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1947 194PROCEEDINGS OF THE I.R.E.

1479
CONCLUSION ACKNOWLEDGMENT
An attempt has been made to describe the general The author is indebted to the Navy Radio Thst per-
aspects of slot antennas. Such antennas are a "must" sonnel and especially to Captain A. S. Born, R. M.
in high-speed aeronautics and in radio-controlled Silliman, and Lieutenant J. B. Stout for encouragement
missiles. during the early stages of development. Similar
It has been shown that many of the tasks perfo'rmed acknowledgment is due to various members of the
by external antennas can be performed by this flush- radio technical groups of the Army.
type radiator. Subjected to careful scientific investiga- To RCA, special acknowledgment is due to H. HII.
tion, as is possible in peacetime, their usefulness should Beverage, C. W. Hansell, P. S. Carter, R. E. Franklin,
eventually be greatly extended. and W. A. Miller for help and guidance freely given.

Fundamental Limitations of Small Antennas*


HAROLD A. WHEELERt, FELLOW, I.R.E.
Summary-A capacitor or inductor operating as a small antenna radian (4 per cent error). An antenna within this limit
is theoretically capable of intercepting a certain amount of power, of size can be made to behave essentially as lumped
independent of its size, on the assumption of tuning without circuit
loss. The practical efficiency relative to this ideal is limited by the capacitance or inductance, so this property is assumed.
"radiation power factor" of the antenna as compared with the power It has occasionally been pointed out that a small an-
factor and bandwidth of the antenna tuning. The radiation power tenna free of dissipation could take from a radio wave
factor of either kind of antenna is somewhat greater than and deliver to a load an amount of power independent
1 Ab of the size of the antenna. This would be true at one fre-
6r 13 quency if the antenna can be resonated at that fre-
in which Ab is the cylindrical volume occupied by the antenna, and I quency without
Is the radianlength (defined as 1/2r wavelength) at the operating fre- adding dissipation. It results from the
quency. The efficiency is further limited by the closeness of coupling fact that a smaller antenna delivers its lesser voltage
of the antenna with its tuner. Other simple formulas are given for the from a lesser resistance such that the available power
more fundamental properties of small antennas and their behavior i remains the same.
a simple circuit. Examples for l-Mc. operation in typical circuits indi- The power available from such an antenna is the wave
cate a loss of about 35 db for the I.R.E. standard capacitive antenna,
43 db for a large loop occupying a volume of 1 meter square by 0.5 power which would pass through the "effective area" of
meter axial length, and 64 db for a loop of 1/5 these dimensions. the antenna. Its effective area is 3/2 the area of a circle
whose radius is one radianlength, denoted a "radian
I. INTRODUCTION circle." The factor 3/2 is the power ratio of the directive
A N ANTENNA whose dimensions are much less gain of a small antenna relative to a theoretical antenna
than the wavelength is subject to limitations conceived to radiate equally in all directions over the
which can be expressed by simple formulas. sphere, denoted an "isotropic" antenna. This factor re-
These limitations are fundamentally about the same for sults from the fact that a small dipole (electric or mag-
a capacitor used as an electric dipole and an inductor netic) radiates in a doughnut pattern which effectively
(loop) used as a magnetic dipole, if they occupy equal fills only 2/3 of the entire solid angle of a sphere.
volumes. Either type may have some advantages result- Formulas for the efficiency of transmission through
ing from variations within this rule or from relative space may be stated in terms of the power actually
facility in coupling with the associated circuits. This radiated from the transmitting antenna and the power
paper is directed to a few of the simplest formulas, and theoretically available from the receiving antenna to a
to their significance and application rather than their load. In each case, the unavoidable dissipation in the
derivation. The small antenna to be considered is one coupling circuit (from generator to antenna or from an-
whose maximum dimension is less than the "radian- tenna to load) limits the output to only a fraction of the
length." The radianlength is 1/2ur wavelength; it proves power input. This fraction is the efficiency of the coup-
to be a logical unit for this purpose and a convenient ling circuit.
one for simplifying the concepts and formulas. The ap- While the radiation pattern and hence the directive
proximations involved within this size depend only on gain of a small antenna remain the same for a smaller
the closeness between an angle and its sine up to i size, the radiation resistance decreases relative to the
other resistance in the coupling circuit. The resulting
* Decimal classification: R120. Original manuscript received by reduction in coupling efficiency is one of the principal
the Institute, November 11, 1946. Presented, 1947 I.R.E. National limitations of the smaller antenna.
Convention, March 6, 1947, New York, N. Y. This study was made Another aspect of the same limitation relates to the
for Hazeltine Electronics Corporation, Little Neck, N. Y.
t Consulting Radio Physicist, Great Neck, N. Y. frequency bandwidth of operation with fixed values of
1480 P1RCOCEEDINGS OF THE I.R.E. December
the circuit elements. A smaller antenna with the same k,2=efficiency of coupling of antenna to total in-
reactance and radiation resistance must be more sharply ductance = magnetic energy in antenna/total
tuned to deliver its available power. Therefore, the re- magnetic energy in tuned circuit
duction of size imposes a fundamental limitation on the e =radiation efficiency of antenna circuit.
bandwidth. If the bandwidth so limited is insufficient,
further damping must be added at the expense of coup- III. FORMULAS
ling efficiency. (C) (L)
The limitations verify the experience that larger an-
tennas are generally more efficient, especially for wide- Capacitance and inductance:
band operation. kaA A
By expressing the formulas in fundamental forms; C=e L=lAn 2 k -

