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A 33x21 Element

Bent Dipole Array

on a Triangular
Lattice with a
Radome on a
Finite Ground

Simulation Using CST Microwave Studio®

at Sonnet Software, Inc.
Dr. James R Willhite
1 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
A Large Finite Array

A large array model clearly shows the

advantages of working in the time domain.
These models are bigger than can normally
be simulated on a desktop PC.
This model is a large, but finite, array of
radiators. A simple clam shell radome of
lossy dielectric was placed over the array.
The model will first be designed by
simulating the element and then the array
will be simulated for different beam
conditions. Differences between the finite
array results and those from an infinite
array approximation will be noted.

2 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Bent Arm Dipole Radiator Element

coax with The radiator is a design developed at

port Sonnet but is similar to commercial
arrays. A stripline is fed by a coax.
The stripline excites a bent arm dipole
radiator built from metallization on
either side of the stripline stack up.
The thickness of the stack up, plate to
plate, was arbitrarily set to 1mm with a
lossless dielectric of epsilon 3. Again
we have chosen the design to be
tuned stripline
realistic but not identical to that of any

of εr=3

3 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
T-Solver Unit Cell for a Triangular Lattice

First the radiator element must be

designed, for normal incident beams. A
generalized topology was set with all
geometry parameterized. To emphasize
flexibility a triangular lattice will be used for
the array. This is to show that a rectangular
mesh can model a triangular lattice, often a
customer concern.
This triangular lattice can be simulated with
a rectangular unit cell containing 2 radiators
and periodic boundaries. A simultaneous
excitation will be used with both ports at
unity amplitude and in phase. In this
manner the T-solver can be used even in
the initial element design of this triangular

4 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
T-solver Element Log
Since we started with an
arbitrary geometry, even with
some starting em knowledge
a significant number of
designs were simulated
before finding a suitable
radiator. Therefore speed of
simulation was emphasized.
The mesh was set to
lambda/15 with a refinement
of 4. No local refinement was
The T-solver required 4
minutes to simulate the unit
cell to -40dB accuracy. This
is suitable for optimization
and parameter sweeps.

5 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
F-Solver Unit Cell for Triangular Lattice
The radiating element could also be
simulated with the F-solver using unit
cell boundaries. By doing this off axis
results could be obtained if desired.

6 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Coupling to Plane Wave Radiation

With the F-solver and Floquet

mode ports the radiation into the
primary plane wave could be
estimated. For the element used
in the array, the 3dB band for this
radiation was from 2.22 to 3.86
GHz. We were designing for good
performance at 3GHz.

7 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
F-Solver Element Log

Although the F-solver may have some advantages for radiating element
design, in general speed is not one of them. For the same element
design on the same computer as for the T-solver, the F-solver required
142 minutes, x36 that for the T-solver. It also required x24 the memory.
This is why the T-solver was used for design of the radiator.

8 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Excitation Weighting
To reduce the side lobes of the array
pattern and obtain a more realistic
array beam a modified sin(z)/z or
Taylor one-parameter distribution
was used for amplitude weighting.
An Excel spread sheet was used to
a(x) = Io{πB[1-(2x/L)2]1/2}/Io(πB)
where a(x) is the amplitude at a
distance x from the center of a linear
array L in length. B is a constant
chosen to set the side lobe level and
Io is the modified Bessel function of
the first kind; not a standard Visual
Basic function. B had been
tabulated for different SL and we
chose that for a 30dB level.

9 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Array Model Parameters
The array model used a large
number of parameters to
define geometry and set the
excitations. A parameter “ac”
was set for the weighting for
each column and “bc” for each
row in the model. These were
copied from the spreadsheet.

10 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Phasing of the Excitation
The array beam could be
pointed off axis to a location
(phi, theta). To do this the
excitations were delayed by a
time step “dc” between each
column and “dr” between each
row. These parameters were
calculated from the speed of
light, the element spacing,
and the desired angles.

11 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Simultaneous Excitation
To point the weighted array beam,
a simultaneous excitation was
used with each element having an
amplitude equal to the product of
its row and column weight (2D
array weighting was the product
of 2 linear array weightings) and a
delay equal to the sum of the
delays for the column and row.

12 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Far Field for Normal Beam

With the amplitude weighting

we set, the side lobes on a
phi=0 cut are 31.5dB down
from the peak beam. Note
that a 60dB scale is used

13 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Driven Return Near the Array Center

This figure shows the driven

return for a weighted, normal
beam on elements near the
center of the 347 element
array. The response is nearly
uniform in that region.

14 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Driven Return on an Array Row

This figure shows the driven

return for a weighted, normal
beam on elements on the row
passing through the center of
the array. It is not uniform.

15 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Driven Return on an Array Column

This figure shows the driven

return for a weighted, normal
beam on elements on the
column passing through the
center of the array. It is not

16 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Electric Field on Plane Above Array

The amplitude weighting

gives a nearly circular
field amplitude pattern
on a plane over the array
for the normal beam;

17 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Electric Field on Plane Above Array

The amplitude weighting

gives a circular but
oscillatory field amplitude
pattern on a plane over
the array for phi=45,

18 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Polar Cuts Through Realized Gain Patterns at 3 GHz

The array was simulated for 3 beam

patterns; phi=45 and theta=0, 30, and 60.
Polar cuts through the beam peak show
the beam moving out as expected but at
theta=60 there is a grating lobe (~37dB
down) in the forward half space which the
infinite array simulation predicted would
not come until 3.825GHz.

grating lobe

backward forward
half half
space space

19 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Far Field Spectrum at Beam Peak

Far field probes were used to monitor

the radiation in the nominal beam
direction. For the normal beam
(theta=0) the two components of
radiation with phi=45 are equal and
there is a rather broad band of efficient
radiation. As the beam is pointed off
axis the radiation efficiency drops
somewhat and the two spherical
components have different strength.

20 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Realized Gain at 3GHz for Normal Beam

Note that a 60dB scale

was used in order to
show the side lobes of
the radiation.

21 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Realized Gain at 3GHz for Beam at ϕ=45, θ=60

22 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Element Patterns at 3 GHz

center lower corner

Just as the returns vary over the locations in the array, so do the element

23 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096
Array Solver Log
*** Warning ***

Maximum number of pulse widths simulated, solver stopped.

Please note that the steady state energy criterion has not been satisfied.

Peak memory used (kB) Free physical memory (kB)
Physical Virtual At begin Minimum
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a dual Woodcrest
Matrices calc.
Solver run total
6290616 computer the array
Solver Statistics: simulation required 7
Number of meshcells: 35692776 Gbytes and 22 hours
Excitation duration: 7.109097e-001 ns before timing out at 20
Calculation time for excitation:
Number of calculated pulse widths:
pulses. Energy was
Steady state accuracy limit:
Simulated number of time steps:
near -40 dB in all cases.
Maximum number of time steps: 19743
Time step width:
without subcycles: 7.201387e-004 ns
used: 7.201387e-004 ns

Number of threads used: 4

Matrix calculation time: 209 s
Solver time: 80248 s
Total time: 80457 s (= 22 h, 20 m, 57 s )

Total simulation time: 324012 s


24 ©2009 Sonnet Software, Inc. (315)453-3096