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A33STRACT This article is intended to people of Fermat's principle to include points o n the
interested in electromagnetic high-frequency boundary Surface in the ray trajectory.
diffraction by perfectly and imperfectly conduc-
ting objects. It describes the physical founda- edge diffracted ray fromP to Q is a
tions and Sostulates of the Geometrical Theory curve which has stationary length among all
of Diffraction as formulated originally by curves from P to having a point on an edge.
Keller. great emphasis is devoted to the ma- In a homogeneous medium. this implies that the
thematical foundations of the theory which per- ray is a straight line from P to a point an the
nits to elucidate its possibilities and limi- edge and a straight line fromthat point Q.
tations and to introduce later developments and The two lines make equal angles with the edge
improvements ( S e e Part I 1 of this article). For at the point where they meet i t , and lie on op-
each diffraction process. the most important posite sides of the plane normal to the edge at
formulas of GTD are presented with comments con- this point of diffraction. This is the law of
cerning their utility in practical applications diffraction. It shows that one incident ray pro-
and a review of available diffraction coeffi-


When a radiating object is large in terms

of a wavelength. the scattering and diffraction
is found to be essentially a localized pheno-
menon identifiable with certain localized areas
on the object: points of specular reflec-
:tion. shadow boundaries, edges and vertices.
The high frequency field may thereforebe
thought of as being produced by diffracted rays
in an extended geometrical optical sense.
The high frequency approach to be discussed
in this paper. was originally developped by
KELLER 11.2.31 who shmwed that diffraction could FrBdkric Molinet was bornin Wengelsbach,
be introduced in the classical goemetric optics France, on November 13, 1934. He received the
( G O ] , essentially by an extension of Fermat's Engineer degree from Ecole Centrale de Lyon in
principle. Like geometrical optics ( G O ) the dif- 1959, the Ductor d e spitcialit6 [ 3 e cycle) in
fracted field travels along certain straightor theoretical nuclear physics from the University
curved lines called diffractedrays which have af Strasbourg and the Doctor-6s-Sciences degree
to be added to the usual rays of GO. Some of from the Universityof Paris in 1971.
these new rays enter the shadow regions and
account for the light there while others into From 1964 to 1971. he was involved in
the illuminated region. research in plasma physics at the Institut Henri
PoincarrB. During 1971,he joined the Laboratoire
Diffracted rays are produced by incident Central de TBlBcomunicationswhere he leaded
rays which hit edges, corners or vertices of the department of Theoretical Studies and
boundary surfaces or which graze such surfaces. Modelling. In 1980. he founded his own company
Just as there are laws of relfection and refrac- MOTHESIM where his activityis centred on nume-
tion which govern the behaviour of incident, rical and asymptotic solutions of electroma-
reflected and refracted rays, Keller proposed gnetic and acoustic radiation and scattering
adding several new laws which could describe problems, with applications to E M P , m C , radar
the behaviour of various species of diffracted and sonar scattering.
rays. The postulztes of Keller's theory called
Geometrical ThDory of Diffraction (GTD) ars D r . Molinet is a former president of the
summarized as follows chapter Waves and Fields of the Societe des
Electriciens, Electroniciens et des RadioBlec-
(1) Diffracted fields propagate along diffracted triciens (SEE). a member of IEEE and of URSI
rays which aredetermined by a generalization Commissions B and E.

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duces a cone of diffracted rays (Fig,l). diffracted rays tangential1 as i t propagates.
Surface diffracted rays folyowthe modlfled
Fermat principle for surface diffraction A
surface-diffracted ray from a point Pto a
point Q is a curvewhich makes stationary the
optical length among all curves from P to Q
having an arc on the boundary surface. Accor-
ding to this law, the incident ray and the
resulting surface diffracted rayin the same
medium, are parallel to each other at the point
of diffraction and lie on opposite sides of the
plane normal to the ray at this point. When the
two rays lie in different media, they obey the
law of refraction. In an homogeneous medium, the
arc Q ~ Q zfollowed by the ray on the boundary is
an arc of a geodesic or shortest path on the
surface (Fig.4) and the incident and diffracted
Fig.1 Edge diffraction rays are tangent to the surface ray at Q I and
The laws of edge diffraction apply to
higher order edge diffracted rays produced by
higher order edges, which arelines o f disconti-
nuity of the curvature or some higher derivative
on a boundary surfaceor interface (Fig.2).

Fig.4 Creeping rays

Diffraction like reflection and transmission
is a localized phenomenon at high frequencies,
i.e. i t depends only on the nature of the boun-
Fig.2 Tip diffractiondarysurface andthe incidentfield inthe imme-
diate neighourhood of the point of diffraction.
An incident ray which hits a vertex (corner
or tip) in an homogeneous medium produces I t is therefore possible to introduce a dif-
straight diffracted rays which leave the vertex fraction coefficient for each type of diffracted
in all directions. This is the law of vertex o r rays in the same sense as a reflection coeffi-
corner diffraction (Fig.3). Higher order vertex cient in which allot,zs to relate the magni-
tude of the diffracted field associated with

