3, MAY 1980
Fast Analysis of Large Antennas-A New Computational Philosophy
Absnacr-A new computational approach is presented which allows a
fast analysis of radiation properties of large antennas. The radiated field is
first computed using conventional techniques, e.g., physical optics and
geometrical theory of diffraction, in prescribed sampled space di-
rections, roughly one direction per lobe. Then sampling theory is used
to reconstruct the complete radiation diagram. Numerical experi-
ments are presented in the last part of the paper, showing the excellent
performance of the method.
AST ANALYSIS of radiation properties of large antennas
a vital problem in today's space communication tech-
nology, where single and dual reflector, symmetric and offset,
single, multiple, and contoured beam antennas are considered.
Although the following considerations are quite general, we
will focus our attention on a particular case-the offset para-
bolic dish with nonfocal illumination-for clarity of presenta-
tion. The geometry of the dish is sketched in Fig. 1; the
scattered electric far field E is given by
where J is the unitary 3 x 3 matrix, K the propagation con-
stant, P =d m , J, the induced surface currents on the
parabolic dish surface So, andS1 is the dish area projected on
the focal plane.
Fast analysis of radiation properties of the dish implies
fast evaluation of expression (1). Powerful asymptotic tech-
niques are available, as the geometrical theory of diffraction
(GTD), with its several modifications, and asymptotic physical
optics (APO). However, only recently a fast code for the non-
asymptotic evaluation of (1) has been developed [ 11 by
Galindo-Israel and Mittra (GIM). These authors manipulate
the radiation integral (2) in order to obtain the best approxi-
mation to a (double) Fourier integral. Then they expand the
integrand in a suitable basis-circular functions and J acobi
polynomials-obtaining a fast convergent series representation
for I, whose leading term corresponds to the case of a uni-
formly illuminated aperture. The use of J acobi polynomials
easily allows the inclusion of corrective terms due to the
non-Fourier transform structure of ( 2 ) or to the curvature of
the reflector, which is the same.
Manuscript received February 20, 1979; revised October 15, 1979.
This work was supported in part by SOC. Selenia SPA, Roma, Italy.
Universitz di Napoli, 80125 Naples, Italy. .
0. M. Bucci and G. DElia are with the Istituto Elettrotecnico,
G. Franceschetti was with the Electrical Sciences and Engineering
Department, University'of California, Los Angles, CA 90024, on leave
from the Istituto Elettrotecnico, Universid di Napoli, 80125 Naples,
I "
Fig. 1. Geometry of offset parabolic dish.
We will present an alternative approach for the evaluation
of I which is at least as fast as the GIM one and exhibits a
number of extra appealing features. In particular, the evalua-
tion of (2) is not limited to the PO approximation for the
surface currents J, (as practically in the GIM case), and the
inclusion of the reflector curvature can be handled in a much
easier way (no extra series summation is needed).
First of all, let us consider the primed coordinate system
( x f , y' , z') of unit vectors
k ' = i cos a+$ sin a
i'= - 2 sin a+$ cos a
tan a=-
with the origin 0' =O' (x0, yo, zo), x 0 =d l , yo =0, zo =
-f -I- (dl -I- a, *)/4f in the center of the aperture area across
the dish (see Fig. 2 ) .
Simple geometrical considerations show that
where y1 =d(x - d l )' -k y2 and is the radial coordinate in the
projected aperture plane. Then, substituting into (21, we get -
I =exp C j ~ ( d ~ sin 0 cos @ + z cos e)] cos (Y
. exp (jzix' +j c ' y ' ) dl ' dy' (6)
where the dependence of the integral upon ( x f , y' ) is implied,
u'= K sin 8' cos @'
c' =K sin 0' sin @'
0018-926X/80/0500-0306500.75 0 1980 IEEE
3 07
Fig.. 2. Relevant to change of integration coordinates.
and are the transverse (to z’ ) components of the propagation
vector with respect to the primed system ( x ’ , y ’ , z‘ ).
Expression (6) can be further manipulated by introducing
a convenient direction ( Bo, GO), e.g., that of the main beam,
and properly normalizing all spatial coordinates, hence
where ( uo’ , UO’) are the values of (u’, u ‘ ) corresponding to the
direction ( B0, Qo) . Then
Equation (1 0) is essentially that given by GIM in [ 1 1. Accord-
ingly, we have the remarkable result that the mathematical
manipulations in [ 1 ] correspond to take an aperture plane
just across the dish. The fundamental reason why this is the
optimum choice from computational viewpoint will be clari-
fied in the next section.
