Dependence of Antenna Cross-polarization Performance on Waveguide-to-Coaxial Adapter Design
Authors: Vince Rodriguez, Edwin Barry, Steve Nichols
Antennas utilized as probes, sources, and for gain comparison are typically specified to have excellent cross polarization levels, often on the order of 50 dB below the primary polarization component. In many cases, these antennas are fed with a Waveguide-to-Coaxial adapter, which can be sourced from a multitude of vendors. Depending on the design and construction of the adapter, and the distance from the excitation probe to antenna aperture, the adapter itself can contribute significantly to the degradation of the polarization purity of the antenna. These adapters typically use one of several methods to achieve a good impedance match across their bandwidths, including tuning screws, posts and stubs. These tuning elements may be arranged asymmetrically and can cause the waveguide to be over-moded locally. Additionally, there is wide variance in the distance separating the adapter excitation probe and waveguide electrical flanges, which may not be long enough to suppress the higher order modal content. In this paper, we study the effects of adapter to antenna aperture coupling, including the coupling of fields local to the current probe. The analysis concludes with recommendations to ensure that the antenna polarization purity is optimized.