The paper presents the analysis and design of Bessel beam launchers using a finite inward cylindrical traveling wave aperture field distribution. The launcher radiates an electric field whose normal or longitudinal component takes the form of a zeroth-order Bessel function. The nondiffractive behavior of the structure in a well-defined area close to the radiating aperture is analyzed by decomposing the radiated field in its geometrical optics (GO) and diffractive (D) contributions. A closed-form expression is provided for the GO contribution whereas an asymptotic approximation is provided for the diffractive part. Such theoretical analysis allows a precise definition of the nondiffractive region for the generated Bessel beam. At the same time, it also highlights and predicts the oscillating behavior of the longitudinal component of the electric field along the z-axis due to the diffraction from the edges of the aperture. The proposed analysis is validated by a prototype at 30 GHz made by a radial waveguide loaded with metallic gratings and centrally fed by a coaxial probe. Measurement results for the longitudinal component of the electric field are in excellent agreement with full-wave results. In addition, the nondiffractive behavior for the radiated beam is reported over a bandwidth larger than 6.5% around 30 GHz. This behavior is peculiar of the nonresonant first kind Hankel aperture field distribution used for the generation of the Bessel beam.
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