The combined method of ray tracing and diffraction (CMRD) is an efficient and accurate technique for computing the scattered field in focal regions of optical systems. Here we extend the CMRD concept so it can be used to compute fields scattered by objects of simple as well as nonsimple shapes. To that end we replace the scattering object by an equivalent, planar phase object; use ray tracing to determine its location, aperture area, amplitude distribution, and phase distribution; and use standard Kirchhoff diffraction theory to compute the field scattered by the equivalent phase object. To illustrate the practical use of the CMRD we apply it to a two-dimensional problem in which a plane or cylindrical wave is normally incident upon a circular cylinder. For this application we determine the range of validity of the CMRD by comparing its results for the scattered field with those obtained by use of an exact eigenfunction expansion.
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