A rotating source polarization measurement technique using two circularly polarized antennas
October 30, 2016
This paper combines the standard two-antenna gain measurement technique with the rotating source method for measuring the polarization ratio and tilt angle of the polarization ellipse of a circularly polarized antenna. The technique is illustrated with two identical helical antennas, one for the source and one for the antenna-under-test (AUT), facing each other. Measurements of the voltage transfer ratio are made over one 360 degree on-axis rotation of the source while the AUT remains stationary. The rotation causes the phase of the electric field of the principal polarization to rotate in one direction and the phase of the cross polarization to rotate in the opposite direction. A Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) of the data from a single rotation is insufficient to resolve the two polarization components. Leakage from the principal polarization will most likely cover up the low-level opposite polarization signal. However, the DFT resolution can be artificially increased by appending to the measured data, precisely M-1 copies of the data. Now the polarization components will be separated by 2M revolutions. Application of a heavy weighting function to the augmented data and a phase compensation to the DFT allows a clear determination of the amplitude and phase of the on-axis principal and cross polarization components. The technique was verified by electromagnetic simulations and by measurements in an anechoic chamber with two 6-turn 5.8 GHz helical antennas separated by 4 feet. There was very good agreement between the simulations and measurements of the polarization ellipse tilt angle and a -20 dB polarization ratio.