Electromagnetic (EM) waves are characterized by electric and magnetic fields; in a plane EM wave, electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to each other and the direction of the wave propagation. The polarization of an EM wave is a term that describes the orientation of its electric field vector.
Polarization is an essential concept in antenna-to-antenna communication. According to the shape traced by the electric field vector, polarization can be classified in three ways: linear, circular, or elliptical. Signal reception is damaged if the polarization of the antennas does not match; any polarization mismatch is characterized using the polarization loss factor.
Let’s take a closer look at the issues posed by a polarization mismatch and the importance of the polarization loss factor.