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ISSN: 1536-8378 (print), 1536-8386 (electronic)

Electromagn Biol Med, Early Online: 18

! 2015 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2015.1004682


Design of compact electromagnetic impulse radiating antenna for

melanoma treatment
Petrishia Arockiasamy and Sasikala Mohan

Electronics and Communication, Department of ECE, College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai, India

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Cancer therapy is one of the several new applications which use nanosecond and Bicone antenna, horn antenna, melanoma
subnanosecond high voltage pulses. New treatment based on electromagnetic (EM) fields treatment, prolate spheroidal reflector
have been developed as non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments of tumors. In
particular, subnanosecond pulses can introduce important non-thermal changes in cell biology, History
especially the permeabilization of the cell membrane. The motivation behind this work is to
launch intense subnanosecond pulses to the target (tumors) non-invasively. This works focuses Received 17 July 2014
on the design of a compact intense pulsed EM radiating antenna. In tense EM waves radiated at Accepted 23 November 2014
the first focal point of the Prolate Spheroidal Reflector (PSR) are focused at the second focal Published online 3 February 2015
point where the target (tumor) is present. Two antennas with PSR but fed with different
compact wave radiator are designed to focus pulsed field at the second focal point. The PSR
with modified bicone antenna feed and PSR with elliptically tapered horn antenna feed are
designed. The design parameters and radiation performance are discussed.
For personal use only.

Introduction This irreversible electroporation is minimally invasive

method which uses needle electrode as a pulse delivery
The interactions of electromagnetic (EM) field with bio-
system. The microwave thermo therapy is a non-invasive
logical systems are utilized in the area of therapy (oncology,
method. But main principle is to generate heat. It rises the
physiotherapy, urology, and so on). Different kinds of
physical temperature of the affected area. Not only that it also
microwave applications are used in cancer treatment. From
increases the temperature of the healthy tissue. So it is also
the previous studies, it is observed that if an intense electric
inconvenient to the patient. This work deals about the non-
field is applied to cancer cells, it introduces a programmed
invasive, non-thermal therapy using impulse radiating
cell death called apoptosis instead of causing necrosis
antenna. The impulse radiating antenna acts as a high power
(Nuccitelli et al., 2006). Schoenback et al. proposed the
pulsed radiation source for melanoma therapy. For the last
high-power EM pulses can treat melanoma cells (Schoenbach
few years, several kinds of high power radiation sources have
et al., 2004, 2007). The pulses charge the cell membrane and
been designed (Cadilhon et al., 2011). Currently, there
cause an increase in transmembrane voltage from 20 mV to
appears to be a strong inclination towards compact and
1 V at which point membrane permeabilization or pore
autonomous sources of high power microwaves (HPM)
formation set in. This pore formation can be utilized for
(Armanious et al., 2011). Table 1 shows the existing miniature
several applications such as chemo therapy, delivery of drugs,
antenna for high power applications. The antenna for radiating
gene insertion, etc. This process is known as reversible
and focusing ultra-wide band and high power signals with low
electroporation (Chen et al., 2010). When the pulse rise time
dispersion and high directivity can be a reflector-type
is reduced from millisecond to nanosecond, the direct killing
antennas or arrays. Usually an ellipsoidal dish is used. The
of cancer cells is possible which is known as irreversible
dish has two focal point. The radiation source is placed at the
electroporation (Rubinsky et al., 2007). For subnanosecond
first focal point and the target (tumor) is placed at the second
pulses, the probability of penetration into the interior of the
focal point. The electric field radiated from the first
cell is even higher than the nanosecond pulses. The preferred
focal point acts directly on membrane proteins, rather than
pulse duration for subnanosecond pulses is in the range of
causing charging of the membrane and if sufficiently strong,
100200 ps making it possible to focus the radiation on the
can cause direct and instant conformational changes.
target efficiently and produce small spot size in the tissue.
Subnanosecond pulses (100 ps) are found to alter the
cell membrane conductance and unirectifying channels are
Address correspondence to Ms. Petrishia Arockiasamy, ME, Electronics
formed when cells are exposed to electric field strength on
and Communication, Department of ECE, College of Engineering, Anna
University, Guindy, Chennai 600025, India. E-mail: petrishia7@ the order of 20 kV/cm for 2000 pulses (Schoenbach et al., 2008).
2 P. Arockiasamy & S. Mohan Electromagn Biol Med, Early Online: 18

Table 1. Existing miniature antenna for high power applications.