(1)
the inherent similarity of the electric and magnetic radi- b kbb
ators becomes apparent, as well as the minor differences Susceptance and reactance:
resulting from the use of available materials and struc-
tures. kaA A
coC=G
bi
; wL= Rn2
kbbl (2)
II. SYMBOLS
a =radius of circular cylindrical volume (meters) Radiation shunt conductance and series resistance:
A =area of base of cylindrical volume (meters2) 1R /nA\2 nA.42
b =height of cylindrical volume (meters) G6 (k12) Rm671=201-) (3)
n =number of turns of coil
ka = shape factor of capacitor =effective area/ac- Re=- - = 20 -; GM (4)
tual area! (A) 67r \l Il 67rn2 1/
kb= shape factor of inductor = effective length/ac- Radiation power factor:
tual length (b)
C = capacitance of antenna (farads) G, 1 kaAb Rm I kbAb
L = inductance of antenna (henries) pe= cC =-6r /,3 wL 6r 1i
(5)
c =radian frequency (radians/second)
X =wavelength (meters) Coupling efficiency, connected as in Fig. 2:
1 =X/2r =radianlength (meters) C L
e= electric permittivity in free space (farads/
C+Ct
k
L+Lt
(6)
meter)
u= magnetic permeability in free space (henries/ Circuit efficiency, connected as in Fig. 2:
meter)
k =relative permittivity of core in capacitor Ge Rm
km = relative permeability of core in inductor
e=
GGt; e=+R
Rm+Rt
(7)
R=1207r=377=wave resistance in free space
(ohms) Circuit efficiency, in general:
G = 1/R =wave conductance in free space (mhos) kc2pe ki2pm
R,, Rm=radiation resistance in series with antenna e=- e=+ (8)
(ohms) kc2p.+pl ki2pm+ pt
G., Gm = radiation conductance in parallel with antenna IV. THE ANTENNA
(mhos)
R1, G, = series resistance or shunt conductance in tuner Fig. shows two antennas occupying volumes alike
(ohms, mhos) in shape and size,one being a capacitor (C) and the
Ct, L = shunt capacitance or series inductance in tuner
(farads, henries) 1 Ab

pe=radiation power factor of capacitor antenna 2a


6ir lo

(electric dipole)
Pm= radiation power factor of inductor antenna
(magnetic dipole) I I

