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What is Antenna Polarization?

Polarization refers to the path traced by the tip of the electric field vector as a function of time. Antenna polarization is a critical aspect of antenna performance. There are three forms of polarization: linear, circular and elliptic.

Linear polarization is the most method used in WiFi communications. This can be either horizontal or vertical, with horizontal polarization occurring when the antenna’s electric field is parallel to the Earth’s surface and vertical polarization is occurring when the antenna’s electric field is perpendicular to the Earth’s surface.

Circular polarization can be either right handed or left handed, It is defined as the rotation of the polarization plane in a circle with a complete revolution occurring as the period of the radiations frequency.

Elliptical polarization is a complex combination of both linear and circular polarization, it occurs when the components of the electric field do not have the same magnitude and have an arbitrary phase difference between them, the electric field vector traces out an ellipse with time.

The below picture illustrates the different types of polarization of  an antenna.



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