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Kirk T. McDonald Joseph Henry Laboratories, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (September 18, 2008)

1

Problem

A “turnstile” antenna [1, 2] consists of a pair of linear dipole antennas oriented at 90◦ to each other, and driven 90◦ out of phase, as shown in Fig. 1.

Figure 1: A “turnstile” antenna. From [2].

The linear antennas could be either dipoles as shown in the ﬁgure, or simply monopoles. Consider the case that the length of the linear antennas is small compared to a wavelength, so that it suﬃces to characterize each antenna by its electric dipole p1,2e−iωt , where the magnitudes p1 and p2 are equal but their phases diﬀer by 90◦ , the directions of the two moment diﬀers by 90◦ , i.e., p1 · p2 = 0, and ω is the angular frequency. Discuss the angular distribution and the polarization of radiation by turnstile antennas in various conﬁgurations. The two antennas may or may not be at the same point in space, and they may or may not be above a conducting ground plane.

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2.1

Solution

The Basic Turnstile Antenna

We ﬁrst consider a basic turnstile antenna whose component antennas lie in the x-y plane at a common point. Then, we can write the total electric dipole moment of the antenna system as ˆ )e−iωt , x + iy (1) p = p0 e−iωt = p0 (ˆ 1

r E =B×ˆ r. Eφ = −Bθ = −p0 k 2 r (3) (4) (5) ˆ +cos θ cos φ φ ˆ . r (6) . θ = 90 . For intermediate angles θ the radiation is elliptically polarized. Figure 2: The relative radiation pattern of a basic turnstile antenna. dΩ 8π 8πc 2 (7) p0 k 2 √ 1 + cos2 θ. (2) whose components in spherical coordinates are r · B = 0. The magnitudes of the ﬁelds are E=B= so the time-averaged radiation pattern is ω4 dP cr2 2 p2 = B = 0 3 (1 + cos2 θ). and of a basic turnstile antenna at height λ/4 above a conducting ground plane. the electric ﬁeld has no θ component. the radiation is circularly polarized. Er = Br = ˆ ei(kr−ωt) Eθ = Bφ = p0 k 2 cos θ (cos φ + i sin φ). r ei(kr−ωt) (sin φ − i cos φ).The electromagnetic ﬁelds in the far zone are then B = k2 ei(kr−ωt) ˆ r × p0 . and ˆ ˆ +cos θ sin φ φ ˆ . and hence no z component. θ = 0◦ or 180◦ . In the vertical direction. the turnstile radiation in the horizontal plane is horizontally polarized. In the plane of ˆ = sin φ θ ˆ = − cos φ θ noting that ˆ r×x r×y ◦ the antenna.

then the path diﬀerence d from the two antennas to a distant observer in direction (θ.3 Both Elements Close to a Ground Plane In the case that the x-y plane is a conducting ground plane and the antenna is just above this plane. Er = Br = ˆ ei(kr−ωt) cos θ(cos φ + ei(δ−kd) sin φ). φ))]. 2. The 3 . The time-averaged radiation pattern is dP cr2 2 p2 ω4 = B = 0 3 [1 + cos2 θ − (1 − cos θ) sin 2φ cos(δ − kd(θ. an electric dipole p = p⊥ + p has an image dipole p = p⊥ − p . we also suppose that the second antenna is driven at phase δ with respect to the ﬁrst. z2). where k = ω/c = 2π/λ is the wave number. as shown in Fig. (8) which introduces a phase diﬀerence kd (in radians) between the ﬁelds from the two antennas. we write the total electric dipole moment at ˆ )e−iωt . that is. where ⊥ and label vector components perpendicular and parallel to the ground plane. r (11) (12) (13) The radiation is circularly polarized in the vertical direction (θ = 0) whenever the phase factor obeys δ − kz2 = (2n + 1)π/2 for some integer n. y2 . That is. this pattern is remarkably isotropic.The intensity of the radiation varies by a factor of 2 over the sphere. dΩ 8π 8πc (14) For example.2 Separated Elements but No Ground Plane If the ﬁrst antennas is at the origin while the second is at position (x2. φ) is d = x2 sin θ cos φ + y2 sin θ sin φ + z2 cos θ. 2. if the two antennas are both along the z -axis and are driven in phase. ˆ ˆ r × (p1 + e−ikd p2) = p0 k 2 r × (ˆ x + ei(δ−kd) y r r E= B×ˆ r. For example. The radiated power is greatest for θ = 0 or 180◦ in which directions the polarization is purely circular. p = p1 + p2 = p0 (ˆ x + eiδ y The electromagnetic ﬁelds in the far zone are then B = k2 ei(kr−ωt) ei(kr−ωt) ˆ ). the two antennas could be driven in phase (δ = 0) and placed height Δz = λ/4 apart to achieve circular polarization. Compared to other simple antennas. For greater generality. respectively. by 3 dB. 2. then the strength of the radiation in the horizontal plane (for which d = 0) varies as 1 − sin 2φ. Eθ = Bφ = p0 k 2 r ei(kr−ωt) Eφ = −Bθ = −p0 k 2 (sin φ − ei(δ−kd) cos φ). (10) (9) whose components in spherical coordinates are r · B = 0.