each point on a diffracted ray to that of the
incident ray urhich generatesi t . Like the
reflection coefficients, the diffraction coef-
ficients will depend onlyo n the local geometry
within a small region about the point of dif-
fraction and may be derived by extracting
them from the asymptotic solution for a body
which approximates the geometry of the actual
surface over the region of interest. Those pro-
blems for which exact asymptotic solutions have
been obtained are referred to as canonical problem.
P For example. in the case of diffraction by the
edge of a thin screen, the canonical problem is
Fig.3 Higher-order that of a plane wave diffracted by a thin screen
a and
thus having
edge. This problem was solved by Sommerfeld in
diffracted rays produced by higher order ver- 1896 for a scalar field satisfying the wave
tices, which are discontinuitiesin higher order equationand vanishing on the screen o r having a
derivatives of an edge or higher order edge vanishing normal derivate on the screen. By
follow also the law of vertex diffraction. expanding his solution asymptotically for large
k and comparing the result with that of geome-
When an incident ray strikes a smooth, cur- trical theory, the diffraction coefficient D
ved boundary surface at grazing incidence, i.e. for these two cases can be determined.
at the shadow boundary, i t gives rise to a sur-
face diffracted ray or creeping ray. I n an homo- ( 3 ) The normal laws of Geometrical Optics apply.
geneous medium a ray incident on the shadow In detail, the diffracted wave propagates along
boundary at Q1 divides into two parts; one part its ray that
of the incident energy continues straight on as
predicted by geometrical optics and a second a) Power is conserved in a tube o r a strip o f
part follows the surface into the shadow region rays
a surface ray or creeping ray, which sheds b) The phase delay along the ray path equals

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the product of the wave number of the mediumwhere the time dependence e -iw t has been choo-
and the distance. Thus, i f the phase is sen and suppressed and where rl is the characte-
known at one point of the ray, i t can be
found at all other points on the ray. More-
ristic impedance of the media given by n 4
In order to introduce the technique which may
over, at the point of diffraction, the phasebe used to construct asymptotic solutions veri-
is continuous, i.e; the phase of the inci- fying the vector Helmholtz equation (1) subject
dent ray equals that of the diffracted ray. to the condition called Gaussian law, we
first consider a scalar field U in which case,
The postulates and comments given above, summa- the equations (1)-(3) reduce to the scalar
rize the essential physical principles under- Helmholtz equation
lying Keller's Geometrical Theoryof Diffraction. A U + k U = O (4)
More details on this subject maybe found in
the original articles of Kellerand his coworkers, When k 03, we know that (4) is verified by the
especially in the following review papers [ 5 , GO field. Thus, we seek for solutions o f the
71. Interesting introductions to the theory form
are also given in[81.[91,[10].
U (r) A(r)e ikS(:) (5)
Keller's theory has proved to be of great
practical value and has formed the foundation where is a slowly varying functi on of position
for further developments in the asymptotic and k i s large. Substituting (5) i nto ( 4 ) we
theory of diffraction. Many of these develop- get
ments have beenmotivated by the attempt to 2 . +A 1
overcome some of the defects of GTD such as the 1 (VS) [AS VS] + p (6)
singularities at shadow boundaries and caustics.
In order to elucidate the limitations of Since k is supposed large but arb i trary. equa-
GTD and introduce later developments and impro- tion ( 6 ) is verified i f
vements, the best way is to adapt a more mathe-
matical point of view closely related to (vs)z 1
Maxwell's equations.
_ c

From a mathematical point of view, the field A

constructed by Keller's Geometrical Theory of We recognize in (7) and (8)the eikonal and
Diffraction is the leading part of the asymp- transport equations of GO. They are equivalent
totic expansion of the exact field for small to Fermat principle and the law of conservation
values of the wave length1 o r large values of of power in a tube of rays. From (6) we see
k. The full asymptotic expansion consists of that these laws are strictly valid in the limit
additional terms in the amplitude of the field k+ or for finite k. when&= 0.
on each ray. These statements have not been
proved in general. Nevertheless, the agreement One way to generalize the asymptotic solution
found at various special problems provides given by GO, consists in seeking for solutions
strong evidence of their validity. At high fre- for which the third tern o f is not zero,but
quencies, the resolution of the scattering pro- small compared to thc second term. Such solu-
blem consists therefore in finding asymptotic tions can be obtained by the method of pertur-
solutions of Maxwell's equations submitted to bations applied to the amplitude of the GO
boundary conditions on the surface of the solution. the small parameter being 1 [ll].
scattering object and at infinity. This problem w
can be divided into two steps. In a first step F o r a vector field, the GO solution has the
we seek for solutions of Maxwell equations with form
no specific boundary surfaces in mind. In a
second step, the boundary conditions on the sur-
face of the scattering object are imposed on
these solutions. This procedure appliesi f one Application of the method of perturbations con-
is able to find asymptotic solutions which are sists in writing
sufficiently general and which are valid every-
where, outside and on the surface of the object.
We will s e e that i t is generally not possible to
find such uniform asymptotic solutions andthat
there exist some regions in space andoil the surface
of the object called boundary layers where dif- where the series on the right hand side of (11)
ferent asymptotic solutions are needed. It is and (12) are asymptotic expansions with respect
however possible to solve the whole problem by to the asymptotic sequence k-". also called the
matching these asymptotic solutions in regions Luneberg-~lineexpansion of the field.
where they overlap. co

Our attention will be restricted t o isotro- In general. given a, series amk-m, where am
pic homogeneous media. In such a media, Maxwellis independent of k , we say that the series is
equations for an harmonic field are equivalent an asymptotic expansigg with respect to the
to asymptotic sequence k and write

