An ultra-wideband horn antenna transmits and receives impulse waveforms for short-range radars and impulse time-of flight systems. The antenna reduces or eliminates various sources of close-in radar clutter, including pulse dispersion and ringing, sidelobe clutter, and feedline coupling into the antenna. Dispersion is minimized with an abrupt launch point radiator element; sidelobe and feedline coupling are minimized by recessing the radiator into a metallic horn. Low frequency cut-off associated with a horn is extended by configuring the radiator drive impedance to approach a short circuit at low frequencies. A tapered feed plate connects at one end to a feedline, and at the other end to a launcher plate which is mounted to an inside wall of the horn. The launcher plate and feed plate join at an abrupt edge which forms the single launch point of the antenna.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.