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Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards Vol. 59, No.2, August 1957 Research
Insulated Loop Antenna Immersed In a
Conducting Medium
James R. Wait
A solut ion is gi ven for t he fi elds of a circul ar loop in a conduct ing medium. The loop
is assumed to ha \'e a uniform current, and it is enclosed by a spherical insul ati ng cavity.
The impedance of t he loop is also considered. It is shown t hat t he power radi ated fr om t he
loop va ri es approximately as the r eciprocal of t he radius of t he cavi ty for it specifi ed loop
current. Furthermore, if t he cav ity is electri call y small , r elati ve to t he ex ternal medium,
t he radiation fi eld is not sign ifi cantly affected by t he presence of the cayity.
1. Introduction
Tll ere has been some inte rest s hown ill r ece nt years on lile subj ect or rad iati ng systems
immersed in di ssipatiYC' media [1 to 9).1 Such a comli Lion exisls when transmiLling a nl ennas
ar e loca ted in sea watel', buried beneat h the surrounded by an ionized medium, such
as the ionospher e. \lost invesLigaLors have co nsid ereel only the propagaLion aspects of the
ge neral ploblem. ' I'ltftt is, at t ention was devoted only to lhe rad iated field for a specifi ed
a ntenna current. associated, an cl a us uall y mu ch mOre difficult probl em; is thr cal culati on
of the impedance or t he antenna.
Tai [1J, in a n in tr resting al1aJ)"sis. showed that for a H erLzia n elecl ri c dipol c in a di ssipative
medium, in finite power is r equired to produce a fini te field s trength at some distanl poiul in t he
medium. Thi s diffi cul t.\" is overcome when the (l ipoIc is placed in a n insulaled cavil\-. It has
also been shown that a an te nna was more efficient lhan a n rl ec( ri c-
d ipole-type an te nna [2, 5].
It is the purpose of t he prese nL paper 10 I' r inves Li gate Lhe p roblem l reated before. Spe-
ei fically, t Ill' impedance and fields are calclliated for a circula r loo p wi th a spherical i nsu] at ing
cav ity, all immer sed in a homogeneous di ssipative medium. [n the previous analys is [5], t he
loop was repr esenl ed as a magnetic dipol e at the cen tel' of 1 he C'ftvi l)". It was implied thaL lh e
dimens ions of the loop were small compared lo Lhose of th e cavi ly. In thi s sequel, these limi-
tations are removed by tr eat ing the problem from anotll er viewpoin t.
In terms of sphC'l'i cal coordinates (1',0,4 the insulating is defined byr< a alld ha,s a
dielectric consta, nt , eo. The exterior homogeneous di ssipat ive medium, r> a, has a di electri c
constant, e, and a co nducti vit)" CT. The permrability, /-1 , of both regions is l aken to be thaL of
free space. The loop, for the moment, is considered to be a si ngle t urn carrying a un iform
current, I . The coordinat es of the loop ar e 0= (3 and l' = b, so that the axis of the (circul ar) loop
passes through t he cente}' of the spherical cavity (see fi g. 1) .
The dimens ions of the cavit:v are taken t.o be very small compared to the wavel ength,
which suggrsts Lbat a flu asi-static approach to LllC problem should be adopted. As a conse-
quence, the fields ar e it solution of Laplace's equat ion inside the cavity and a solution of t he
wave equat ion ou tside. Although it is not necessary to invoke tIl e quasi-static ass umption for
the fi eld calcul a tion , i t leads to the desi r ed l' rsult in a direct fashion without becoming en-
cumber ed with a my ri a,cl of spherical Bessel functions. Furthermore, in any instance where
t he cavi ty was not small compared to the wavel ength, t be assumption of uniform curren t around
the loop would be a poor one 1'01' a locali zed ge ner ator.
I Figures in brackets indicate tbe literature references nt the end of this paper.
133
(J=o
(J=:JL
2
l. Ci rel/lar loop antenna in a s pherical 111 8111al l1l9
cavi t y.
' [' he surroundi ng homogeneoll s di ss i patiyc medi um is i nfini t e in ex Lell t.