V 2 6 + k E = 0 (1) f(k) am kdm as k m

V - E = O i f and only i f
I f = 1 v x i (31 f = k-m o(k-") as k
i kn m=o am

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where o means the Landau symbol I r smal oh". to the cross section of a narrow pencil o f rays
Definitions and properties of asymptotic expan- dx ( u ) by the well-known formula
sions nay be found in chapter 1 of reference
[lll. dC(0) {J(o)l dol do2
Substituting (11) and (12) into (1). ( 2 ) and
( 3 ) and equating like powers of k , i t is found Thus, apart from a phase factor, the Jacobian
that ratio in (18) is equal to the square root of the
2 cross-section o f a pencil at two points on a ray
(VS) 1 This is illustrated in Fig. 6 where four rays
are shown defining an astigmaticpencil of rays
with curvilinear cross-section. F r o m elementary
geometry w e find

where R 1 ) and R 2 ) are

the coordinates of the centers of curvature of
the initial wave front x. and R, and R, the
We note that the eikonal equation ( 1 3 ) is identi associated radii of curvature which are taken
cal to that which has been obtained for the GO positive i f the rays emanating from the corres-
field. The solution ( 1 1 ) . (12) is therefore a ponding focus are divergent and negative i f the
ray field h a v i n g the same geometrical properties rays are convergent. I t can be shown[ 1 that
as the GO field the rays form a congruence in the Jacobjan ratio is exactly equal to
space (two pararnete+r family) and are orthogonal the right hand side ofao[21) where the absolute
to the surfaces S ( r ) constant, called wave value has been removed. Thus
fronts. In an homogeneous media, the rays form
a congruence o f straight lines and along each
ray the phase is given by

where S has the constant value on a given

initial wavefront 1 and wherea denotes the
distance from 1, along a ray. measured positi-
vely in the direction of wave propagation. I f
a l a , ) is a system of orthogonal curvilinear
coordinates X,, a r a y may be labelled by two
parameters ( a , . Thus ( 0 , . form a
system of ray coordinates (Fig.5).

Fig.6 Astigmatic pencil of rays

Note that when00 R, 0, the focus line F,

lies between the wave fronts defined by u and
In other words, whenwe progress along the ray
pencil from to in the direction of wave
propagation, we cross a focal line. Then a
change of has to be introduced in the anpli-
Fig.5 Initial wavefront and ray coordinates 2
tude. This condition is verified i f the follow-
The transport equation (14) is an iterative ing convention for the square roots in (22) is
system of equations for finding %m-l. They r e - qdopted (R1,2 takes positive real, posi-
duce to ordinary linear differential equations tive imaginary o r zero values.
along a given ray. The solutionsof the latter
are found to be appendix 1 of [12] o r chap- Let us now come back to (18). This formula
ter of 1131) enables one to continue em along a given ray.
For m 0, we find

Thus. for the zeroth-order amplitude it

only necessary t o knox initial value o f e
ITI 0. 1.2, at a reference point in order to carry outo
ahere ~ ( 0 is ) the Jacobian of the transformation this sontinuation. W e z e e also that the direc-
f r o m ray coordinates ( g l ,a to rectangular tion eo which defines the polarization of the
coordinates [ X , , X,, X , ) zeroth-order field, remains constant along a
ray. In addition, i t is found from (15) and ( 1 6 )
J ( U ) J(U1,UZ a) a[xl. X'I(l9) that
01, I
The Jacobian J ( a 1 along a given ray is related
ds d x (24)

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which means that ("e0.60, VS) form a right-handed fectly conducting surfaces defined by an impe-
system of vectors. Thus the leading term of the dance boundary condition
asymptotic expansion ( 1 1 ) describes a local
plane-wave field. ,At a caustic point where
0 R,or R , . eo(') becomes infinite, hence
(23) fails. As mentioned before, the satisfaction of condi-
tion (15) or Gauss's law at one point on a ray
For a higher-order amplitude m implies its satisfaction on all other points on
more information is needed in order to continue the same ray. Hence, i t is only necessary to
em along a give? ray. In addition to the initial enforce (15) at points on the surface B of the
value $m(ao),v2em-l(o') must be known for all CI' scatterer.
in the range u o c T I < ~ . For m 1 for instance,
one needs V2eo(u'). According to (23) and
this implies the knowledge of the first and
second derivatives of R,and R, with respect to Conditions (27) and the continuation of
the transverse coordinates ( u , , on the ini- phase
tial wave front. The amplitudes'& should also R +
satisfy Gauss's law (15). For the zeroth-order si(;) (r) r on B (30)
field we saw that this law describes the polari-
zation of the wave which remains constant along define completely the solution (26). I t is found
a ray. This property holds for m 0. I t has E91 that (30) which is a consequence of (26) or
been proved [14] that, whenever satisfies (27) i s equivalent Fermat principle extended
(15) at o n e point on the ray, then i t does to reflection and contains the law of reflect-ion.
along the whole ray. This does not mean that Its enforcement yields also the radii of curva-
the polarization directionof with m is ture and the principal directions of the scatte-
orthogonal to the ray, like 80. In general the red wave front at the point of reflection. Thus
polarization directions of higher order terms the solution (26) may be called a general
are not orthogonal to the ray. The corresponding reflected field. For m equations to
Poynting vector is therefore not directed along (30) give the geometrical optics reflected field.
the ray, but makes an angle with i t which I t can be shown that the GO reflected field
accounts for energy flow transverse to the ray. observed at P is related to the incident field
According to the hypothesis underlying the per- at the point of relfection Q , by
turbation method, this energy flow and hence
the corresponding angle are supposed small.
Having determined a general asymptotic solution
to Maxwell equations-for k large, we nowgo over
to the second step of the resolution process, ikSi( Q )
consisting to apply to this solution the boun- where Ei(Q) +eo(Q1
dary conditions on the surface of the scattering
object The distance between Q and the field point on
the reflected ray is denoted by s and
Reflected field are the principal radii of curvature of the
reflected wave front at Q. The squars root term
W e consider first asmooth scattering object is called the divergence factor and E is the
which has no singularitiesin the tangent plane, reflection dyadic, defined by
and suppose that the incident field has the fol-
lowing high frequency expansion
m +i
+Ei ( r ) - e ikSi(G) m,Co(ik)-m em(r) (25) in which eL is a unit vector_perpepdicular to
+i i + the plane of incidence and el :e are unit
with a similar+expression for H ( r ) where S ( r ) , vectors parallel to the plane'of incidence
e i ( " r ) a n d & , ( r ) are known and verify equations that
(13) to (16). The incident field has associated
with i t ra s-which arestraight lines in the e, el x (33)
direction '?SI. Some of them hit the boundary B
of the object, and divide the space into an ^i
where s and are unit vectors in the direc-
illuminated region and a shadow region separatedtions of incidence and reflection respectively
by a surface called the incident shadow boundary as shown in Fig.7. In matrix notation, the
In the hit region they give rise to a scattered
field %R(r) which, added t,o the incident field,
equals the total field ST(r)there. The problem
is to determine the+asymptotic solution of the
scattered field Is(r).
We suppose that %R has the general form given
by (111. (15)
SR(;) e ikSR(Tl.
(ik1-m (26)
where SR($) and $m(%) verify (17), (151 and (15)
If the scatterer is a perfect conductor, the
boundary condition on the surfaceB requires
that the tangential components of the total
electric field be zero Fig.7 Unit vectors of the
reflection dyadic
i x (6' + S R ) o r on^ (27) reflection coefficient has a form familiar for
the reflection of a plane electromagnetic wave
where is the outward normal to B For imper- from a plane surface with constant Z equal