k-=coefficient of coupling between antenna and I Ab I b


I
total capacitance
ki=coefficient of coupling between antenna and I
total inductance
k,2=efficiency of coupling of antenna to total ca- (C) (L)
pacitance = electric energy in antenna/total Fig. 1-Capacitor (C) and inductor (L) occupying equal
electric energy in tuned circuit cylindrical volumes.
1947 Wheeler: Fundamental Limitations of Small Antennas 1481
other an inductor (L). Their maximum dimensions are The fundamental limitation on the bandwidth and the
less than the radianlength of operation. Their shapes practical efficiency of a small antenna is the radiation
are cylindrical because that is the only shape that can power factor, pe or p^, given by (5). It is always much
alternatively be occupied by either a capacitor or an in- less than unity because of the small size. It has the same
ductor. The volume may be bounded by a circular cyl- value, whether computed from radiation resistance or
inder, as shown, or by other cylinders such as square or conductance. It has the same form for both kinds of
rectangular. antennas. Its value, except for the correction factor, is
In both cases, the antenna is assumed to operate as a the same for both kinds, and depends only on the ratio
lumped circuit element of the kind indicated (C or L), of the antenna volume A b to the radian cube It.
neglecting distributed properties. The inductor (loop In (5) the coefficient 1/67r is the product of the two
antenna) is assumed to act as a current sheet pervious factors 1/4'r and 2/3. The former is the reciprocal of
to alternating magnetic flux, as is customary in the the- the solid angle of a sphere, which appears in rationalized
ory of solenoidal coils; this assumption is justified if formulas involving spherical waves. The latter is the
the coil is wound of several turns of wire or ribbon hav- fraction of the sphere which is filled with the doughnut
ing a width of about 2 the pitch of winding. pattern of radiation characteristic of a small dipole.
The symbols and principal formulas are tabulated As a special case of the radiation power factor, con-
above for convenience. All formulas have the same sider an antenna occupying a cubic space Ab equal to a
form for the two kinds of antennas, except for the num- radian cube 18. The resulting power factor is 1/6r
ber of turns n and the correction factors ka and kb. These =0.053, multiplied by the correction factor. In this
factors are defined to have such values that (1) gives the case, approximately, ka = 2.7 and kb =1.5, so the power
correct values of C and L. factors are p. =0.14 and pm = 0.08. Therefore, this size of
For the capacitor, the correction factor ka multiplies antenna has sufficient radiation damping to operate
the area A to obtain the effective area, as augmented over a bandwidth of the order of 1/10 the mean fre-
by the electric field outside the cylindrical volume. This quency, even if there is no other damping.
factor is greater than unity and (for circular disks, A cubic-antenna of this size (and one turn on the in-
A = -ra2) greater than ductor) has a reactance comparable with the wave re-
sistance of the medium (R=1/G=120X = 377 ohms in
4 b b free space). The reactance (1/coG or coL) of each kind is
-- = 1.27-, (9)
ir a a reduced by the correction factor, so it has a value of 140
ohms for the capacitor, or 250 ohms for the inductor.
based on two disks far apart. The value of ka is asymp- Reducing the size or the frequency increases the react-
totic to unity for b<<a, and is asymptotic to (9) for ance of the capacitor and reduces that of the inductor.
b>>a. The latter has greater flexibility in that its reactance can
For the inductor, the correction factor kb multiplies be increased with the number of turns.
the axial length b to obtain the effective length of the In the cubic shape, the correction factor is slightly
magnetic path as augmented by the external return greater for the capacitor than for the inductor. This ad-
path. This factor also is greater than unity. If b>a for vantage is real, though it is small and may be over-
a circular coil (A ='ra2), this factor is closely approxi- balanced, in some cases, by circuit disadvantages.
mated by the asymptotic value: If the axis of the cylinder is vertical, either antenna
8 a a
radiates in a pattern like a horizontal doughnut. Since
kb = 1+--; orbetter, kb = 1 + 0.9-* (10) the polarization is expressed with reference to the elec-
37r b b tric field, the capacitor radiates with vertical polariza-
The effective volume becomes tion and the inductor with horizontal. The required
polarization is likely to be the determining factor in
kbAb = Ab + 0.9aA = Ab + 2.8a3. (11) choosing which kind to use, if the horizontal doughnut
is the desired pattern of radiation.
If b <a, the factor is somewhat less than this value. A plane reflector doubles the radiation power factor if
The electric-dipole radiation from the capacitor is it is located lose enough to either kind of antenna and in
represented by shunt conductance G. or series resist- such relation as to re-enforce the radiation. The plane
ance R.. The magnetic-dipole radiation from the induc- reflector acts by virtue of its great conductivity or rela-
tor is represented by series resistance Rm or shunt con- tive permlttivity. A surface of water or ground may
ductance Gm. In both kinds of antenna the resistance approximate a plane reflector. The size of the antenna
formula is free of the correction factor, because the radi- and its proximity to the reflector must be such that the
ation is caused by the current which is confined to cer- antenna and its image fall within a maximum dimension
tain definite dimensions of the structure. Therefore, the less than the radianlength, if the radiation power factor
radiation resistance is the concept ordinarily used. Its of (5) is to be doubled. Also, the reflector must have a
value is given not only in the general form but also in radius greater than 1/4 wavelength. To re-enforce the
the simplified form valid in free space. radiation, the plane must be perpendicular to the axiK
1482 PROCEEDINGS OF THE I.R.E. December
of the capacitor or parallel to the axis of the inductor, so detract from the efficiency depends on the nature of the
the polarization is perpendicular to the plane. generator or load coupled therewith, and on other re-
The cylindrical volume may be filled with a dielectric quirements such as bandwidth. The simplest case will be
core in the capacitor or a magnetic core in the inductor. described as an example.
In either case, the radiation shunt conductance (not the Fig. 2 shows a generator or load coupled with an an-
series resistance) remains the same, because it is deter- tenna of either kind (C or L) through its tuner. In the
mined by the energy in the field outside of the antenna,
regardless of that inside. A dielectric core of relative per- Pt kc Pe
r ------
I- - - r- n-
mittivity k. increases the capacitance to
-

