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The Horn Antenna

Horn antennas are extremely popular in the microwave region. In this tutorial, our objective is to analyze a horn antenna resonating at a frequency of 11.3 GHz. Here are the dimensions for this tutorial (the dimensions of the antenna were taken from a tutorial example from the user manual of HFSS v. 5):

Air box: 6 in x 4 in x 3 in. Horn top: 1.944 in x 2.65 in Distance from the horn top plane to the bottom is 5.475 in and from the horn top plane to the base of the horn is 5.16 in.

Figure 1: Dimensions of the problem under consideration Opening the Software

Start the software. Double click the HFSS 9.0 icon. In the File list, click Save As. Type the name horntutor in the box and click Ok. Insert HFSS design.

Setting the Project preferences

Set Units to inches. 3D Modeler< Units select in and click Ok. Set Solution type. HFSS<Solution type, check driven modal and click Ok.

Drawing the base of the Horn

The base of the horn has a uniform rectangular cross section, the width is 0.4 inches, the length is 0.9 inches, and the height is 0.315 inches. To draw the base, create a 3D rectangular box and set its dimensions with the template that is displayed.

Click the Box icon or go to Draw<Box. Enter the following values -0.2, -0.45, and 0 for x, y and z, respectively and 0.4, 0.9, 0.315 for dx, dy, and dz, respectively. The drawing is with respect to the origin (0, 0, 0). In other words, the base of the horn is drawn with the (0, 0) as its center. Type Base in the name field. Material assigned is vacuum and choose Color and Transperancy at your preference. Click Ok.

Drawing the base 2D Rectangle

To create the funnel or tapering of the horn antenna, draw and connect two rectangles, and then connect them to create the 3D funnel. Place the first rectangle on top of the 3D antenna base. Draw<Rectangle. Now move the cursor to one corner of the top of the antenna base, and click on it, then move the cursor to the opposite corner of the top of the antenna base and click again. The rectangle window is open. Type funnel_base. Assign material to be vacuum. Choose Color and Transperancy of your preference. Click Ok. Note that the dimensions of the rectangle should match those of the top of the antenna base.

Drawing the Horn Aperture

Next, draw the 2D rectangle that represents the top of the funnel, or the aperture of the horn. Click Rectangle icon or Draw<Rectangle. Type in the following values: 0.972, 1.325, 5.475 for x, y and z, respectively. Then type the following values: -1.944 and -2.65 for dx and dy, respectively. Type horn_top in the name field. Assign material to be vacuum. Choose the Color and Transperancy at you preference. Click Ok.

Connecting 2D Objects to Create the Funnel

Now you can connect the 2D objects that make up the base and the top of the funnel to create the 3D, funnel-shaped object. Choose the horn_top and funnel_base from the Model tree by holding down the Ctrl key. Go to 3D Modeler< Surface< connect. Name it funnel.

Note that the object that is created as a result of connecting or uniting other objects can not be edited. When connecting 2D objects, for example, you can edit the original 2D objects, but you can not edit directly the 3D object that is the result of using the connect command.

Figure 2: The connect command Uniting the horn base with the Funnel
Although it is not strictly necessary, you will unite the two 3D objects-the horn base and the funnel, to create one 3D horn antenna structure. This makes the problem simpler by keeping the number of objects to a minimum. Choose base and funnel from the list of 3D objects. Then 3D Modeler<Boolean< Unite. Then clink Ok.

Figure 3: The horn antenna Drawing the 3D Air Box Around the Horn Antenna
To simulate the horn antenna, you need to enclose it in a bounded box of air. 4

Click Box icon or Draw<Box. Type in the following values: -1.5, -2, and 0 for x, y,

Figure 4: The horn antenna with the air box

and z, respectively and 3, 4, and 6 for dx, dy, and dz, respectively. Type AirBox in the name field, vacuum is the assigned material and choose Color and Transperancy at your preference. Click Ok.

Assigning Boundaries and excitations

Choose the surfaces of the horn and assign Perfect E. All faces of the horn should be chosen except the top and the bottom. Then Boundaries right click Assign< Perfect E and name it PerfE_horn_sides. Assign radiation boundary to the air box. Choose the faces of the air box and Boundaries right-click Assign<Radiation. Name it rad_air. Assign Excitation to the bottom face of the horn. Excitations< WavePort. Name it WavePort1.

Figure 5: Wave port assignment

Analysis Setup
Right-click Analysis, then Add Solution Setup. Set the following values: Solution Frequency is 10 GHz, Maximum number of passes is 20, and Maximum Delta S per pass is 0.02. Leave every thing else as default. Click Ok.

Now go to Analysis<Setup1< Add sweep. Set the values to the following: Sweep Type is fast, Frequency Setup type is Linear count, Start is 8 GHz, Stop is 12 GHz and Count is 100.

Run Simulation

Make sure to validate check. HFSS<Validation Check. Run Analysis. HFSS<Analyze. Right-Click Results< CreateReport. Accept the Default values by clicking Ok. Make sure the following values are set as in Figure 6. Add Trace, then click Done.

Figure 6: Traces window

The results should be similar to the following with a resonant frequency around 11.3 GHz.

Figure 7: S-parameter (dB) versus Freq. (GHz)


Creating a Far field Plot

The far field plot is a 3-D plot of the far-field radiation pattern. Right-click Results, then choose Create report. Set Report Type to Far Fields and Display type to 3D Polar. When Traces Window open, leave the values as set. Make sure it is the LastAdaptive in the Solution field and Geometry is InfiniteSphere1. Under Sweep tab, make sure Phi is the primary sweep and Theta is the secondary sweep and all values are checked. Make sure rE is picked under Category, rE Total under quantity and none under function. Click Add Trace, then Done. The 3-D far field pattern should look like the plot shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Far field radiation pattern of the horn antenna.