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the value of Z at the point of reflection, and an arbitrary surface with an impedance
namely When
boundary the observation
(341 is close to the incident shadow boundary, the
R [ R ~ 01 ~ point of reflectiun Q close to the curve r
RTE separating the illuminated side of the surface B
where RTPI.
RTE are the Fresnel diffraction coef- o f .the smooth obiect from its shadow side.I.tcan
ficients for a transverse electric and a trans- be shown that the curve r belongs to the caustic
verse magnetic field respectively, with respect surface of the reflected rays.Hence when Q
to the plane of reflection. For a perfectly con- lies on r . i t coalesces with a focus o f t-he re-
ducting surface, R T M 1 and R T E 1. The flected wave anti the curvature radius of this
fact that the reflection dyadic is identical to wave, in the plane of reflection, is zero at Q.
that of a plane electromagnetic wave incident a conseguence, the field predicted by (18)
on a plane surface tangent at the point of on the surface of the object is infinite and the
reflection to the actual surface and having method applied to construct the solution (25)
everywhere a constant impedance equal to that fails. The asymptotic expansion (26) is there-
at the point of reflection is not surprising fore not valid in the l i t region when the obser-
and is a consequence of the local nature of the vation point lies in the vicinity of the inci-
high frequency reflection. This remark is funda- dent shadow boundary surface o r when the surface
mental for the understanding of GTD. I t shows reflection point lies close to the shadow boun-
that the leading term of the asymptotic expan- dary curve of the incident rays on the surface
sion of the field diffracted by a smooth convex of the scattering object. I t is of course also
object in the l i t region, away from tne shadow not valid in the shadow region of the incident
boundary, is the GO field and that the diffrac- rays since no point of reflection exists on the
tion coefficient (here the reflection coeffi- shadow side ofthe object.
cient) can be obtained with the tangent plane
approximation for both the incident wave front Edge diffracted field
and the surface of the object at the point of
reflection. For m = O . the genera€ reflected We consider now an object,the surface of which
field at P may be related to the incident field having a discontinuity line in the tangent plane
at the point of reflection by a formula identi- forming a sharp edge which may be straight or
cal to (31) with the same phase factor and the curved. Away from this discontinuity line. the
same divergence factor as in (31). IIoviever, the surface is supposed smooth with curvature radii
diffraction dyadic is no longer Ziven by (32). large in terms of wavelength. An incident ray
The higher order terms of the reflection dyadic field defined by hits the boundary surface
depend on higher order derivativesof the sur- %sof the object giving rise to a scattered field
face at the point of reflection and on the dis- E which can be y-itten as the sum of a general
tance s . They can therefore not be determined reflected,field E R given by (26) and an additim-
by the tangent plane approximation. The higher nal term Ed, due to the presence of the edge,
order scattered field remains a ray fieldin called the diffracted field such that
the sense that the surfaces of constant phase
are orthogonal to a two parameter family of (35)
rays, but i t is no longer a transverse electro-
magnetic field with respect to these rays. In We suppose that fid has the general form given
most practical applications of high frequency by ( 1 1 ) and (12) which may be multiplied by an
techniques, the leading term or GO term descri- arbitrary function f(k) of the wave number k
bes correctly the field scattered by a smooth
surface in the l i t region and higher order terms
are not useful, unless the reflection point d
crosses a line of discontinuity in the curvature where S (3) and Q verify (17), ( 1 8 ) and (15).
which gives rise to a discontinuity in the GO The diffracted figld is therefore a r a y field.
field. We will see later that when this happens, Moreover, the diffracted rays emanate from the
the term rn 0 and m 1 in the series (26) edge since those emanating from a regular point
are needed in addition to the field diffracted of the surface are already accountedfor in the
by the curvature discontinuity, for the cons- expression of the general reflected fisld. The continua-
truction of a continuous solution. tion of phase o r phase matching at each point
of the edge C
In applying ( 3 1 ) , the difficulties lie in d
the calculation of the principal radii of curva- si(?) (t.1 r on c (37)
ture of the reflected wave front. General fornu-
las for p f and p; are given in [9] [15] and defines completely the diffracted rays which
[16] A systematic procedure for the determina- form a two parameter family or congruence of
tion of higher order terms of the electromagne- rays passing through the edge. The curve C is
tic field reflected by a conducting surface one of the caustic surfaces, here degenerated
having everywhere radii of curvature large in in a curved li-ne, of the ray family which is
terms of wavelength but otherwise arbitrary and tangent to a second caustic surface A (Fig.
explicit results for the first twoorders I t is found [9], [ l a ] , that ( 3 7 ) is equivalent
(m 1) are presented in 1171 and summarized to Fermat principle extended to edge diffrac-
in [18]. For an imperfectly conducting surface, tion. Its enforcement yields Keller's law of
a general procedure for axially symetric scalar edge diffraction and determines the principal
waves reflected by bodies of revolution is out- directions o f the diffracted wave front at the
lined in [ 1 9 ] and applied to the diffraction of point of diffraction Q as well as the radius of
a scalar plane waveby a circular and a para- curvature of the diffracted wave front at Q in
bolic cylinder the surfaces of which satisfy an the plane of diffraction defined by the tangent
impedance boundary condition. Complementary to the edge at Q and the direction of observa-
results obtained by the same technique are given tion. The radius of curvature in the plane per-
'in No general formulas have been esta- pendicular to the plane of diffraction is zero
3lished for an arbitrary electromagnetic wave since Q is on the caustic.