I I _ Gt Ct |. Ge C
A generator
or ItII iCt e
(C)
C = e- (ka + k. - 1) (12) load T T
b Fl
tuner antenna
L - - __ L _
- __ _ __ _
approximately if b <2a. This reduces the radiation Pt ki Pm
power factor in the ratio r nL ~~~RtLt I_ L__
ka 1 generator RL - R

ka+ ke- 1 ke- 1


(13) or
load (L)
1+ tuner antenna
ka u ____ _n L_ __ _ I L __

A magnetic core of relative permeability km increases the Fig. 2-Tuned coupling of antenna with generator
or load.
inductance to
A case of a generator, it is assumed that it is so coupled
L = gn b(kb + 1/km - 1) (14) with the tuner as to deliver all of its available power to
the tuner and antenna. In the case of a load, it is as-
approximately if b>2a. This increases the radiation sumed that it is so coupled with the tuner as to receive
power factor in the ratio the maximum power therefrom, which is called the
a "lavailable power."
1 + 0.9- In general, the efficiency of the coupling circuit is in-
1 b
creased by increasing the coefficient of coupling between
km - 1 1 a the tuner and the antenna, and by decreasing the power
k-- + 0.9- factor of the tuner.
k.kb km b
The coefficient of coupling (k, or ki) between the
The efficiency may be further increased by reduction in tuner and the antenna is defined in the usual way. Its
the effective coil resistance. square is called the "coupling efficiency" because it
The structure of the antenna is a subject by itself, denotes the fraction of the total electric or magnetic
outside the scope of this monograph. energy of the tuned circuit which is in the antenna. It
The same principles may be applied to the design of is expressed in (6) for the simple connection of Fig. 2,
a reactor in which radiation is undesired and low power but has more general significance.
factor ('high Q") is desired. If the reactor is unshielded, The power factor pt of the tuner is taken to include all
the optimum size is a compromise between larger size dissipation in the tuner and antenna, except the desired
to reduce internal series resistance and smaller size to radiation. In Fig. 2, this is lumped in the effective shunt
reduce internal shunt conductance and radiation. The conductance G, or the effective series resistance Ri. It is
optimum size for a single-layer coil with negligible di- connected directly in parallel or in series with the radia-
electric power factor is that for which the radiation tion effective conductance G. or resistance Rm. In this
power factor is a minor fraction of the total, say between connection the circuit efficiency is merely the ratio of
1/6 and 1/2, depending on the nature of the factors the radiation power to the total power in the circuit, as
which determine the internal resistance. In ordinary expressed in (7).
cases, the volume of the coil should not exceed about The more general expression of circuit efficiency is
1/100 of a radian cube, which means the diameter and given by (8), in terms of power factor and coupling
length, if equal, should not exceed about 1/5 radian- efficiency. This gives an indication of the relative im-
length, or 1/30 wavelength. If this size is too small, a portance of all factors.
larger coil with shielding may be required. After the coupling circuit has been designed for the
maximum efficiency at the frequency of resonance, con-
V. THE CIRCUITS sistent with available space, materials, and precision,
Efficient operation of a small antenna requires tuning the total power factor of the circuit will exceed k02p.
to the operating frequency with a circuit which offers or kj2Pm by the amount of the tuner power factor pt and
little additional dissipation. How much the circuit may the added power factor contributed by the generator or
1947 Wheeler: Fundamental Limitations of Small Antennas 1483
load. If the antenna comprises all the reactance of one The power factor of the entire tuned circuit is assumed
kind in the circuit, and the tuner losses are small, the to be 0.01 and the efficiency is computed from (8).
total power factor of the circuit may be that of the an- Efficiency: e = 0.48 X 10-/0.01 = 0.048 X 10-3.
tenna plus an equal value coupled from the gencrator or This represents a loss of 43 db. It is noted that the es-
load. Therefore, a very efficient design may have a sential performance is obtained without reference to
loaded power factor 2p. or 2pm, and a corresponding incidental factors, such as the number of turns, which
