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3, MAY 1980

Fast Analysis of Large Antennas-A New Computational Philosophy

OVI DI O M. BUCCI , GI ORGI O FRANCESCHEnI , SENIOR MEMBER, m E . AND GIUSEPPE D'ELI.4

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.

F

I. THE IDEA

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,

Italy.

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

(3)

i'= - 2 sin a+$ cos a

dl

2f

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,

and

u'= K sin 8' cos @'

c' =K sin 0' sin @'

0018-926X/80/0500-0306500.75 0 1980 IEEE

BUCCI et al.: FAST ANALYSIS OF LARGE ANTENNAS

3 07

r

tr

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

where

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.

11. THE IMPROVEMENT

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

requirement.

308 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. AP-28, NO. 3, MAY 1980

~~

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

(21)

and assuming as the reference direction ( 00, $ 0 ) that of the

z’ axis, we can easily solve for the sampling angular directions:

1

KXQ 1

sin e,lm’=- J( nn) 2 cos2 a+(mn?,

tan Qrt nl ’ =-

m

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

BUCCI et ~ 1 . : FAST ANALYSIS OF LARGE ANTENNAS

309

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

where

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 .

111. THE NUMERICAL EXPERIMENTS

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

scalar.

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

151r

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 I . . 0 I 6 I 71

u.ke,sine

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

310 IEEE TRANSACTIONS

most of the cases we considered, we found that the number of

samples should be equal to the number of lobes plus two.

IV. CONCLUSIONS

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.

REFERENCES

[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.

ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION, VOL. AP-28, NO. 3, MAY 1980

[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,

1979.

Hill, 1968, p. 21.

Ovidio M. Bucci, for a biography and photograph please see page 305 of this

issue.

Giorgio Franceschetti (S’6&M’62SM’73),‘ for a photograph and

biography please see page 595 of the September 1979 issue of this

TRAi i SACTONS.

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

antennas.

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