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diffracted field close to the edge. In this
region owing to the presence of the caustic,
the amplitude o f the diffracted field varies
rapidly and the assumptions made in deriving
the asymptotic solution ( 1 1 ) and (12) by the me-
thod of perturbations are no longer valid.W e
need therefore another solution valid close to
the edge. Two methods maybe followed and have
been applied in the past. The first one calls
upon the local nature of high frequency dif-
fraction and makes use of the tangent plane
caustic surface approximation along the edge. The second method
consists in applying the boundary layer theory.
This method is more general than the first one
Fig.8 Cautics of edge-diffracted rays and gives a mathematical justificationof i t .
short presentation of theboundary layer
In order to determine completely the dif- theory will b e given in Part I 1 along with
fracted field given by ( 3 6 ) . i t is ne essary to the most important applications of this theory
find a way to relate the amplitudes 8 8 , of the and its impact on further developments.
diffracted field to the amplitudes 8 i of the The tangent plane approximation consists
incident field which are known. Since the edge in replacing the surfaces on both sides of the
is a caustic of the diffracted field, the edge at the point of diffraction by tangent
field predicted by (18) is infinite on C and i t planes forming an infinite straight wedge.'
is therefore not possible to match the amplitude In addition. in the vicinity of the point of
of the diffracted field with that of the inci- diffraction the incident wave is
dent field through the application of boundary replaced by a plane wave. Thus the initial
conditions on the surface of the scattering problem is reduced to a simpler problem, namely
object. However, following Lewis and Boersma the diffraction of a plane wave by a straight
and rewriting the integral in ( 1 8 ) in wedge. This problem was solvedby Mac Donald
the forrr, [ 2 2 1 who extended Sommerfeld' solution for the
half-plane and obtained an integral represen-
tation for the eigenfunction expansions of the
total field. By expanding his solution asympto-
where the dash denotes the finite part of a tically for large k and comparing the result
divergent integral. we get an alternative form .xith that of geometrical theory given by ( 4 3 1 .
for ( 1 8 ) the dyadic diffraction coefficient canbe deter-
mined. This procedure is the standard clethod o f
GTD developped by Ke1,ler. I t gives only or
[J(ao)1 1 the leading term of the+dyadic diffraction coef-
[J(IJ)I~;~(~~++ 2 0
The right side of independent of IJ.I f ficient. The values of 6m for m depend on the
we denote its value by 6m, then we obtain amplitudes of the incident and diffracted wave
and their first and higher-order derivatives at
the point of diffraction, which dependthem-
v2gm- 1 ( ~ ' J d o '(40) selves on higher-order derivatives of the sur-
Taking limits as 0 in (40) shows that 6 m can face of the scatterer in the vicinity of that
be written as point. They can therefore not be obtained by the
tangent Dlane approximation. W e w i l l see in
Part I 1 that. the boundary layer method uermits
the determinatinn of the higher-order terms on
The initial values gm have first to be determi- the diffracted rays, which involvethe curvature
ned before (40} i s useful. It depends on the o f t h e edge and its derivatives. However, in
properties of the diffracted field closeto the most pratical applications. only the first order
edge. term m o is useful. According to ( 3 6 ) where
For m (40) yields f(k) k-4, the term m 1 is of the order k-3'Z
and can be neglected unIess the first order
term vanishes. This happens for instance when
the incident field vanishes at the point of dif-
According to where one of the curvature fraction. but not its derivatives. This problem
radius has to bep putequal to zero, J(a)is pro- will be discussed in a more general framework
portional to s and since we are in Part 1 1 .
dealing with !,near phenomenon, must be For a perlectly conducting wedge the dyadic
proportional to the incident field at the point diffraction coefficient corresponding to the
o f diffraction. The constant o f proportionaIity leading term (m of the diffracted field
i s best represented
is referred to as a diffraction coefficient,and first introduced by Kouyoumjian in ray-fixed coordinates
for electromagnetic fields i t is a dyadic.Hence, 115, 23]ruho showed that in theseand Pathak
the leading term in ( 3 6 ) becomes i t is simply the sum of two dyads
gd($) ~
Z i ( Q ) De s ( p ' ,iks 7 (431 * a

Ee Ds- $Dh (44)

