of a square quadruple-ridged waveguide versus the ridge thickness. (a) Power-voltage impedance, (b) Voltage-current mode). impedance (f,cutoff frequency of the TEIO

Fig. 7. Normalized attenuation constant of a ridged waveguide. (a) Square quadruple-ridged waveguide; (b) Diagonal quadruple-ridged waveguide (fc cutoff frequency of the TElo mode.)

Using (15) and (16), the waveguide impedances of Zpv and ZVI were obtained. Both impedances are useful parameters in antenna and microwave component designs. For simplicity, only Zpv and Z\;I of the square quadruple-ridged waveguide are provided in Fig. 6(a) and (b). The corresponding impedances in a circular or a diagonal waveguide are close to that of the square waveguide. The impedances in Figs. 6 were calculated at a frequency times of the cutoff frequency of the TE10 mode. As the ridge gap d decreases, both impedances of Zpv and Zb.1 decrease monotonically. A very low impedance (matched with the impedance of a coaxial cable) can be obtained by loading ridges with a very small gap. From is roughly a half of Zpv when Fig. 6, it is seen that the ridge gap is less than 40% of the waveguide width.The same phenomenon can be observed in a regular rectangular waveguide. From the previous numerical results, an application requiring low impedance and wide bandwidth seemingly favors the use of a very narrow ridge gap. However, waveguide with a small ridge gap may possesses a high attenuation loss. Fig. 7(a) and (b) provide a normalized attenuation constant versus the ridge geometry in a square or diagonal waveguide

where the attenuation constant (Y defined in (14) is normalized with R, (wall surface resistance per unit square), 11 (free space wave impedance), and a. When the ridge gap is around 0.9a, the loss is almost the same as that in a square waveguide. But, when ridges are loaded with a gap less than 0.15a, the loss can be 10 to 20 dB higher. Such a significant difference should deserve consideration in practical designs. As discussed, the achievement of wide bandwidth in a quadruple-ridged waveguide presumes the suppression of the first odd mode. To do so, the modal field distributions in the waveguide are informative. Fig. 8(a)-(d) exhibit the transverse electrical fields of several modes in a square ridged waveguide using both vector plots and equal-E field contour plots. The ridge thickness in Fig. 8 is 0 . 2 4 ~ and the ridge gap is 0 . 3 2 ~ . It can be seen that all modes except the TEzou in Fig. 8 are ridge modes, which have most energy distributed in the ridge edge and gap area. While the TJZ20~ mode has most energy distributed in the troughs. Fig. 9(a)-(d) show several modes in a circular ridged waveguide in which the ridge gap is correspondingly 0 . 6 4 ~ and the ridge thickness is 0.48a. The similarity of the T E 1 1 , T E ~ ~ L ,





mode, and (d) T E ~ o Lmode. ; Fig. 8. Modal electrical field distributions in a square quadruple-ridged waveguide. (a) TElo mode, (b) TE11 mode, (c) T E ~ o L



Fig. 9. Modal electrical field distributions in a circular quadruple-ridged waveguide. (a) T E l l mode, (b) TEol mode, (c)TE21L mode, and (d) TEilU mode.

(a) Fig. IO.


Modal electricalfield distributions in a diagonal quadruple-ridged waveguide. (a) TEio mode and (b) TEm,mode.

TEol, and TEzltr modes to the TElo, TEI1, TEZOL, and TEzou in a square waveguide is apparently exhibited. In these modes the waves are guided by the ridges except for the "Esou,

with energy concentrated around the ridge gaps. The same field distribution patterns can be observed in a diagonal ridged waveguide. For example, Fig. 1O(a) and (b) presents the modal



transverse fields of the TElo and TEzOh in a diagonal ridged waveguide with a ridge gap d = 0 . 2 3 ~ and ridge thickness s = 0.347,.