S.No Antenna Height Width Length ratio References
1 Bicone /5 /8.5 /8.3 5:1 Begaud et al., 2004; Ghosh et al., 2006
2 Tem Horn /7.5 /7.5 /3.8 12:1 Ghosh et al., 2006
3 Combined Antenna (Koshelev) /1.5 /1.5 /1.7 2:1 Koshelev et al. 2004; Andreev et al., 2006
4 Ridge Horn /7.55 /7.5 /5 4:1 Hizal and Kazak, 1989
5 Log periodic /3.9 /150 /3.8 6:1 Begaud et al., 2004; Ghosh et al., 2006
6 Valentine /0.9 /5.9 /1.1 10:1 Diot et al., 2007; Delmote et al., 2004
7 Dragon fly /3.3 /1.28  12:1 Delmote et al., 2004
8 Shark /4.4 /4.6 /2.53 10:1 Desrumaux et al., 2010

In the proposed work, first the prolate spheroidal

reflector (PSR) with Modified Bicone Antenna (MBA)
feed is designed and its radiation characteristics are
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obtained. The MBA is used to design an array, allowing

the attainment of a high power UWB radiation source. For
the design of a wideband antenna in an array structure, the
antenna dimension should be small in comparison with the
wavelength because the distance between elements greater
than the wavelength creates grating lobes. This miniature
MBA is used as a feed for PSR. The design of an array
with more than 15 elements with 1 generator/N antennas
configuration requires a power divider. However, the N
generators/N antennas configuration avoids this problem. In
this work a 1  5 array is formed with miniature element Figure 1. Schematic diagram of prolate spheroidal reflector with
For personal use only.

and its radiation characteristics are simulated. The radiation geometric parameter.
characteristics are studied for 2  5 and 3  5 array
structure. Prolate spheroidal reflector (PSR) design
Second, the design of elliptically tapered horn antenna The IRA consists of three elements, a PSR; a miniature feed
(ETHA) feed for PSR is presented. The structure of ETHA structure and feeding mechanism. The schematic diagram of
feed includes two metallic plates. The characteristic imped- PSR is shown in Figure 1. The reflector semi-major axis (a) is
ance variation must be suitably designed along the antenna. In 120 mm. The semi-minorpaxis (b) is 100 mm. It has two foci.

order to have a good radiation in free space, the distance The focal distance z0 a2  b2 , i.e. 66.33 mm. The second
between the two metallic plates is elliptically tapered focal point is close to the near-field region with focal distance
(Malherbe and Barnes, 2007). The ETHA is placed at the less than 2D2/, where D is aperture diameter and  is
first focal point as a feed for PSR. And the array of ETHA is wavelength. The second focal point is 186 mm from the vertex
designed to launch the intense pulsed EM field at the second of the reflector where the skin is exposed. The proposed
focal point of PSR. dimensions of the reflector are minimized as compared to the
This article is organized as follows. In the section Prolate traditional PSR (Kumar et al., 2011).
Spheroidal Reflector with Modified Bicone Anntenna . . .
the design of prolate spheroidal antenna with modified bicone
antenna feed is discussed. Section Prolate Spheroidal Modified bicone antenna feed design for PSR
Reflector with Elliptically Tapered Horn . . . presents the The most important design of prolate spheroidal impulse
PSR with ETHA feed and is radiation characteristics. radiating antenna (PSIRA) is its feed antenna design. This
Section IV presents the comparative analysis of the two section discusses the design of a novel UWB antenna feed
feed configurations. which is miniaturized with respect to overall dimensions of
the system and is able to radiate with high gain, high electric
field intensity transient pulses at high repetition rates. The
Prolate spheroidal reflector with modified bicone
MBA feed is designed for PSR. It is much suitable for UWB
anntenna feed configuration Antenna-I
applications such as high power subnanosecond pulse radi-
The impulse radiating antenna (IRA) is suited for radiating ation. It is a miniature feed element. The height and width are
high-voltage, subnanosecond pulses in a reduced beam width. lower than =4. It has high directivity and high gain. The
IRAs thus provide an attractive tool to deliver electrical array structure of MBA elements provides the spot beam
pulses of 100 ps rise time to induce apoptosis in tissue cells radiation which is suitable for cancer therapy, where it
without using needle electrodes (Schoenbach et al., 2008). reduces the damage of healthy tissues.
The IRA can effectively focus its radiation in the near field by The design of MBA is begun with bicone antenna. In order
using PSR. to focus the radiation in one direction the two cones are
DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2015.1004682 Compact electromagnetic impulse radiating antenna for melanoma treatment 3

Figure 4. Modified bicone antenna with reflector.