+i +i ikSi[Q) and where where D, and DK are the scalar diffraction coef-
where s IQPl, E ( Q ) eo(Q)e ficients for soft [Dirichlet) and hard ( N e m a n n )
boundary conditions respectively. first esta-
is the dyadic edge diffraction coefficient. blished by Keller and given by
It follows _from by dimensional considera- ir K
tions that Be.must vary as k-%, hence, the func- e 'sin n
tion flkl-in ( 3 6 ) can be choosen equal to k-4. Ds(4.t~' . E l (45)
Like 6 0 . be depends on the properties of the h n/"Z sin8

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1 1 tion (36) fails at these surfaces which are the
limiting forms when k + - o f boundary layers also
cos 7T c o s ( M j cos cos(~l) called transition regions, in which the complete
n n n
solution of the diffraction problem varies rapidly
In order to define the notations in (44) and that the assumptions prevailing to the appli-
(45) let us introduce an edge-fixed plane of in- cation of the perturbation method which leadsto
cidence containing the incident ray and the (36) are not valid there. The scalar diffraction
edge and a plane of diffraction containing the coefficients (45) become also singular in the
diffracted ray and the edge (Fig. 9a). The unit, paraxial region when This is a conse-
quence of the choice of cylindrical eigenfunc-
tions in the construction of the solution of
the wedge problem. It has been shown recently
by Kouyoumjian and Buyukdura 241 that a sphe-
rical eigenfunction is appmprlate in this.
case and leads to an asymptotic solution of the
diffraction problem of a straight wedge in terms
of edge-modes, which is valid in the limit of
grazing incidence on the edge of the wedge.
The tangent plane approximation can also be
applied to an imperfectly curved wedge. However,
the solution of the canonical problem of dif-
fraction of a plane waveby a straight wedge
defined by constant but different impedances
on each face, is not known for an arbitrary
sedge angle at oblique incidence. normal
incidence this problem was solved by Maliu-
Fig.9a :Edge-fixed plane zhinets ( 2 5 , 263. The scalar diffraction coef-
of incidence and f-cients for TM wave (&//;I or a TE wave
diffraction (Bi 2) found by this author can be put in
a form similar to ( 4 5 ) .
vectors and $are perpendicular to the edge-
fixed piane of incidence and the plane dif-
fraction respectively. The unit vectorsBI6
are parallel to the edge-fixed plane of inci-
dence and the plane of diffraction respectively,

where and are unit vectors in the directions where the angles Q and have the same defini-
of incidence and diffraction respectively. Thus tion as in (45) and where is a rather com-
the coordinates of the diffracted ray (s.6.Q plicated function of n and of the impedances
are spherical coordinates with orgin Q where Q and Zn of the faces and ns respecti-
is. the diffraction point on the edge and axis vely the expression of which is given by
where 6 is the unit vector of the tangent to
the edge at Q and are the coordinates of the
incident ray,(sl except the incident
unit vector s points towards the origin Q.
The law of edge diffraction implies cos8 cos (47)
The wedge angle is (2-n)n where the plane sur-
faces forming the wedge a r e 0 and ns In (47) $n(u) is a special meromorphic function
(Fig. 9b). For n the wedge angle is zero first introduced by Maliuzhinets and sin9 = n
n for a TE wave and sinao= sinan= Zn
Zn n n
for a TM wave. useful expsessiod for the cdm-
putation of this function for an arbitrary wedge
angle has been deducedby the present author
from the original expression given inC271 by a
simple variable change. In the interval
nn<Reu<na. $(u) is given by

Other useful expressions are given in [36].

