Directional VLF antenna for communicating with submarines


  • Ronold W. P. King


High-power, very low frequency transmitters for communicating with submarines use electrically short, top-loaded, vertical monopoles. These are efficient radiators of the lateral surface wave, but since they are omnidirectional, they expose residents of neighboring urban areas to possibly harmful effects. A possible alternative, the horizontal traveling-wave antenna of the Beverage type, is analyzed, and the design for the frequency range from 10 to 30 kHz is described. The antenna is highly directive in the horizontal plane. Although the field of the unit horizontal dipole over the earth is much smaller than that of the unit vertical dipole, the large effective length of the traveling-wave antenna makes its field comparable to that of the electrically short vertical monopole. Furthermore, since the radiated field in all directions except within a 30° to 60° angle out to sea is small, there is no exposure risk when the electrically long horizontal antenna is located near inhabited areas.