2. Formal Solution
In view of the polar symmetl'.' of the stated pl"Oblt'm, tIl e usual vrctor potent ial, A , has
onl y an az imuthal component , A. The non\Tani s hingfield componellts arc lhen givell
o(Ar)
r or
Hr= sin f) .
r Sl ll u
( J)
The (quasi-static) form of the vector potential of the primar.\ field of a circu l,Lt, an
insulating space call IX' expressed in terms of spheri cal harmonics (sec append ix) :
I sin {3 ro b (b) n
( + 1) -:; P ;,(cos e)p;, (cos (3)
n=Jn n . 1
(2)
for r> b, wher e 1);, is the associated Lt' gendre function. To account for the spheri cal wall of
the cavity, a AS, must be added , Because it is also a solution of Laplare 's
equation and is finite 1' = 0, i t must br of thr fo rm
A
s I sin Sll b (r) n+ lp l ' )P' I ( )
r = - 2- i=in(n + 1) b ,, \cos f) " ens {3,
for r<a, where S" is an unknown coeffi cient.
Thl' field in the external region is a solution of the wave equation,
solution must give ri se to outgoing waves at infinil,\T. Therefore,
'A= I sin {3-.0 k,, (y r)p 1 ( f)Pl ( . (3)
1 ') L.J ( + l ) k ( ) n cos n ers ,
n=Jn n n -ya
134
(3)
a nd furthermore the
(4)
for l' > a, whcre Ic,,(z) is a spheric-a.! Hankel fun ct ion defined
' __ -z n (n + m)!
kll (4) - e ' ( _ )' (2 )""
m=om , n m , Z
(5)
1' = (i J.1.uW - tJ.1.W
2
)Yz , und Til is an ullkll own cocfficie nt. The boundary cOlldition at r = a r eq uires
t hc C'ollti nui ty of fin d He, Thc solu tion of the rcsulting algehrfli c: eq ua tioll s leads to
S - " - [
n + O' J(b)211+1
,,- (n+ 1) - o:" a
and
r [ (2n + 1) J(b)"
T
II
= (n + 1) - O' II Ii '
' Vhcli 811 find Til <1I'C ill scrt cd illto cq U) fi nd (4), thc c:omplctl' solu ti oll is ohtfl il H'd ,
3. Discussion of Result
It is now of ill t el'(' st to inH' stigfitc the ili flu cll('c of thc cayit\, on til(' cxtcl'llfll field s,
t hi s in mind , A , fo r I' > a, is \\"I'itten in thc form
where
'A - I sin b lc,,(,,I')n ! (2 b)"G p i ( . )P l ( . (3)
I - ,) - L..J - (2 )' l' "X" cos fJ II cos ,
_ 1)= ,11 n . 11.
(6)
(7)
With
(8)
(9)
It cal\ he rC<1ciily yc ri ficcl t lmt lim rJ,,= 1. \Yhcn thi s limitinf!; fo rm is insl' r tcd illto cq (8),
'YCl --+O
the res ulting (' xpr cssion \\'ould lw t h(' fiel d of a small loop in fin ildinit c dissipat ive medium
wit hout any Sp('cifil' yaiu ('s of (;11 for fi ni tc I'a arc
a nd
3e
z
G
I
=3+3z+z
2
l5e
z
G
2
= 15+ 15Z+6z
2
+z
3
'
(10)
(11)
where z=I'a. Thc value OJ can bc regardcd flS the ratio of the effcctivc dipolc mom('nt for a
loop in an insul at cd to thflt of the loop without any cavit." . It agrecs with a rcsult
givcn prcviously [fi ] a somewhat, d iffcrcnt met hod. (J2 is the corrcsponding ratio [or the
ncxt highel' multipolc tCI'm, For most cases of practical intercst , I'a is somewhat less than
a nd the multipolc t erms are not import a nt in the external r egion whcn "r is IfLl' gc com-
pared to onc, Furthcrmorc, in thi s cfl se
fL ncl the cxt ern al ficlds for a sp('cifiecl loop CUlTent ar c not dependcnt on t hc prescnce of the
cflvi
135
Attention is now turned to the eflect of t hr on the impedance of the circular loop.
The impedance of the loop in free space is denoted Zo, which is assumed known. The im-
pedance of the loop insi de the cavit), is then written
Z= Zo+ tlZ
wh ere t,Z is the incremental change due to the finit e size of the cavity. t,Z is the secondary
electric fi eld EJ illt egrated along the circumfer ence for a uni t loop current. Therefore,
(12)
'" T (b)zn+!
