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linear polarisation vs Circular polarisation vs elliptical polarisation

This page on linear polarisation vs Circular polarisation vs elliptical polarisation describes difference between linear polarisation,Circular polarisation and elliptical polarisation.


Electromagnetic wave is said to be polarized in the direction of E(Electric field) vector. The polarisation type vary based on variation of tip of E vector while propagation in the medium. The purpose of having different polarisation is to make efficient use of spectrum using frequency re-use.

Polarization of the wave is called linear polarisation when tip of E vector describes a straight line with time. This type is used for domestic/non-intelsat type of satellites. Linear polarisation will have two types viz. horizontal and vertical.


linear polarisation vs circular polarisation vs elliptical polarisation

Polarization of the wave is called Circular polarisation when tip of E vector describes a circle with time. The wave is referred as circularly polarised plane wave. It is used in Intelsat type of satellites.

In this circular type of polarised wave , E vector does not vary in intensity when it rotates. Circular polarisation will have two types viz. left hand circular polarisation and right hand circular polarisation.


Polarization of the wave is called elliptical polarisation when tip of E vector describes an ellipse with time. In this type of polarisation,E vector constantly changing both magnitude and direction. This wave is called elliptically polarised plane wave.

Typically Antenna will have polarisation isolation of about 30dB.

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