Square, circular and diagonal quadruple-ridged waveguides have been systematically analyzed by using the surface magnetic field integral equation formulation. Extensive design curves of cutoff frequencies, impedances, attenuation coefficients and fundamental modal field distributions of these waveguides have been presented. The numerical results agree well with the available published measurement data. In a waveguide with heavily loaded quadruple-ridges, the second-lowest mode is an odd mode which possesses the cutoff characteristics very close to that of the fundamental mode, thus the natural single mode bandwidth is very small. However, if the lowest odd mode is sufficiently suppressed or not excited, the achievable bandwidth is potentially very large and comparable to the bandwidth yielded by a single- or dual-ridged waveguide. An effective way to avoid the excitation of the second-lowest mode is to launch the fundamental mode symmetrically because the second-lowest mode is an odd mode. The square, circular, diagonal and other quadruple-ridged waveguides share common features in characteristics of cutoff frequencies, impedances, attenuations and modal field patterns. Especially the characteristics of the fundamental modes are primarily dependent on the ridge gap and thickness, not on the waveguide cross-section. The dependence of the attenuation and impedance on the ridge geometry in a dual-ridged waveguide is retained in a quadruple-ridged waveguide. The waveguide attenuation is proportional to the ridge thickness, and inversely proportional to the ridge gap. When the frequency is well above cutoff (f 2 1.73fc), the attenuation increases only slightly with frequency. The waveguide impedance is proportional to the ridge gap, and inversely proportional to the ridge thickness. A low impedance matched with a coaxial cable can be achieved with heavily loaded ridges. However, a low impedance is coupled with a high attenuation. Extremely heavy loading of ridges are possible by chamfering the ridge edges to achieve even lower impedance and higher bandwidth. The analysis of the waveguides with chamfered ridges is the same as that presented in the paper. The characteristics of a waveguide with chamfered ridges are slightly perturbed from that of a waveguide without ridge chamfering.

T. Sexson, Quadruply ridged hom, Tech. Rep., ECOM-018 1 -M 1 160, U.S. Army Electronics Command, Mar. 1968. C. C. Chen, Quadruple ridge-loaded circular waveguide phased arrays. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat. vol. AP-22, pp. 481483, May 1974. M. H. Chen, G. N. Tsandoulas, and F. G. Willwerth, Modal characteristics of quadruple-ridged circular and square waveguides, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., vol. MTT-22, pp. 801-804, Aug. 1974. J. K. Shimizu, Octave-bandwidth feed horn for paraboloid, IRE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. AP-9, pp. 223-224, Mar., 1961. F. Canatan, Cutoff wavenumbers of ridged circular waveguides via Ritz-Galerkin approach, Electron. Letr., vol. 25, pp. 10361038. Aug. 1989. Y. Rong, The bandwidth characteristics of ridged circular waveguide, Microwave Optical Tech. Lett., vol. 3, pp. 347-350, Oct. 1990.

Weimin Sun (S87-M89) was horn in Jiangsu Province, China, in 1957. He received the B.S.E.E. from Sichuan University, China, the M.S. degree in physical electronics from Tsinghua University, China, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, in 1982, 1984, and 1989, respectively. From 1989 to 1991, he was an RF research engineer at MM-Wave Technology, Inc., where he designed and developed an 18 to 110 GHz millimeter wave direction finding system. In 1992, he joined the Telecommunications Research Center of Arizona State University, Tempe, as an Assistant Research Engineer. His current research interests include computational electromagnetics, antenna measurement and design, and applications of advanced numerical techniques. Dr. Sun is a member of Phi Kappa Phi. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Academic Award from the College of Engineering, Michigan S t a t e University in 1988.

[ I ] W. Sun and C. A. Balanis, MFIE analysis and design of ridged waveguides. IEEE Trans. Microwave The031 Tech., vol. 41, pp. 1965-1971, Nov. 1993.

Constantine A. Balanis (S62-M68-SM74-F86) was born in Trikala, Greece. He received the B.S.E.E. degree from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, the M.E.E. degree from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1964, 1966, and 1969, respectively. From 1964 to 1970, he was with NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA. From 1970 to 1983, he was with the Department of Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown. Since 1983, he has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, where he is now Regents Professor and Director of the Telecommunications Research Center. His research interests are in low- and high-frequency antenna and scattering methods, transient analysis and coupling of high-speed high-density integrated circuits, and multipath propagation. Dr. Balanis received the 1992 Special Professionalism Award from the IEEE Phoenix Section, the 1989 IEEE Region 6 Individual Achievement Award and the 1987-1988 Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, School of Engineering, Arizona State University. His is a member of ASEE, Sigma Xi, Electromagnetics Academy, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Kappa ON Phi. He has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION from 1974 to 1977 and the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING from 1981 to 1984, as Editor of the newsletter for the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society from 1982 to 1983, as Second Vice President of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society in 1984, Chairman of the Distinguished Lecturer Program from 1988 to 1991, and member of the AdCom from 1992 to the present of the IEEE Antennas and Propogation Society. He is the author of Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design (Wiley, 1982) and Advanced Engineering Elecrromagnetics (Wiley, 1989).