For A =0 , ( 1 0) is an exact Fourier transform. This trans-
form relationship is approximately met for 6 =B o . This is
not true in the far-out regions, as claimed in [ 11. As a matter
of fact, although A(s =1) =0, the asymptotic evaluation of
( 1 0) does contain terms involving the quantity [aA/as],= 1
which is different from zero.
In the approximation A =0 , (10) is the Fourier trans-
form of a (spatially) bandlimited function. Accordingly, I’
is exactly expressed in terms of its samples at the Nyquist
angular rate [2], [ 31 (n divided the spatial bandwidth):
The main idea of this paper is to take advantage of this
circumstance and, consequently, to reconstruct the far field
from the knowledge of essentially one point per lobe. Letting
IO be the same expression (1 0 ) with A =0 , we have exactly
+a + x
IO’(lC, o)= Em l,(nn, mn)
- a - x
sin (u - nn) sin fr - ma)
u - nn z- mn
The series (14) makes use of the simplest choice for the
sampling functions; other more sophisticated possibilities
are also possible [ 41 .
Then, using essentially the same technique of the GIM
paper, we have after series expansion of exp (jA) and suc-
cessive Fourier transformation:
i ,x. +a, +z
I’(u, c)= x, 1, Cn1 Io’(nn, ma)
0 - a - x
.[I +- +-] [ u- nn
all2 2c=
c-mn 1. (15)
a C P sin ( u- na) sin (o-mn)
The following comments are now in order. I
Expression (15) is a very interesting (exact) representa-
tion for the far field scattered by the dish, which requires
the computation of the radiation integral IO’ in the discrete
(sampled) directions u, =nn, U, =mrr only. Truncation
properties of (15) will be discussed in Section 111. However,
it is obvious that the number of terms to be retained is pro-
portional to the angular range in which the radiation diagram
must be computed. Accordingly, the effort (computing time)
is proportional to the scope.
The integral Io’ is an exact Fourier transform, so that
fast Fourier transform computational techniques can be used.
For large values of rn and n, asymptotic techniques can be
adopted as well, which imply further reduction in computa-
tional time. From this viewpoint, (15) represents the best
technique for smoothing out and joining asymptotic and
nonasymptotic computed data.
The use of ( 1 5), as well as that of the GIM method, has a
serious shortcoming. The evaluation of the samples Io‘(nn, nzn)
is practically based on the PO approximation for the surface
currents J,. This limitation will be relaxed in the next section
as a bonus stemming out from the elimination of the p-series.
Elimination of this series and of the restriction to PO makes
this method a very appealing alternative to the GIM technique.
The use of (15) implies reconstruction of the far field
from the knowledge of spatial samples Io‘(nn, mx) , which
coincide with the true scattered field only for 0 Bo. The
reason is that the starting point of all the analysis has been
the Fourier integral IO’, instead of the true radiation integral
I’, in order to have a (spatial) bandlimited signal. We can try
to reformulate all the analysis upside down from the onset,
starting from the true radiation integral and then forcing, to
an assigned degree of approximation, the band limitation
Fig. 3. Relevant to improved analysis of radiation from the dish.
With this in mind, let us consider an arbitrary plane in
between the reflector and the observation point P (Fig. 3) .
The electric far field in P can be computed, using the equiva-
lence theorem, as
where H is the magnetic field scattered by the dish on x.
Let us consider, for the moment, the elementary magnetic
field dH(Q‘) produced by the elementary current at Q on the
dish, namely:
Substitution of (1 7) into (16) shows that the rapidly
varying phase term of the integrand, for K +m, is given by
$(e’) =K(+ -I- /); and this phase is stationary for Q‘ =Qo,
i.e., at the intersection of the straight line from the source
point Q to the field point P. This implies, as known, that the
major contribution to the integral (16) due to the current
element J,(Q)dSo arises from a neighborhood of the pro-
jection of the point Q onto C along the direction to the
field point.
In order to truncate the integration exhibited in (1 6) to
a finite area, we must fix such a neighborhood. When the
integration is extended to all X, the integral is asymptotically
given by the contribution from the stationary point Qo,
which obviously equals the direct field due to the source at
Q. If the integration is truncated to a finite neighborhood of
Q0, an additional “diffracted” contribution is introduced.