Figure 2. Bicone antenna with slant angle b 17 .

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For personal use only.

Figure 3. Structure of modified bicone antenna.

slanted in the desired direction. Figure 2 shows the bicone

antenna with slant angle  which is equal to 17 . The bicone
antenna is used to match a wide band of frequency. The
bicone antenna is reshaped or truncated at the bottom, top,
and side and rear end of the antenna. The frequency spectrum
(2 GHz30 GHz) is chosen to illustrate the design of this
antenna. The dimensions for reshaping the structure of bicone
antenna is optimized to improve the radiation characteristics
and also to design a compact array feed for PSR.
The length of the antenna is 24 mm. The height and width
is designed as 40 mm and 16.42 mm, respectively. The
excitation gap between the cones is optimized as 2 mm.
The maximum wavelength of the spectrum that has to be Figure 5. Electric field pulse at second focal point. (a) 1 V input pulse
(b) 150 kV input pulse.
covered is 2GHz 150 mm. The generalized size of the
antenna is
as 85 ps. The expected pulse width of the impulse is the rise
Length 24 mm 2 Ghz/6.25
time of the input pulse. The reason for this discrepency is that
Width 16.42 mm 2 Ghz/9.135
the higher frequencies in the input pulse are better focused
Height 40 mm 2 Ghz/3.75
than lower frequencies, i.e. focusing action itself filterout the
Thus, MBA is miniaturized as for as the width and length
lower freaquency content in the focused waveform. For cancer
are concerned. So it can be used as an array element.
therapy, it is required to apply intense pulse. PSR with MBA
Figure 3 shows the MBA. MBA feed is placed in the first
feed can also be used for high power applications. Figure 5(b)
focal point of the PSR which is shown in Figure 4. The
shows the focal waveforms for the input 150 kV. The peak
antenna is excited with 1 V 100 ps rise time ramp rising step
amplitude is 926 kV/m for the input of 150 kV.
The radiated pulse from the the feed antenna is focused in
Miniatured array feed design
to the second focal point where the cancer tissue is present.
Figure 5(a) shows the focal wave for the input of 1 V. The The MBA is arranged as an array. The directivity of the single
maximum electric field intensity is 74.15 V/m. From this element is low. Normally the dimensions of the antenna are
focal wave form, the FWHM of the impulse is measured enlarged in order to obtain more directive characteristics.
4 P. Arockiasamy & S. Mohan Electromagn Biol Med, Early Online: 18

Another way to improve the directional characteristics of the The characteristic impedance of a microstrip line is
antenna is to deploy antenna array. The total radiated field of given as
an array is calculated by the vector addition of the electric  
60 8h W
field radiated by the individual elements. The array gain Z0 p ln for W=h  1 1
GR GA 10 logN. GR and GA are, respectively, the gain "eff W 4h
of the array and the gain of the individual element (in dB).
N is the number of elements In this way, the gain is increased
by 3 dB, when the array element is doubled. 120
Z0 pW  
The array structures of 1  5, 2  5 and 3  5 are placed in "eff h 1:393 0:667 ln Wh 1:444 2
order to optimize the utilization area. The amplitude of the for W=h  1
array elements is uniformly distributed. The distances
between the elements are optimized so as to decouple the
induced effects. On the other hand, the back lobe radiation is "r 1 "r  1
increased when the distance between the elements are "eff q 3
2 2 1 12h
increased. In order to obtain a certain tradeoff between the W
size and radiated field level, the spacing between the elements
are reduced to the extent that they are in contact with each W is the width of the metallic plate. h is distance the center
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other. Figure 6 shows the PSR with 3  5 array feed. The area of the feed to the plate. H is the maximum separation between
covered by the array is 124 mm  130 mm. The area occupied the two plates and "eff is the effective permittivity of the
by the array elements is reduced due to the modification in the substrate.
sides of the bicone when compared to the array elements with The waveguide horn is a most common type of horn. In
no side cut (Koshelev et al., 2004). Table 2 shows the this, the energy is confined in all dimensions in the waveguide
radiation characteristics of PSR with MBA feed. modes. And also in the waveguide, the wave velocity is
dependent on frequency. The time of arrival of a transmitted
pulse in the horn aperture is the function of the frequency
Prolate spheroidal reflector with elliptically tapered resulting in the dispersion. The smooth-walled rectangular
horn antenna feed configuration Antenna-II and circular waveguides are restricted in bandwidth. Other
For personal use only.

