Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Eric D. Caswell
Title:Analysis of a Helix Antenna Using a Moment Method Approach With Curved Basis and Testing Functions
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Electrical and Computer Engineering
Committee Chair: William A. Davis
Committee Members:Warren L. Stutzman
Gary S. Brown
Keywords:Helix, Method of Moments, Curved Segments
Date of defense:September 9, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


Analysis of a Helix Antenna Using a Moment Method Approach With Curved Basis and Testing Functions Eric D. Caswell (ABSTRACT) Typically wire antenna structures are modeled by approximating curved structures with straight wire segments. The straight wire approximation yields accurate results, but often requires a large number of segments to adequately approximate the antenna geometry. The large number of straight wire segments or unknowns requires a large amount of memory and time to solve for the currents on the antenna. By using curved segments which exactly describe the contour of the antenna geometry the number of unknowns can be reduced, thus allowing for bigger problems to be solved accurately. This thesis focuses on the analysis of a helix antenna. The Method of Moments is used to solve for the currents on the antenna, and both the triangle basis and pulse testing functions exactly follow the contour of the helix antenna. The thin wire approximation is used throughout the analysis. The helix is assumed to be oriented along the z-axis with an optional perfect electric conductor (PEC) ground plane in the x-y plane. For simplicity, a delta gap source model is used. Straight feed wires may also be added to the helix, and are modeled similarly to the helix by the Method of Moments with triangular basis and pulse testing functions. The primary validation of the curved wire approach is through a comparison with MININEC and NEC of the convergence properties of the input impedance of the antenna versus the number of unknowns. The convergence tests show that significantly fewer unknowns are needed to accurately predict the input impedance of the helix, particularly for the normal mode helix. This approach is also useful in the analysis of the axial mode helix where the current changes significantly around one turn. Because of the varying current distribution, the improvement of impedance convergence with curved segments is not as significant for the axial mode helix. However, radiation pattern convergence improvement is found. Multiple feed structures for the axial mode helix are also investigated. In general, the many straight wire segments, and thus unknowns, that are needed to accurately approximate the current around one turn can be greatly reduced by the using the curved segment method.

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