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Near field to Far field Transformation by Asymptotic

evaluation of Aperture Radiation field

Anand Maheshwari1, Shashanka Behera2, Romila Thiyam3, Satyabrata Maiti4, Amrit Mukherjee5
M.Tech1,2,3,4 , Research Scholar5
School of Electronics Engineering, KIIT University
anand_maheshwari45@yahoo.com1,shashanka1988@gmail.com2,romilath@gmail.com3, satyabratamaiti@yahoo.com4,
AbstractAn alternate technique for the analysis of far field
antenna patterns from near field measurements. This technique
uses near field information to determine the far field using
Fourier transform. Radiation from a planar aperture using
asymptotic evaluation of aperture radiation field and Fourier
transform is done. Sampling method is discussed at length to
optimize the near zone data points. Exact far field has been
computed and was compared to the transformed field of the near
zone data.
KeywordsNear field to far field transformation, AUT,
asymptotic, poynting vector, Rayleigh distance.



A need for precise measurement of the radiation from

microwave antennas has arisen in connection with the
development of the advanced antenna design concepts and
improved theoretical approaches for antenna analysis. The
need has been in particular within space applications where
antennas are being constructed to tight specifications, i.e.
down to the order of one percent in gain. Antenna testing has
therefore attracted considerable interest in recent years where
a large number of studies have been made and new
development effected.
The measurement of an antenna far-field radiation pattern
is an important topic in the development and manufacture of
sophisticated antennas. Techniques used for the measurement
of antenna far-field radiation parameters can be classified into
two general categories: direct and indirect [1]. The distribution
of the radiated electromagnetic field from an antenna changes
gradually with distance from the antenna. Distances from the
antenna basically lie in two main regions: near-field and farfield regions.

Indirect techniques, referred to as near-field techniques,

are developed on the fact that the quality of a far-field or
compact range can be determined by the near-field region
measurements, and then these measurements can be converted
by mathematical transformation to the equivalent far-field
measurements. Near-field testing offers all of the advantages
of indoor operations (i.e., all-weather, source, compact) plus
information on the details of the aperture illumination that
otherwise can only be inferred indirectly. Further, because the
antenna under test does not need to be moved, large and
fragile structures can be tested without adding stresses and
associated deflections [3].
The objective of this work is to develop a computational
model to accurately predict the near field of an antenna and
the transformation of near-field to far-field using mathematical
techniques. Near-field to far-field transformation has been
modeled for rectangular aperture antenna. After modeling the
near field of this antenna in planar scanning, more complex
antenna measurement configurations such as cylindrical and
spherical scanning will be attempted as a continuation of this


A reasonable understanding of the theory of near field

measurement is a prerequisite to a successful near field
measurement. The antenna radiates into free space as a linear
system with the single frequency time dependence of ejt. The
antenna is assumed ordinary in the sense of not being an
extraordinarily reactive radiator such as highly super gain

The antennas direct far-field radiation pattern measurement

techniques are performed in the far-field region [2]. Such
techniques are becoming less capable of determining the
performance of advanced antennas. This is due to variety of
problems, including weather effects, multipath and antenna
gravitational distortions, and security [2]. When antennas are
very large or when the final stages of assembly occur at the
installation site, the direct measurement of accurate far-field
radiation patterns is extremely difficult and usually erroneous.
Near field measurement is used for very large antennas for
which the far field distance becomes too large to fit within
actual test range or an anechoic chamber. Near field
measurements provide a fast and accurate method of
determining the antenna gain, pattern, polarization, beam
pointing etc. The advantage of near-field measurements is a
complete characterization of the antenna performance.

Fig 1. Division of the space surrounding the antenna

The far field region extends to infinity, and is that region of

space where the radial dependence of electric and magnetic
fields varies approximately as ejkr/r. The inner radius of the far
field can be estimated from the general free space integral for