bandwidth of the tuned circuit. are supplied by ordinary design procedure.
If the bandwidth desired in the coupling circuit is A capacitive antenna of comparable volume would
either less or greater than that obtained by designing give comparable performance, with some practical ad-
for maximum efficiency at the frequency of resonance, vantages and disadvantages. Its disuse indicates that
the redesign for different bandwidth will be at the ex- the disadvantages usually predominate.
pense of efficiency. Lesser bandwidth may be obtained A loop antenna as small as 1/5 the dimensions of this
by decreasing the coupling with generator or load, de- example, namely, 0.2X0.2X0.1 meter, is used in small
creasing the coupling between tuner and antenna, multi- receivers. The efficiency is approximately 0.4 X 10-6,
ple tuning, or decreasing the antenna size. Greater representing a loss of 64 db at 1 Mc.
bandwidth may be obtained by increasing the coupling Second example: A capacitive antenna over ground is
with generator or load, increasing the power factor of connected with a radio receiver. The antenna is a wire
the tuner, or developing the tuner into a wide-band cir- so its area is undefined. Including lead-in, its effective
cuit. height is 4 meters and its capacitance is 200 micro-
Some types of generator or load do not double the microfarads, the I.R.E. standard. Therefore, its effec-
power factor of the tuned circuit when coupled for nor- tive area is determined by (1).
mal operation. An efficiency generator, for example, Antenna capacitance: C= 200 ,u,fd.
operates best into an impedance much different from its Effective height: b= 4 m.
internal impedance. A current generator of high resist- Effective area: kaA =bC/e= 90 m.2
ance, such as a high-u screen-grid'tube, contributes little Effective volume: kaAb = 360 m.3
damping to a tuned output circuit. On the other hand, Wavelength: X= 300 m. (at 1 Mc.)
a voltage generator of low resistance, such as a low-,u Radianlength: 1= 48 m.
triode tube or cathode-output circuit; more than doubles Radian cube: 1 = 110,000 m.3
the damping in a tuned output circuit. Likewise, there
are load circuits which are essentially voltage-operated, The radiation power factor over the ground plane is
such as a voltmeter or the grid circuit of an amplifier; or computed by doubling (5).
current-operated, such as an ammeter. Either type of Radiation power factor: p. = 0.35 X 10-8.
load may not be designed to utilize the available power, The coupling efficiency is assumed to be reduced to
in which case it may add little to the damping. In view about 0.01 so large variations of antenna will not cause
of the various effects of the associated circuits, the appreciable detuning of the circuit.
radiation power factor of the antenna is not the ultimate
limitation on the bandwidth of efficient operation, but Coupling efficiency: k =0.01.
does indicate the order of magnitude and the trends The power factor of the entire tuned circuit is assumed
with changes of antenna design. to be 0.01 and the efficiency is computed from (8).
VI. EXAMPLES Efficiency: e = 0.35 X 10-3.
First example: A loop antenna is intended for opera- This is a loss of 35 db, chargeable 15 db to circuit dis-
tion with horizontal axis in a radio receiver cabinet in a sipation and 20 db to decoupling for reducing the reac-
small frame building. Its size is 1 meter square by 0.5 tion of antenna changes on the tuning. Part of the lat-
meter axial length. ter (20 db) can be recovered by greater coupling and
providing for retuning on each antenna. Otherwise, it
Wavelength: X= 300 m. (at 1 Mc.) is noted that this antenna is only 8 db better than the
Radianlength: 1= 48 m. loop antenna of the first example.
Radian cube: 13=110,000 m.3 Third example: A loop antenna is intended for opera-
Antenna volume: A b = 0.5 m.3 tion with vertical axis in a television receiver cabinet.
Shape factor: k= 2 Its size is 0.5 meter cube. It is tuned to the desired
The radiation power factor is computed by doubling (5) frequency channel.
to include approximately the effect of the ground plane. Wavelength: X=5 m. (at 60 Mc.)
Radiation power factor: pm = 0.96 X 10-6. Radianlength: 1 = 0.8 m.
Radian cube: 13 = 0.51 m. 3
The loop .is assumed to be one-half the entire inductance Antenna volume: Ab=0.12 m.3
of the tuned circuit (6). Shape factor: kb= 1.5
Coupling efficiency: k2= 0.5. Radiation power factor: p. = 0.0 19.
1484 PROCEEDINGS OF THE I.R.E. December