Formula (46) is also valid for n=2 (half-plane)
and n=l (impedance discontinuity in a plane).
Fig.9b Projection in a plane Solutions for these cases have been obtained
orthogonal to the edge earlier. The diffraction problemof an electro-
and the expressions on the right side of (45) magnetic plane wave by a half plane with equal
reduce to the scalar diffraction coefficients face impedances has been solved for both normal
for a half plane. I t is seen from (45) that the and oblique incidence by Senior [27. 281 and
scalar diffraction coefficients for a;wedge or with different face impedances and oblique inci-
a half plane become singular for$ Q n and dence by Bucci and Franceschetti [291. For an
Q ' = 7 corresponding respectively to the impedance discontinuity in a plane. the solution
shadow boundary and reflection boundary of the for normal incidence has been first given by
SO field. This means that the asymptotic solu- Heins and Feschbach [ 3 0 ] . Solutions have also
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been established for the special case n S(r) verifies. the eikonal equation of GO. In an
corresponding to a right-angled wedge for normalhoTogeneous medium the equal-amplitude surfaces
incidence by Williams [31]. For obl.ique inci- X(r) const+. are orthogonal to the equal-phase
dence the electromagnetic diffraction problem surfaces S(r1 const. and are therefore gene-
has been solved for a right-angled wedgewith rated by the rays which are sLraight lines
one face imperfectly conducting andthe other orthogonal to the surfaces S(r) const. Hence
metallic by Vaccaro [32 who extended to elec- the value of X is constant on each ray. The
tromagnetic diffraction [33 1. the generalized amplitude vectors Zmverify linear ordinary
reflection method pioneeredby Maliuzhinets differential equations along the rays similar
in solving thescalar problem. version of this to (14) but their explicit form depends on the
method is also presented in [34] and applied to value o f a which must lie in the interval
a right-angled wedge in 1. However. no elec- From the asymptotic expansion of the
tromagnetic solution has been established for exact solution of the diffraction of a plane
a wedge with equal or different face impedances, wave by a cylinder, i t is found that Jhen
even when the wedge is right-angled. For the last i t can be shown E361 that 1, !L and that ,e
case a solution exists onlyfor the special verifies the transport equation 3 of GO. However
cases when one face is imperfectly conducting the right-hand side of the equations verified
and the other face is a perfectly electric by the higher-order terms are different and
conductor or a perfectly magnetic conductor. depend on the derivatives of the function x.
For the special geometries n 1 , n 2,n 2' Finally, the arbitrary elements in the construc-
Maliuzhinets special function $n in (46) ,reducestion of the solutio? with f are the initial
to much simpler expressions involving only values of and of em on some surface, and the
trigonometric functions [Z6 1. value of x on each ray. These quantities may
Expression (46) like (45) are singular at the be adjusted in order that the expansion corres-
shadow and reflection boundaries of the field, ponds to the solution o f a particular boundary
for the same fundamental reason the existence value problem. We know from Keller's GTD that
of transition regions where the ray-optical creeping rays are geodesics on the surface of
solution (36) fails. Of course the same behaviour any object. They originate at the shadow boun-
,is found at oblique incidence. dary and continually shed diffracted rays which
irradiate the shadow and also enter the illumi-
Higher-order edges d d nated region. Hence in an homogeneous medium,
The general solution (36) where S and 8 m are each incident ray tangent to the surface B of
given by (37) is also valid for higher-order the scattering object at Q gives rise to a one
edges and the geometrical interpretation of the parameter family of diffracted rays tangent t,o
solution is the same and leads to the same the surface B along that geodesic of B which
features. In particular, Keller law of edge is tangent to the incident ray at Q and starts
diffraction showing that the diffracted rays from Q in the direction of the shadow sideof
associated with each point on the edge form a B. I f we consider now all rays of the incident
cone, remains valid. However, for higher-order field tangent to the surface B, then Q describes
edges, the initial values $m in (40) depend on the shadow boundary curve r on B and therefore
higher-order derivatives of the surface of the denendson one parameter. Consequentlythe dif-
scatterer in the vicinity of the poant of dif- fracted rays associated to all incident rays
fraction, even for the leading term&, which tangent to B along the curve r form a two para-
can therefore not be obtainedby the tangent meter family or congruence of rays. I f we choose
plane approximation. I t is easy to see that this congruence of rays as the solution of the
this approximation leads to the problem of re- eikonal equation, then (49) with and
flection of a plane waveby an infinite plane Xm = m is a general asymptotic expansion descri- noinformation about the contribution b i n g 3 h e behaviour of the field associated with
of the higher-order line of discontinuity which creeping rays. In orqer to define completely
is not present in this approximation. The pro- the phase function S ( r ) . the continuity of phase
blem has been solvedby the boundary layer is imposed along the shadow curve r s o that
method as will be shown in chapter 1 of Part 1 1 -
Sd(Q1) Si(Q) kt (50)
Creeping waves
It can be shown that the solutions of the form where t is the length o f the arc of geodesic
[36) are not the most general forms of asymptotic between Q and the point Q' where the ray leaves
expansionsencountered in diffraction problems. the surface B. The diffracted raysshed from
Other kinds of expansions which contain exponen-the surfaceare tangent to B which is therefore
tial decay factors and fractional powers of k a caustic surface for these rays. Hence the
may be constructed, whichformally satisfy the solution cannot be madeto satisfy the boundary
basic.equations {1)-(3). Typically, we look for conditions at the surface B of the scattering
solutions of the form object and a limiting process similar to that
described by (41) has to be employed which
yields for m 0 an expression similar to (42).
(49) I t follows that the leading term can be written
where the functions S, x and the real num- in the form
bers andX, are to be determined in such way
that lixis an asymptotic sequenceand that((49)
satisfies equations (1]-(3) formally. Such solu-
tions have been first constructed for the scalar
Helmholtz equati-on byFriedlander and Keller
[36]who showed that this type of expansions where s is the distance from to the observa-
leads to a theoretical foundation of GTD for dn(Q) 4
,creeping waves similarto that given by the tion point P and where the factor[dq(Q'J takes
Luneberg-Kline type expansions(36) for the into account the amplitude variation resulting
edge-diffracted waves. SuDstitutlng (49) into from the divergence of the creeping wave. On a
( 1 1 and (2). i t is found that the phase function cylindrical surface, illuminated by a plane

