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Wireless Glossary

Antenna Polarization

"In a specified direction from an antenna and at a point in its far field, is the polarization of the (locally) plane wave which is used to represent the radiated wave at that point". "At any point in the far-field of an antenna the radiated wave can be represented by a plane wave whose electric field strength is the same as that of the wave and whose direction of propagation is in the radial direction from the antenna. As the radial distance approaches infinity, the radius of curvature of the radiated wave's phase front also approaches infinity and thus in any specified direction the wave appears locally a plane wave". In practice, polarization of the radiated energy varies with the direction from the center of the antenna so that different parts of the pattern and different side lobes sometimes have different polarization. The polarization of a radiated wave can be linear or elliptical (with circular being a special case).