This last is negligible as compared with the direct one as long
as the observation point P is well outside the transition region
associated with the light-shadow boundary, Le., when the
detour parameter
evaluated at the relevant stationary point 3 on the neighbor-
hood periphery is much larger than one. When all the source
points on the reflector are considered, the conclusion is that
we can safely neglect the contribution to (16) due to the
region of C such that, whatever the poinLQ, 5 > 10.
The truncated integration domain C is now defined; it
obviously changes as the position and orientation of the
plane C changes. Since the equation =10 describes a para-
Fig. 4. Relevant to enlarged aperture area concept.
boloid of revolution of focus Q, shifting C toward the re-
flector will decrease the relevant integration domain. This
suggests that the best direction-independent choice is to
make C coincident with the dish aperture plane S‘ , Le., closest
to the reflector. This could be rigorously justified and also
makes all flash points on the rim, relevant to off-axis radia-
tion, to lie on Z.
The dimensions of the relevant integration domain are
now obtained from (18) for the worst possible points Q on
the reflector. These are the rim points, and we get (see Fig. 4)
$ = K I I B A I + I A P I - I B P I I
= K 16 -6 sin (CY+@ 1210. (19)
From (1 9) we can compute the radius a1 ‘ of the enlarged
projected aperture
The conclusion is that the domain of integration in (16)
can be truncated to the enlarged projected aperture defined
by (20). Then, the (integration dependent) operator [J-f?]
reduces to the (integration independent) operator [J - RR]
and we recover a Fourier transform relationship between the
far-field and a (spatially) bandlimited field distribution, at
least up to an angle 0 depending on the enlargment factor x
(see (20)).
Note that the (Nyquist) angular sampling rate should now
be related to the enlarged aperture of radius X Q ~ . Accordingly,
we should substitute Xu1 to a1 in (9) and (1 3). Letting:
Ll,,”l =nn, c,,, =m n
and assuming as the reference direction ( 00, $ 0 ) that of the
z’ axis, we can easily solve for the sampling angular directions:
sin e,lm’=- J( nn) 2 cos2 a+(mn?,
tan Qrt nl ’ =-
r1 cos CY
It follows that aperture enlargement just implies an x times
larger Nyquist rate, Le., a x2 times larger number of angular
samples. This is similar to what happens in communication
theory applications, when a signal is passed through a low
passband filter and then sampled. The samplingrate is properly
changed with respect to the ideal filter case, accounting for
the smooth (and not sharp) behavior of the transfer function
of the filter at the cutoff frequency. In our case, the change
in the (angular) Nyquist rate accounts for the nonzero value
of the field in the aperture plane outside the dish area.
When the far field is known in the sampling directions
(22), the radiation diagram can be reconstructed by using the
sampling theorem [2], [ 3] , as we will show in detail here-
after. The far-field samples can be conveniently computed
upon use of known conventional techniques, e.g., PO in the
angular range close to B o and GTD elsewhere. Measured
values of the samples can be used as well. This flexibility is
another very appealing feature of the presented method.
In applying the sampling theorem, it should be remarked
that the Fourier transform pairs are the aperture field distrib-
ution and the transverse components of the spectrum
[ J- RR] - ' E( p) =L E (23)
as follows from (16)' with truncated to c. Accordingly,
the components (23; should be sampled; and then the far
field obtained upon multiplication by the inverse matrix
operator L- ' . Expressing E in its ( e' , 9') components we get
Practical use of (24) requires the truncation of the series
to a finite angular range of significant field samples. Then the
value of x can be chosen, so that expression (24) allows the
reconstruction of the field starting from the best available
values of the true scattered field in the sampled directions
( ennl ' ? Qnnt 'I .
Once the computation of the radiated field has been cast
in terms of an aperture problem, it follows that the radiation
diagram in any plane cut through z' can be expressed in
terms of the Fourier integral of an equivalent line distribution
(integral of the aperture field along lines orthogonal to the
chosen cut). This suggests that numerical experiments can
be performed on the simplest geometry of a parabolic cylinder
with line source illumination; for this case (24) also becomes
Fig. 5 shows a reconstruction experiment and the improve-
ment which is obtained by increasing the aperture area, i.e.,
by increasing the sampling rate. The parabolic cylinder has
an aperture 2al =50X, an aperture half-angle =30' and
the (electric) source line is 1OX far from the focus in the
focal plane.
5Y 10 lr
. u= k 3s t n e
Fig. 5. Radiation diagramof parabolic cylinder. Solid line: surface
currents integration method. Triangles: 11 samples at (spatial)
sampling rate Au =TT. Dots: 11 samples at (spatial) sampling rate
Au =47115.