types of the horn waveguide such as dielectric loaded,

Feeding structure at the focal point corrugated structures are also restricted in bandwidth. In
The radiation characteristics of the IRA at high frequency are order to design, a ultra-wide band antenna with better
very sensitive to the feeding structure design at the focal radiation characteristics, the TEM horn is chosen. The TEM
point. In this section, the design of ETHA feed is presented horn is a tapered transmission line based on a parallel plate
for PSR. The reflector dimensions are same as the Antenna-I transmission line. The proposed ETHA feed is a TEM horn in
configuration. In ETHA feed structure, the two metallic plates which the throat of the horn is elliptically tapered. All the
are separated by air dielectric. The impedance taper can be frequencies generated at the throat of the horn are arrived at
obtained in linear, sinusoidal and other forms. the aperture together therefore a wide band pulse is radiated
from the aperture.
The elliptic profile of the horn is determined by the
x2 y  h2
1 4
a2 b2
The ETHA feed is designed from the single quadrant of the
elliptic profile which is shown in Figure 7. The semi-major
axis of ellipse (a) is 75 mm. The semi-minor axis (b) is
45 mm. The characteristic impedance of a parallel plate line
depends upon the ratio of distance between the plates h and
width of the plate W. The higher orders modes are undesirable
Figure 6. 3  5 array configuration of MBA feed. for the design of horn. The velocity of the wave along the

Table 2. Radiation characteristics of PSR with MBA feed.

S.No Radiation characteristics Single element 1  5 array 2  5 array 3  5 array

1 Bandwidth ratio 15:1 15:1 15:1 15:1
2 Directivity (dBi) 19.56 21.8 29.4 32
3 Sidelobe level (dB) 11 15 17.8 18
4. 3 dB beam width (degree) 12.2 48 16 11
5 Electric field Intensity (V/m) 74.15 511 656 1013
6 VSWR 52 for (230 Ghz) 52 for (230 Ghz) 52 for (230 Ghz) 52 for (230 Ghz)
DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2015.1004682 Compact electromagnetic impulse radiating antenna for melanoma treatment 5

structure for higher order modes is a function of frequency exhibit almost frequency independent properties. It has almost
which leads to dispersion. So at the excitation point, the equal beamwidth in the principle plane and return loss is low
separation between the plates is more important in order to as compared to traditional TEM horn (Malherbe and Barnes,
avoid the higher order modes. The separation between the 2007). The conventional TEM horn is used as a feed for
plates at the feeding side has to be less than the wavelength at reflector systems. They exhibit high gain and better radiation
the highest frequency of operation. The horn aperture and properties, although their radiation patterns tend to vary
length are constrained by the desired gain. The total length of strongly with frequency. In order to improve the radiation
the horn is 90 mm. The maximum separation between the properties of traditional horn, the throat of the horn is
plate is 120 mm including 30-mm feed gap. The width of elliptically tapered.
the plate is tapered from 15 mm to 38.29 mm as shown in The conventional TEM horn antenna introduces some
Figure 8. A 1V of 100-ps rising pulse is launched from the fluctuations in main lobe direction pattern over the higher
first focal point. The reflection coefficient, directivity, frequencies, i.e. 15 GHz30 GHz. The open end of the plate is
normalized gain are evaluated. The antenna covers the modified to remove the aforementioned impact by carving the
wideband spectrum of 0.45 Ghz to 30 Ghz. open end corners with radius of 1.5 cm of the elliptically
The maximum wavelength of the spectrum that has to be tapered plates. The associated curvature of the arc is
covered is 2 Ghz 150 mm. The generalized size of the optimized to completely remove the fluctuations in the
antenna is main lobe at higher frequencies.
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Length 90 mm 0.4 Ghz/6.6 The carving structure changes the field distribution at the
Width 38.29 mm 0.4 Ghz/15.6 antenna aperture in such a way that the farfield radiation over
Height 120 mm 0.4 Ghz/5
Thus, MBA is miniature as for as the width and length are
concerned. So it can be used as an array element.
In order to achieve proper impedance matching and wide
bandwidth characteristics, the dimensions of the antenna (W,
h) is optimized. The ETHA is used as a feed for PSR as shown
in Figure 9. The beamwidth of an antenna has the significance
importance for non-invasive cancer treatment. So the design
For personal use only.

