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The prompt off-boresight radiation from an arbitrary reflector impulse radiating antenna (IRA) is considered in both the time and frequency domains using a time-domain physical optics formalism. The theory is used to compare the performance between reflector IRAs with common transverse electromagnetic feed configurations that have been designed to maximize the boresight fields. It is found that moving the feed arms of reflector IRAs toward the vertical helps to reduce sidelobe levels, as reflector IRAs with their feed arms oriented at 60° from the horizontal have sidelobes that are 4-5 dB lower in the H plane and 1-2 dB lower in the E plane than more traditional reflector IRAs with feed arms oriented at 45°. The lower sidelobes are accompanied by a higher peak gain, albeit with a wider beamwidth. There are corresponding significant differences in the time domain waveforms that result. The theory is verified by comparison with experimental data from a half IRA with feed arms at 45°. The peak fields, pulse widths, and overall waveform shapes agree well between theory and experiment, though there are temporal asymmetries in the measured data that are not predicted by the theory.
Date of Publication: July 2004