Revisiting the Poincaré Sphere as a Representation of Polarization State

Authors: Brett T. Walkenhorst, Steve Nichols
Publication: EuCAP 2020
Copyright Owner: IEEE

Graphical representations of the polarization state of an antenna or an electromagnetic wave propagating through space are useful tools to supplement rigorous mathematical analyses. One such example, the polarization ellipse, is frequently used in combination with the mathematical development of polarization theory.

The Poincaré sphere is another graphical representation but is much less widely used. Since each possible polarization state appears as a point on the surface of the sphere, it has limited value in representing a single polarization state. However, it can be quite useful for visualizing the relationships between multiple polarization states.

In this paper, we show a different way of presenting the Poincaré sphere using a Mercator projection and elliptical parameters. We also describe a tool that implements this technique and provides a real-time display of polarization state as a function of frequency.

You have requested a Reprint of an IEEE Paper

Copyright 2020 IEEE. Reprinted from EuCAP 2020 Conference.

This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of NSI-MI Technologies' products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to

By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.


1125 Satellite Blvd., Suite 100
Suwanee, GA 30024-4629 USA

+1 678 475 8300
+1 678 542 2601

Los Angeles

19730 Magellan Drive
Torrance, CA 90502-1104 USA

+1 310 525 7000
+1 310 525 7100


Unit 51 Harley Road
Sheffield, S11 9SE UK

+44 7493 235224


Virtual Conference Finding your local time... 51 Days
This site is using cookies for analytical purposes and to provide a better user experience. Read our Privacy Policy for more information.