of ETHA exhibits elliptical profile.

In ETHA feed, the plates are elliptically tapered. The TEM
horn with elliptically flared profile is well matched and

Figure 9. Reflector with ETHA with carving feed configuration.

Figure 7. Geometry of elliptic profile.

Figure 10. Normalized gain pattern for ETHA with and without edge
Figure 8. Structure of elliptically tapered horn antenna. carving.
6 P. Arockiasamy & S. Mohan Electromagn Biol Med, Early Online: 18

Table 3. Radaition characteritics of PSR with ETHA feed configuration.

Single element Single element

S.No Radiation characteristics without carving with carving 1  3 array
1 Bandwidth ratio 23:1 65:1 65:1
2 Directivity (dBi) 18.6 20.4 25
3 Sidelobe level (dB) 17.1 20.2 19
4. 3 dB beam width (degree) 18.6 16.1 25
5 Electric field Intensity (V/m) 78.8 100 874
6 VSWR 52 for (1.330 Ghz) 52 for (0.4630 Ghz) 52 for (0.4630 Ghz)
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Figure 11. Electric field pulse at second focal point.

For personal use only.

Figure 14. Dircetivity in dB Antenna-I and Antenna-II.

Figure 12. Return loss in dB for Antenna-I and Antenna-II.

Figure 15. Electric field distribution along x axis from the geometric
Figure 13. VSWR for Antenna-I and Antenna-II. focal point for Antenna-I and Antenna-II.
DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2015.1004682 Compact electromagnetic impulse radiating antenna for melanoma treatment 7
Table 4. Comparision between the two feed configurations with existing feed.

IRA with IRA with PSR with PSR with

S.No Features PSR with conical feed ACD feed TEM wire feed MBA feed ETHA feed
1. Reflector 62 46 120 20 20
diameter (cm)
2. Bandwidth ratio 29:1 30:1 10:1 15:1 65:1
3. Gain (dB) Traditional IRA 25 25 28.3 19.56 20.4
Improved IRA 28
4. F/D ratio 0.4 0.39 0.38 0.33 0.33
4 Electric field 5.44 for 1 V i/p 2 for 0.35 V i/p 3 V for 1 V i/p 74.15 for 1 V i/p 100 for 1 V i/p
intensity (V/m)
7 VSWR 52 for (0.6619.22 Ghz) 52 for (0.515 Ghz) 52 for (0.55 Ghz) 52 for (2.4530 Ghz) 52 for (0.4630 Ghz)
References Kumar et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2013 Lee et al., 2012
Qiu et al., 2008;
Xiao et al., 2010

the frequency range and along the main axis exhibits a Figure 15 shows the spot size for Antenna-I and Antenna-II
Electromagn Biol Med Downloaded from by Selcuk Universitesi on 02/10/15

constructive effect. configuration. The spot size is measured from the electric
Figure 10 shows the normalized gain pattern for ETHA field distribution from the geometric focal point. The spot size
with and without edge carving. The result shows that the for Antenna-I configuration is 6 cm. For Antenna-II config-
improved ETHA structure exhibits better radiation perform- uration, the spot size is measured as 12 cm. The spot size of
ance of the antenna. The maximum electric field intensity is the PSR with MBA feed is 50% narrower than the spot size of
100 V/m which is shown in Figure 11. From the focal wave the PSR with ETHA feed.
form, the FWHM of the impulse is measured as 75 ps. This
ETHA feed is also arranged as an array structure, the Comparison between Antenna-I and Antenna-II
maximum electric field for 1  3 array is 874 V/m. Table 3 configuration with existing feed configuration
shows the radiation characteristics of PSR with ETHA feed Table 4 shows the comparison of the proposed feed config-
For personal use only.

