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The substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) technique makes it possible that a complete circuit including planar circuitry, transitions, and rectangular waveguides are fabricated in planar form using a standard printed circuit board or other planar processing techniques. In this paper, guided wave and modes characteristics of such an SIW periodic structure are studied in detail for the first time. A numerical multimode calibration procedure is proposed and developed with a commercial software package on the basis of a full-wave finite-element method for the accurate extraction of complex propagation constants of the SIW structure. Two different lengths of the SIW are numerically simulated under multimode excitation. By means of our proposed technique, the complex propagation constant of each SIW mode can accurately be extracted and the electromagnetic bandstop phenomena of periodic structures are also investigated. Experiments are made to validate our proposed technique. Simple design rules are provided and discussed.