the vector potential and is usually set at 2D2/+ for non-super

reactive antennas. The added covers the possibility of the
maximum dimension D of the antenna being smaller than a
wavelength. In other words, the Rayleigh distance should
actually be measured from the outer boundary of the reactive
near field of the antenna. For the main beam direction the
Rayleigh distance can sometimes be reduced. However, in the
direction of the null or the side lobes near the main beam the
far field may not actually be formed until considerably large
distances are reached.
The free space region from the surface of the antenna to the
far field is referred to as the near field region. It is divided into
two sub regions, the reactive near field and radiation near field.
The reactive near field region is commonly taken to extend
about /2 from the surface of the antenna, although experience
with near field measurements indicate that a distance of a
wavelength () or so would form a more reasonable outer
boundary to the reactive near field.
The reactive near field can be defined in terms of planar,
cylindrical or spherical modes. Unfortunately, the reactive
fields of spherical (cylindrical) multipoles are not identical to
the plane wave evanescent fields of the multipoles. Thus a less
ambiguous, simpler and physically appealing method of
defining the reactive region of antennas relies directly on the
poynting theorem and vector potential. One can show that the
contribution to the reactive part of the input impedance of an
antenna from the fields outside a surface surrounding the
antenna is proportional to the imaginary part of the complex
poynting vector integrated over the surface. Thus, wherever the
phase of electric and magnetic field vectors are near
quadrature, poynting vector will contribute mainly to the
reactive part of the input impedance. Taking the curl of the
vector potential equation once to get the magnetic field, and
twice to get the electric field shows that the phase of the
electric and magnetic field may be (but not necessarily) near
quadrature in regions within a wavelength () or so of the
antenna. Consequently the region within a wavelength or so of
the physical antenna is referred to as reactive near field.
Beyond a distance of about a wavelength from non super
reactive antennas the electric and magnetic field tend to
propagate predominantly in phase, but of course do not exhibit
dependence until the far field is reached. This propagating
region between the near field and the far field is called
radiating near field.


The approach that will be used to find the field radiated

from a planar aperture will be based on Fourier transform. The
importance of this method is that it shows that the radiation
pattern is the Fourier transform of the aperture field. This
enables one to use many of the known properties of Fourier
transform pairs to predict the performance of aperture type
Assuming that the tangential components of the electric
field on this aperture surface. From Maxwell's equations it can
be shown that the electric field satisfies the following equation

Fig 2. Rectangular aperture with no ground plane

both J and are zero, so
E becomes

, and in the region z > 0

and the equation satisfied by

If the field can be represented as a region of a planar

surface with a radiating field distribution or aperture
illumination function across it we can write
u(x, y, z=0) = f(x, y)


Here, u(x, y, z) is the solution of the scalar Helmholtz

equation with the boundary condition specified by f(x, y). Let
the two-dimensional Fourier transform of the solution u(x, y,
z) with respect to x, y be
Here, the F symbol is used to denote the Fourier transform
operation. As this is a Fourier transform its inverse can
instantly be written as
where the variables x, y and kx, ky are assumed to be real
whilst U(kx, ky, z) and u(x, y, z)may be complex, that is,
analytic functions.
Applying the time derivative property of Fourier transform
results in
, k.f = 0 and here f does not have a
component in the direction of observation, which is the
direction of the propagation vector k. Thus the field is a TEM

field in the radiation zone. Along the Z axis cos ~ 1 and E(r)
has only x and y components proportional to Fx and Fy, which
are the Fourier transform of the aperture electric field. For
other directions of observation it is convenient to express the
field in terms of its spherical components. Thus,

where u = kx - k1, v = ky - k2, and A, B and C are constants.

The asymptotic solution for E(r) is thus

The magnetic field in the radiation zone is given by

H = Y0 ar x E



where f is equal to its value at the stationary phase point.


The integral to be evaluated for large values of r is

The technique that will be used is Rayleigh's method of
stationary phase. The rationale underlying this method is as
follows: we note that when r is very large e-jkr is a very rapidly
oscillating function. Thus the contributions to the integral
from various points in the kxky plane tend to cancel because
there is lack of in phase addition from the various regions. An
exception is a point where k.r, which is a function of k x and ky
, to first order does not vary with small changes in kx ,ky. Such
a point is called stationary phase point and is characterized by
the vanishing of the first derivative of k.r with respect to kx
and ky
At a stationary point the phase of e-jk.r does not vary
rapidly, and a non zero contribution to the integral would be
obtained from this region of the kxky plane. In the small region
surrounding the stationary phase point, which we denote by k x
= k1, ky = k2, the slowly varying function f(kx ,ky) is put equal
to its value at stationary phase point. The integral that remains
then only involves the function e-jkr and can be evaluated.
In order to facilitate the evaluation expressing
in spherical coordinates by using x =
rsincos, y = rsinsin and z = rcos; thus

