Wave propagation inside a two-dimensional perfectly conducting parallel-plate waveguide: Hybrid ray-mode techniques and their visualizations

Leopold B. Felsen*, Funda Akleman, Levent Sevgi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This article is intended as an educational aid, dealing with high-frequency (HF) electromagnetic wave propagation in guiding environments. It is aimed at advanced senior and first-year graduate students who are familiar with the usual engineering mathematics for wave equations, especially analytic functions, contour integrations in the complex plane, etc., and also with rudimentary saddle-point (HF) asymptotics. After an introductory overview of issues and physical interpretations pertaining to this broad subject area, detailed attention is given to the simplest canonical, thoroughly familiar, test environment: a (time-harmonic) line-source-excited two-dimensional infinite waveguide with perfectly conducting (PEC) plane-parallel boundaries. After formulating the Green's function problem within the framework of Maxwell's equations, alternative field representations are presented and interpreted in physical terms, highlighting two complementary phenomenologies: progressing (ray-type) and oscillatory (mode-type) phenomena, culminating in the self-consistent hybrid ray-mode scheme, which usually is not included in conventional treatments at this level. This provides the analytical background for two educational MATLAB packages, which explore the dynamics of ray fields, mode fields, and the ray-mode interplay. The first package, RAY-GUI, serves as a tool to compute and display eigenray trajectories between specified source/observer locations, and to analyze their individual contributions to wave fields. The second package, HYBRID-GUI, may be used to comparatively display range and/or height variations of the wave fields, calculated via ray summation, mode-field summation, and hybrid ray-mode synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-89
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


She was awarded a Scholarship of the TUBITAK, Turkish National Scientific and Technical Research Centre, which allowed her to work as a visiting scientist for three months in the Radio Communications Research Unit of Rutherford Appleton Lahora-tory, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire, and three months at Boston University (with Prof Felsen) for her PhD studies. She also received a Young Scientist Award at the XXVIth General Assembly of URSl in 1999, and an Army Grant for Young Investigators Award at the IEEE AP-S Conference on Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communications, Boston, USA, in 1998. Recently, she was awarded a grant from the NATO Science Fellowship Pro-gram by TUBITAK for a period of six months, to study in the Electrical Engineering Department of Pennsylvania State University.

FundersFunder number
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Pennsylvania State University


    • Electromagnetic propagation
    • Hybrid ray-mode approach
    • Modes
    • Parallel plate waveguides
    • Ray tracing
    • Spectral techniques


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