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wave, this factor is equal to unity. In (51) 6 ' Expansion (51) has also been extendedt o the
field radiated in the shadow region by a
is the dyadic diffraction coefficient for creeping rays.
I t depends on the properties of the diffracted field source
close located on the surface of the scat-
to the surface of the scattering object. Since terer [41] in whicil case the diffraction coef-
(51) is not valid there, another solution, valid ficient at Q in (54) has to be replaced by a
in the boundary layer close to tke surface B is launching coefficient Lk and the creeping ray
needed for the determination of DC. Such a solu- divergence factor has to be adapted to rays
tion can be constructed by the boundary layer emanating from a point. When the observation
theory (see Part o r by replacing the surface point lies also on the surface, an attachment
locally by a simpler one (canonical problem) coefficient is substituted in (54) to the dif-
for which the asymptotic solution is known. This fraction coefficient DhlQ'). I t is found by
last procedure is founded on the local nature of reciprocity that Ah f! and AS LE that
high frequency diffraction. The simplest canoni-only three types of coef ficienPs are needed
cal problems for creeping wave diffraction are in practical situations when the sourceand
the perfectly conducting circular cylinder and the observation points are either onor off
sphere. Exact solutions for plane cylindrical the surface of the scatterer the diffraction
o r spherical wave diffraction by these geome- coefficients, the launching coefficients and
tries in the form of a series of radial modes, attenuation constants. These coefficients
are well known but they converge slowly for depend on the local geometry of the surface,
large values of k. A much moreefficient solu- the wave number and the nature of the surface,
tion at high frequencies is obtained by trans- as described by the boundary conditions. At
forming the series of radial modes in a series first order, they involve only the local radius
of angular modes, propagating aroundthe cylin- of curvature Pg of the geodesic. However second
der o r the sphere. Such a solution has first order terms in the attenuation constants contri-
been established by Watson [38]for a sphere bute significantly to the accuracy of-the solu-
who introduced a transformation in the complexe tion. They depend on the derivatives Pg and Pg
plane, known as Watson's transformation, which with respect to the arc length along the ray
enables to pass from the series of radial modes trajectory and the radius of curvature ptnof
the series of angular modes. interpreted the surface in the direction of the binormal
the angular modes as waves travelling around to the ray. Second order terms in the asymptotic
the sphere and showed that each node or wave expansion of canonical problems involving
decays exponentially with increasing distance objects of non constant curvature with acoustic
from the shadow boundary into the shadow. The hard and soft boundary conditions, have been
same type of waves were later rediscovered by derived by Keller and Levy (431. Franz and
Franz and Depperman [39, 401 who introduced Klante [44] obtained similar results by the
the name "creeping waves". in the solution to integral equation method applied to an arbi-
the problem of diffraction by an infinite cylin- trary convex cylinder. Hong [45] extended this
der. Keller [31 derived the diffraction coef- last method to plane wave diffraction by an
ficients and the decay exponent for each angular arbitrary hard acoustic and hard electromagnetic
mode, o r creeping wave by comparing the general boundary. A further extension of this work to
solution (51) with the results of Franz [ d o ] . soft boundaries has been achievedby Voltmer
A similar analysis was performed for three-dimen- [46] who gives generalized forms of the coeffi-
sional smooth scatterers by Levy and KellerE71. cients integrating earlier results as well as
who showed that the dyadic diffraction coeffi- a numerical control of their validity on two
cient corresponding to the pth angular mode, and three dimensional bodies. He found that in
may be expressed by all the examples treated, the second-order terms
contribute significantly to the increased accu-
racy of the calculated fields. However, owing
the experience of the author of the present
where n b are unit vectors along the no mal article. the terms involving the derivativss
and binormal to the geodesic and where D 6 . P g et b g must be small compared to the other
are the surface diffraction coefficient for terms appearing in the second-order term o f
hard and soft boundary conditions. It follows the attenuation constant. When these conditions
from (52) that the normal and tangential compo- are not fulfilled, a better result is obtained
nents of the incident field at Q travel indepen- when these terms are dropped in the expression
dently along the geodesic and that no coupling of the second-order term. The term dgpending on
beteseen these two components occurs, at least the transverse curvature radius p t n however
in the leading term of the asvmptotic expansion. improves always the solution.Tables summarizing
convenient and widely U S E!d notation for the Voltmer's results m.ay also be foundin the art.1-
total field diffracted by a 1 1 the modes at an cles of Kouyoumjian and Pathak [dll 421. These
observation point P is [41, 421 authors give a clearand synthetic presentation
o f - t h e essential principles and formulas o f
GTD and its application tosurface diffraction On
perfectly conducting surfaces which can be
directly used for solving practical diffraction
in which problems.
So far we considered only the influence of the
local geometry for hard and soft boundery con-
ditions. When the surface of the scatterer is
defined by an impedance boundary condition the
and G has the same form as F except that the formulas obtained by Voltmer are no longer
superscript h i s replaced bv s. In (54).(~; is valid. Levy and Keller [7] have given first-
a local decay factor of thehpth mode related order expressions for the diffraction coeffi-
;to the total decay factor x. appearing in cients and attenuation constants for mixed
P boundary conditions, involving a surface impe-
dance For small compared to unity
where n is the free space impedance, a series

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expansion of the complex propagation constants Debeye's asymptotic expansion. I t results a
Kp k iffp in powers of z / n ( r & s p . has modification of the physical characteristics of
been derived in [471 for 3. circular cylinder the wave which transformsinto a guided surface
and a sphere. I t is to look at wave modes. Extensions of creeping wave theory
the trajectories in the complex plane of the to coated metallic surfaces are givenin Part
propagation constants K R when Z . i s varied. For 11.
a perfectly conducting circular cylinder Near the shadow boundary, converges slowly
with radius a, the values of Kp are given by and the angular mode representationis no longer
Kp Up/a where u are the roots of HV(ka)=O adequate for pratical applications. In this
for T E waves and of H'u(ka]=O for TM waves.They region and in the region close to the surface
are located along the Stoke'slines of the cir- of the scatterer, which is a caustic surface
cular cylinder functions as shown in Fig. loa. for the creeping rays, the solution of the dif-
When Z io where takes positive values from fraction problem varies rapidlyand the assump-
0 to infinity, the trajectories o f the roots tions prevailing to the application of the per-
are sinusoidal curves passing through the roots turbation method which lead to (49) are not
corresponding to Z 0, and approaching tangen- valid. These shortcomings of GTD have been
tially the value k onthe real axis surmounted by boundary layer theory o r by direct
Fig. lob. For complex values of Z the trajec- generalization of uniform asymptotic expansions
tories may take one of the forms shown in of the solution of canonical problems as is
(Fig. 1Oc) [48] when IZI is varied from 0 to shown in Part I I.
infinity. I t is seen that for small values of
ReZ, the propagation constant of the first TM
creeping mode leaves progressivelythe vicinity
of the Stoke's line when lZl is augmented, and References

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