I I I I , , I I . . 0 I 6 I 71
Fig. 6. Radiation diagramof an offset parabolic cylinder. Solid line:
surface currents integration method. Dots: 7 samples. Crosses: 13
samples. Squares: 19 samples. Triangles: 25 samples.
The solid line represents the ratio I EJEi 1, Ei being the
field due to the source, and has been computed using the
PO surface currents integration method. Then, 11 samples of
this radiation diagram have been used to reconstruct it. The
samples are symmetrically located with respect to 11 =Kal
sin B =10n and spaced of Au =77 (triangles) and Au =4 ~/ 5
(dots), respectively. The latter corresponds to an equivalent
increase of the aperture of 20 percent and results in a negligible
error in the reconstructed pattern up to the third lateral lobe.
Fig. 6 shows the relation between the number of samples
and the angular range in which a good reconstruction of the
is considered with aperture 2al =50h, offset angle Il/o =45'
and aperture half-angle I l / =30'. The cylinder is illuminated
by an (electric) source line 1OX far from the focus. The solid
line represents the radiation diagram computed using the
POsurface currents integration method. Then, this radiation
diagram is sampled, symmetrically with respect to u =677,
with a sampling rate Au =477/5. The total number of samples
is 7 (dots); 13 (crosses); 19 (squares); 25 (triangles). Inspec-
tion of the figure shows that the number of samples requiied
for a quite satisfactory reconstruction of the radiation diagram
is slightly larger than the number of required lobes. The ex-
ample of Fig. 6 exhibits a rather pathological geometry. In
most of the cases we considered, we found that the number of
samples should be equal to the number of lobes plus two.
In this paper we presented a simple reliable method for
fast analysis of the far field scattered by large antennas. One
of the most interesting features of this method is that it is
compatible with any existing program for the analysis of
radiation diagrams, thus requiring no extra programming
effort but a simple interpolation scheme.
I t is also noted that the basic idea of the method is com-
monly used in communication theory. Sampling theory is
widely used in optics [ 51 and also in the antenna field; the
theory has been applied to wire antenna pattern representations
[ 6 ] . (For an excellent review of sampling theory applica-
tions, see [ 7] .) However, we would like to point out that the
use we made of the sampling theorem is completely new,
offering what we think is a significant advantage in reflector
antenna computations. This technique, and especially its
possible modifications [ 81, should play a major role in the
best strategy for antenna radiation pattern analysis [ 91.
[I ] V. Galindo-Israel and R. Mi m, “A new series representation for the
radiation integral with application to reflector antennas,’’ IEEE Trans.
AnrennasPropagat., vol. AP-25, pp. 631-641, Sept. 1977.
[2] E. T. Whittaker, “On the functions which are represented by the
expansions of the interpolation theory.” Proc. Roy. Sor. Edimburgh.
Sect. A, vol. 35,p. 181, 1915.
[3] C. E. Shannon, “Communication in the presence of noise.” in Proc.
IRE, vol. 37, p. 10, 1949.
[4] D. P. Peterson and D. Middleton, “Sampling and reconstruction of
wavenumber-limited functions in N-dimensional Euclidean spaces.“
Inform. Conrr., vol. 5, p. 279, 1962.
[SI J . W. Goodman, Introduction ro Fourier Oprics. New York: McGraw-
[6] E. Roubine, Antennas. Vol. II, Masson, 1978, p. 113.
[7] A. J. J eni, “The Shannon sampling theorem. Its various extensions and
applications: a tutorial review,” Proc. IEEE, vol. 11, p. 1565, 1977.
[SI 0. M. Bucci. G. Franceschetti, andR. Pieni. “Reflectorantennasfields.
An exact aperture-like approach,” to be published.
[ 9] 0. M. Bucci, G. D’Elia, and G. Franceschetti, “Computation of
radiation from reflector antennas. An optimum strategy,” thud Report to
Selenia, Istituto Elettrotecnico. University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
Hill, 1968, p. 21.
Ovidio M. Bucci, for a biography and photograph please see page 305 of this
Giorgio Franceschetti (S’6&M’62SM’73),‘ for a photograph and
biography please see page 595 of the September 1979 issue of this
Giuseppe D’Elia was born in Salerno, Italy, in 1950.
He graduated in electronic engineering from the
University of Naples. Naples, Italy, in 1976.
Since 1976, he has been working with the research
,goup in electromagnetics at the Engineering De-
pamnent of the University of Naples. His main
scientific interests concern the transient behavior of
linear antennas and the analysis of large reflector