This paper presents a novel approach for the efficient solution of large-scale periodic microstrip antenna arrays using the newly introduced characteristic basis functions (CBFs) in conjunction with the method of moments (MoM) based on the conventional RWG basis functions. The CBFs are special types of high-level basis functions by incorporating the physics of the problem, defined over domains that encompass a relatively large number of conventional subdomain basis functions. The advantages of applying the CBF method (CBFM) are illustrated by several representative examples, and the computation time as well as the memory requirements are compared to those of conventional direct computation. It is demonstrated that the use of CBFs can result in significant savings in computation time and memory requirements, with little or no compromise in the accuracy of the solution.
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