(+1) -
n=! n n a
(13)
where Tn is given by eq (7) . The above expression is simplified somewhat in the important
case where h'ai is small compared to unity, because then
neglecting terms eontaini ng ('Yap, ('Ya) 4, etc. Furthermore, if IJ = {3 = 71"/2, it follows that
t,Z '" '" 6
671"a n(n+ 1)(2n+ 1)(2n- 1) a
.. . ].
where S = 7I"b
2
IiVhen displacement currents are negligible (i. e. , 0" ) and
tlZ '" (IlW)20"SZ.
671"a
(14)
(15)
(16)
For a specified current, I , on the loop, the power suppli ed to the surrounding conducting medium
is then given by
(17)
which agrees with a previous result [5] derived from energy considerations.
Although the preceding analysis refers to a single-turn loop, the results are directly appli-
cable to a loop of N turns by r eplacing S by SN. The appropriate expression must also be used
for Zo, of course.
It would appear that power radiated from the loop for a specified current varies approxi-
mately as the reciprocal of the diameter of the cavity. This conclusion is not modified to any
extent by the finit e size of the loop in the cavity.
4 . Appendix
It is well known that the vector potential can be obtained from a volume int egration over
t he contained current. Furthermore, because the loop has a fil amental uniform current with
a component only in the direction, the vector potential has polar symmetry and has only a
componen t A; it is given by the line integral
(18)
136
wher e <P I is th e azimuthal coordinate for a point on th e loop r elative to th e reference plane, and
where
and cos Q= cos 0 cos,8 + sin 0 sin,8 cos <Pl. Kow th e facLor ] j R is a solu tion of .Laplace's equ a-
tion a,nd can be written in terms of spheri cal harmonics, as is well known [10].
(19)
where fo= l , I; m=2 and wh ere the arc the associated Legendre On
i nserti ng t he above expression for I jR, and utilizing or thogonality, eq (18) r educes to
whi ch is the desired result.
5. References
[I] C. T . Tai, J-l ertzia n dipole imme rsed in a di ssipa t ive med ium, Cruft Lab. Repor t Xo. 21 (Ha rvard Ull i-
"ersi t.v 19+7).
[2] J . R. \Va it, T ransienL electromagnetic \I'ave propagation in a conduct ing mediu m, Geophysics 16, 2 13
( 195 1); 18, J:38 a nd 971 ( J953); sec a lso Ph. D . Thesis, Universit .v of TO"onto (:'I'Iarch 1951).
[:3] R. K. :'Il[ oore, Theor.v of radi o communi ca t ion between submerged s ubma rines ( Ph. D. Thr sis, Co rnell
Uni ve rsit y, 1951).
[4] J . R. ViTa it, The magneLic dipole on Lh e ll ori zontall v s tratifi ed eart h, Ca n. J. 29, 577 ( :\ov. 195 1).
[5] J . R. \ Va it, The magnet ic dipole a ntenna immersed in a conducting medium, Proc. I nst. Radi o Engrs.
40,1 2"14 (Oc(" 1952) .
[6] J . R. \-\'a it a nd L. Campbell, Fi elds of an oscill at ing magnd ic dipole i mmr rsed in a emi-infini te COll-
du ct ing mr diu m, J . Geophys. Research 58,167 (June 1953).
[7] R. H . HadiaLion fr om a hori zontal dipole in a semi-infini t e dissipat ive mediu m, J . Appl. Ph,vs. 24,1
(J a n. 1953) (see a di scussion of t hi s p" per by J. R. Wa it, J . App1. Phys. 24, 958 1953) in equa t ion
(6), V s hould be repl aced by U) .
[8] A. Banos a nd J . P . Wes ley, The hori zon ta l elect ri c di pol e in a conducting ha lf-space, Un iyers il,v of Cali-
forn ia, Mar ine P hysical Lab., Pt. I , S10 Ref. 5:3- 33, Sept . 1953, and P t. II, S I.O Ref. 540- 31 (Aug. 195-1) .
[9] H . A. \-\Thceler, Funda mental limitat ions of a small V. L. F. a nt enna for s ubma rines, P aper ]'\0. (Sym-
posium on V. J, . F . Radi o \-Vaves, J a nua ry 23- 25, 1957, Boulder, Colo.).
[10] P. M. Morse and H. Feshbach, Met hods of t heoret ical phys ics, vol. II, p . 1326 ( McGraw-Hili Book Co. ,
Inc. , New York, Y. , 1953) .
BOULDE R, C OLO. , F ebrufl.ry 15, ] 957.
137