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Using optoelectronic techniques with sub-ps resolution, we have characterized the electric-field time-domain response from an impulsively excited, micron-sized dipole antenna on a dielectric surface. When detected by an adjacent dipole antenna 400 μm distant, two primary signals are observed, a far-field pulse reflected from the back surface of the substrate and a surface-wave pulse. The surface-wave pulse appears as two distinct surface-propagating pulses despite originating from the dipole simultaneously. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.