configuration. urations of IRA with existing feed structures. The conical feed
with reflector of 62 cm diameter gives the enhanced gain of
Radiaion characteristics comparision of Antenna-I
28 dB. The PSR with ETHA configuration provides the
and Antenna-II configuration
maximum gain of 20 dB for reflector diameter of 20 cm. The
Electromagnetic simulation setup bandwidth ratio for PSR with ETHA is 65:1. The band of
spectrum for PSR with ETHA feed is wider when compared
The Antenna-I and Antenna-II are designed and simulated. The
to other existing IRA. But the spot size is higher when
simulation software CST Microwave Studio has been used to
compared to conical feed because of the higher edge
realize a model of the original antenna. CST MWS is based on
reflections from the reflector. The radiated field is higher
the finite integration technique (FIT), a very general approach,
for both the proposed configurations.
which describes Maxwells equations on a grid space and can
be used in time domain as well as in frequency domain. The
time-domain solver is used to simulate the whole structure. Conclusion
The simulation setup is shown in Figure 4 for Antenna-I and
This article describes a new type of subnanosecond launching
Figure 9 for Antenna II configuration. The reflector and its feed
systems for PSR. The PSIRA is used as a non-invasive pulse
are assumed to be perfect electric conductor (PEC).
delivery system to treat melanoma in the near-field region.
The two proposed antenna configuration is designed and
Comparison between Antenna-I and Antenna-II
simulated. The two antenna configurations are designed
smaller in dimensions compared to the traditional IRA. The
This section showcases the comparison between the two Antenna-I configuration has reduced spot size. This will
configurations. Figure 12 shows the return loss for the two minimize the damage to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor
configurations. The return loss of 10 dB is obtained from (target). But the directivity and electric field is reduced by 5%
2 Ghz to 30 Ghz for Antenna-I and for the spectrum extended and 26%, respectively, when compared to Antenna-II config-
from 460 MHz to 30 Ghz. The bandwidth of Antenna-I uration. Due to the miniature in size both the feeds can be
configuration is higher than the Antenna II configuration. utilized for array configuration. The array configuration is
The spectrum is increased by 5% as compared to PSR with used to enhance the directivity as well as electric field
MBA feed. The VSWR for the two configurations is shown in intensity. The proposed feeds of PSR are wide band, less
Figure 13. For both the configurations, the VSWR is dispersive, more directive and has low VSWR. The higher
maintained less than 2 for the entire spectrum. From Figure directivity and wideband characteristics make this antenna
14 the dircetivity of the two configurations are obtained. The useful in medical imaging, detection of object buried in loss
Antenna-II configuration shows higher directivity (20.4 dB) materials, detection of stealth targets. These two antenna
than the Antenna-I configuration. But the narrow 3 dB configurations are suitable for high power applications such
beamwidth is achieved in the Antenna-I configuration. as electronic warfare.
8 P. Arockiasamy & S. Mohan Electromagn Biol Med, Early Online: 18

Declaration of interest Hizal, A., Kazak, U. (1989). A broadband coaxial ridged horn antenna.
Proceedings of 19th European Microwave Conference, London, UK.
The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone pp. 247252.
are responsible for the content and writing of this article. Koshelev, V. I., Gubanov, V. P., Efremov, A. M., et al. (2004). High-
power ultrawideband radiation source with multielement
array antenna. 13th International Symposium on High Current
Electronics, Tomsk, Russia.
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Armanious, M., Tyo, J. S., Keller, S. D., et al. (2011). A small size Malherbe, J. A. G., Barnes, N. (2007). Tem horn antenna with an elliptic
resonant antenna for high power applications. IEEE International profile. Microw. Opt. Technol. Let. 49:15481551.
Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, Spokane, WA, pp. 1189 Nuccitelli, R., Pliquett, U., Chen, X., et al. (2006). Nanosecond pulsed
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