The accuracy of moment method solutions to electromagnetic scattering problems has been studied by many researchers. Error bounds for the moment method have been obtained in terms of Sobolev norms of the current solution. Motivated by the historical origins of Sobolev spaces as energy spaces, it is shown that the Sobolev norm used in these bounds is equivalent to the forward scattering amplitude, for the case of 2D scattering from a PEC circular cylinder. A slightly weaker relationship is obtained for 3D scattering from a PEC sphere. These results provide a physical meaning for abstract solution error bounds in terms of the power radiated by the error in the current solution. It is further shown that bounds on the Sobolev norm of the current error imply a bound on the error in the computed backscattering amplitude. Since Sobolev-based error bounds do not provide the actual error in a solution nor identify its source, the error in typical moment method scattering solutions for smooth cylindrical geometries is analyzed. To quantify the impact of mesh element size, approximate integration of moment matrix elements, and geometrical discretization error on the accuracy of computed surface currents and scattering amplitudes, error estimates are derived analytically for the circular cylinder. These results for the circular cylinder are empirically compared to computed error values for other smooth scatterer geometries, with consistent results obtained. It is observed that moment method solutions to the magnetic field integral equation are often less accurate for a given grid than corresponding solutions to the electric field integral equation. Building from the error analysis, the cause of this observation is proposed to be the identity operator in the magnetic formulation. A regularization of the identity operator is then derived that increases the convergence rate of the discretized 2D magnetic field integral equation by three orders.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





moment methods, numerical methods, Sobolev, scattering, high order convergence, error analysis