The final result is



The method of generation of near field data of a two

dimensional aperture by vector potential method is described
here. The case of a 10 cm x 10 cm rectangular aperture at =
3.2 cm with cosine amplitude distribution in one plane and
uniform field in other direction is considered.
A. Generation of Near field of a 2-D Aperture
A square aperture of dimension 10 cm x 10 cm with its
aperture electric field is shown in fig. This electric field E at
the aperture is expressed in terms of an equivalent magnetic
current M given by
The vector electric potential F at any point P(x,y,z) due to
this magnetic current source is given by
where d = r0 - r1.
The electric field E at this point P is expressed as


In the particular case under consideration the aperture

electric field is assumed to be

The stationary phase point is the point where


The equivalent magnetic current Ms is obtained from

equation as

that is where
kx = k1 = k0 sin cos


ky = k2 = k0 sin sin
A Taylor series expansion of k.r in vicinity of k1 and k2

The vector potential Fy which is in the Y direction can be

expressed from equation as

where d= [(x-x')2 + (y-y')2 + z2]1/2


The computation of the far field from the measured near

field is very much time consuming. The simplest way to
evaluate the integrals is to replace them by summation over
constant increments in X and Y. Ordinarily this use of
elementary rectangular rule of integration would give an
approximation that may introduce computational errors unless
the sampling increments approach zero. Fortuitously the
transmission coefficients can be shown to be band limited and
thus modern sampling theorems can be applied to prove that
the conversion of the integrals to summation introduces no
errors if the sampling increments are chosen less than a given
finite value. The sampling theorem yields the maximum data
point spacing X = Y = /2. Of course, if the far field is
required only near the main beam direction, the sampling
increments for all of the scan techniques can usually be
increased without introducing serious aliasing errors.

this plane. It follows from the two dimensional Nyquist

sampling theorem that, for the wavenumber limited spectrum,
the electric field can be reconstructed for all points on the
plane Z=0 from a knowledge of its values at the rectangular
lattice of points separated by the grid spacing's X =/ kxm,
Y = / kym.
The electric field reconstructed from these samples can be
written as

If the plane Z=0 is found in a region of space where the
electromagnetic field contains no evanescent waves, then the
maximum kx and ky wavenumbers are kxm = kym = 2/. Thus
the sample spacing's for this field are X = Y = /2.
Far field results for planar rectangular aperture antenna are
presented in this section. In the examples where planar near
fields are used, 2-D FFT has been employed. In section VII-A,
synthetic near field data is used to extrapolate the far fields.
The extrapolated far fields are compared to those obtained
directly using the far field expressions.
A. Far Fields Extrapolated from Synthetic Near Fields
In the example a 10 cm x 10 cm rectangular aperture at =
3.2 cm with cosine amplitude distribution in one plane and
uniform field in other direction is considered.
For this particular case the complex near field has been
evaluated at z = 5 cm on a square plane of area 32 cm x 32 cm.
The near field data thus obtained is used to find the far field
using the equation
at = 0 ,30 ,60 ,90 plane and the have been plotted in fig
1,2,3,4 respectively. The exact far field is computed from

Fig 3. Plane-rectangular scanning surface

The sampling criteria assumes that the separation distance

between the probe and the test antenna is large enough to
prevent significant coupling of their reactive fields. For nonsuper reactive antennas, a few wavelength separation is
sufficient. However, if the probe scans within the reactive
fields of the test antenna, the sampling increments must be
decreased to assure accurately computed far fields. The
decreased sample spacing (S) required for planar near field
measurements at a separation distance(d) of a few
wavelengths or less between non-super reactive probe and test
antennas can be estimated from the simple formula,

and they have been presented in figures for comparison.

For example, at a separation distance of about half a
wavelength the distance between data points should generally
be less than /4 to compute accurate far fields.
Now the function f(kx ,ky) known as the wavenumber
spectrum function, is bandlimited. It becomes zero for kx >=
kxm or ky >= kym where kxm and kym are any positive real
numbers. So the results of the Fourier transform analysis may
be used to arrive at a sample spacing criterion for the fields on
Fig 4. Amplitude distribution in the near field of AUT

A simple method for determining the far zone pattern from
near field measurements is presented. The method utilizes near
field data to determine equivalent far field by making use of
two dimensional Fourier transform over the aperture of the
antenna. By using this method, the far field of the antennas
that are not highly directive over large elevations and
azimuthal ranges can be determined without using spherical
scanning. This method has a wider range of validity than the
conventional expansion method.


Fig 5. Phase distribution in the near field of AUT




Fig 6. Comparison of theoretical and transformed far field for the cut = 0




Fig 7. Comparison of theoretical and transformed far field for the cut = 90o

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