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This paper proposes a compression of far field matrices in the fast multipole method and its multilevel extension for electromagnetic problems. The compression is based on a spherical harmonic representation of radiation patterns in conjunction with a radiating mode expression of the surface current. The method is applied to study near field effects and the far field of an antenna placed on a ship surface. Furthermore, the electromagnetic scattering of an electrically large plate is investigated. It is demonstrated, that the proposed technique leads to a significant memory saving, making multipole algorithms even more efficient without compromising the accuracy.
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