p2 ω 4 dP = 0 3 (1 + cos2 θ)[1 − cos(2kza cos θ)]. We now consider whether it is possible to arrange that circularly polarized radiation be emitted in a direction parallel to the ground plane. Hence. the basic turnstile antenna considered in sec. And.1 emits no radiation if placed close to a conducting ground plane. 0. The ﬁelds and the radiation pattern of this antenna system can be deduced by a small generalization of the methods of secs. 2. (15). radiation is emitted. so when nonzero radiation is emitted in the vertical direction.1 and 2. 4 . say. but the antenna is in eﬀect a single vertical dipole antenna. if the antenna is close to the ground plane. placement of a basic turnstile antenna at this height above a conducting ground plane improves the relative amount of power that goes into circularly polarized radiation. No circular or elliptical polarization can be generated by any electrical dipole antenna all of whose elements are close to a conducting ground plane. (3)-(5) multiplied by 1 − e−2ikza cos θ (15) (which vanishes for za = 0 so that there is no radiation emitted in this case). the dipole moment of the physical antenna can be written as in eq. 0. If the elements of the turnstile antenna are rotated so the they lie in. and the dipole moment of the image antenna is the negative of this. −z2). such that the sum of these two is linearly polarized radiation parallel to the ground plane. multiplied by the absolute square of eq. z2). the polarization of this radiation is purely vertical. z1 ) and p2 eiδ at (x2. 2. The “mirror” symmetry between the physical antenna and the image antenna precludes this. then the image antenna emits left-handed circularly polarized radiation in the same direction. This implies that the ﬁelds of the total antenna system are those of eqs. Hence. y2 . p1 at (0. y2. The radiated power is given by eq. We ﬁrst consider the special case of a basic turnstile antenna whose elements are parallel to the x-y plane. −z1) and p2 = p2⊥ eiδ − p2 eiδ at (x2. 2. (7). it is purely circularly polarized.total electric dipole moment is ptotal = 2p⊥ . 2. The polarization of the radiation is the same as in sec.4 The Antenna Elements Need Not Be Close to the Ground Plane The general case of a system of two linear dipole antennas above a ground plane can be described by two electric dipole moments. the x-z plane. However. (1). there is a path diﬀerence 2za cosθ between the physical and the image antennas to an observer at angle θ to the vertical. Then. as shown in Fig.2. dΩ 4πc (16) For height za = λ/4 the radiation pattern peaks at θ = 0 and vanishes in the horizontal plane. such that phase diﬀerences between radiation from p and its image p can be ignored. the but results are lengthy. there is nonzero radiation only if the component p⊥ is nonzero. because if the physical antenna emits right-handed circularly polarized radiation parallel to the ground plane.1. In particular. but at a height za above that plane. 2. and their image moments p1 = p1⊥ − p1 at (0.

pdf [2] L.Acknowledgment Thanks to Jacques Audet for suggesting this problem.B.H. 1936). http://puhep1. http://www. The Turnstile Antenna. Cebik.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/EM/brown_electronics_9_14_36. 15 (April. Electronics 9. An Omni-Directional Horizontally Polarized Antenna. References [1] G. The “Turnstile” Antenna.html 5 . Brown.com/turns. and to Bruce Cragin and others of the antennex discussion group for clariﬁcations of its solution.cebik.

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