Numerical Phase Velocity and Parasitic Modes

Analysis of parasitic modes is easiest in the constant-coefficient case. We will examine the simplest possible non-trivial MDWDF, namely that of the constant-coefficient lossless source-free (1+1)D transmission line. Because at the stability limit, this scheme becomes equivalent to simple centered differences (see previous section), for which we do not have parasitic modes at all, we will look at the MDWDF of Figure 3.14(b) away from this limit^{}. We have chosen
. The MDWDF is redrawn in Figure 3.21, where we have

for some .

where represents a unit delay in the time direction, and a unit shift in the direction. We have written the outputs of the delay registers, in an exponential state, as

where the are complex amplitudes. The updating of the values in the delay registers can be written, in terms of these amplitudes, as

which is parametrized by a reflectance

If we introduce the variables

the updating decouples into two subsystems, namely

and are known as

The *symbols* [176] of the two subsystems,
and
are defined by

where is the identity matrix. Nontrivial solutions to the update equations (3.83) occur when the determinants of the symbols vanish. In the absence of boundary conditions, we may assume , where is a real wavenumber, in which case we have four solutions in terms of given by

which are simply the eigenvalues of the spectral amplification matrices. The corresponding eigenvectors of these same matrices are

All four eigenvalues are of unit magnitude, and thus, using , we can rewrite solutions (3.84) as

for some real defined by . ( always exists because we have , from (3.82).) For small wavenumbers, we have

and we thus have in this limit, for the roots subscripted with in (3.85),

where we have used the fact that , which follows from (3.82) and the definitions of the port resistances in (3.64) as well as . The quantities and are called

Clearly, if we are at the passivity limit, where
, then , and thus
, which implies, finally that
, so that we have, from (3.85), that
and
; wave propagation is thus dispersionless. As mentioned in the previous section, at this limit, the MDWD network reduces to an exact digital traveling wave solution (this was also noted in §3.7.5). It is also interesting to note that when
, so that and are zero, then (3.85) implies that wave propagation is also dispersionless in this case as well. It is easy to see here, from Figure 3.21, that because
, there will be no scattering through the adaptors; the pure time delays may thus be shifted directly into the lattice two port, and we can perform a manipulation similar to that of §3.7.5 to give a simplified digital ``traveling wave'' network, with doubled time delays. Here, we are in effect implementing a traveling wave solution on a different grid, but the implication is that for the corresponding problem with material variation, the MDWD network gives a good approximation to the numerical phase velocity even for certain values of which are far from the local physical wave speed. This is not true for digital waveguide networks, where the numerical phase velocities degrade considerably away from the passivity limit. We will return to these expressions (which provide complete information regarding the *numerical dispersion* properties of the scheme) in §4.3.8 in a comparison with the digital waveguide network for the same system.
In anticipation of the discussion in §3.10, we mention that for constant , we have for the eigenvectors corresponding to the dominant modes, that

Because we also have, from Figure 3.21, that , and , we can also write, for the dominant mode,

Thus in this limit, the wave variables incident on the left adaptor occur in the same ratio as the port resistances, and are in fact aligned with an eigenvector of the scattering matrix corresponding to the adaptor. A similar statement holds for the quantities incident on the right adaptor. We will return to this observation in the next section.