Since the required bandwidth is about 0.1 of the center Mc., more than enough for a single channel 0.2 Mc.
frequency, or about 5p., there is a loss of only 4 to 7 db, wide. However, if the same antenna were required to
depending on the nature of the circuits connected with cover the entire band of 88 to 108 Mc. without retuning,
the antenna for increasing the bandwidth. a width of 0.2 times the mean frequency, the loss would
Fourth example: A loop antenna is intended for oper- be 12 to 15 db caused by the wide-band circuit.
ation with horizontal axis in a portable f.m. receiver. Its BIBLIOGRAPHY
size is 0.2 meter cube. It is tuned to the desired fre- (1) E. B. Rosa and F. W. Grover, 'Formulas and tables for the cal-
quency. All losses except radiation and load are assumed culation of mutual and self-inductance," Sci. Papers, Bur. of
to yield a tuner power factor of 0.01. Stand., No. 169, p. 121, formula 79 (the end correction for a
solenoid); December 18, 1916.
Wavelength: X=3 m. (at 100 Mc.) (2) J. H. Jeans, "Electricity and Magnetism," p. 249 (capacitance of
disk), Cambridge University Press, London; 1925.
Radianlength: I = 0.48 m. (3) H. A. Wheeler, "Simple inductance formulas for radio coils,"
Radian cube: 13=0.11 m.3 PROC. I.R.E., vol. 16, pp. 1398-1400; (end correction for a
solenoid); October, 1928.
Antenna volume: Ab=0.008 m.3 (4) C. R. Burrows, "Radio propagation over plane earth," Bell Sys.
Shape factor: kb=1.5 Tech. Jour., vol. 16, pp. 45-74; (Introduction, transmission
efficiency in space); January, 1937.
Radiation power factor: pm = 0.0058 (5) Simon Ramo and J. R. Whinnery, "Fields and Waves in Modern
Tuner power factor: Pt = 0.01 Radio," pp. 432, 458 (radiation resistance of small electric dipole
and loop); John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, N. Y.; 1944.
Efficiency: e=0.37. (6) H. T. Friis, "Simple transmission formula," PROC. I.R.E., vol. 34,
pp. 254-256 (transmission efficiency in space, expressed in terms
This is a circuit loss of 4 db. The bandwidth is 2 or 3 of effective area); May, 1946.

A Helical Antenna for Circular Polarization*


HAROLD A. WHEELERt, FELLOW, I.R.E.
Summary-A helical coil radiates a wave of circular polarization vector is normal to the plane of the dipole (the plane
in a doughnut pattern if the area and pitch of the turns are properly through the axis of the loop)..
related to the radianlength of the wave. For a coil whose dimensions The helical antenna is a superposition of electric and
are less than the radianlength, circular polarization requires that the
area A of each turn and the pitch p be related to the radianlength magnetic dipoles to radiate a wave with circular polar-
I as follows: ization. Reference (9) of the Bibliography shows that a
A=pl. capacitor and an inductor occupying equal cylindrical
-The simplest form of helical antenna is a self-resonant coil of several volumes have approximately the same power factor of
turns. To obtain greater radiation power factor and efficiency, a mul- radiation. If these are made of equal reactance and con-
tifilar winding is preferred, having a fractional turn for each of sev- nected together to form a circuit resonant at the operat-
eral helical wires connected in parallel with symmetry around the
axis. This type of antenna offers television the advantages of circular ing frequency, it follows that the radiated power is
polarization in suppressing echoes from reflecting surfaces. about equally divided between the electric-dipole radia-
tion from the capacitor and the magnetic-dipole radiation
I. INTRODUCTION from the inductor.
A coaxial superposition of the capacitor and inductor
A HELICAL COIL can be designed to radiate is possible if the structure of each is designed to give the
waves of circular polarization by properly pro- required freedom to both fields; there is no inconsistency
portioning the area and pitch of the turns with in their coexistence in the same space.
relation to the wavelength or radianlength. The screw Circular polarization requires two relations between
direction of the helix determines the direction of rota- the crossed fields in a wave. They must have equal in-
tion of the wave polarization. The simplest case of this tensity and phase quadrature in time. Then the direc-
helical antenna is a small one whose dimensions are tion of rotation of the polarization depends on the
less than the radianlength. phase sequence of the crossed components of either
A small antenna whose dimensions are less than the field.
radianlength behaves essentially as a dipole with a co- The helical antenna inherently obtains the phase
axial doughnut pattern of radiation. If it is an electric quadrature. The equality of intensity of the crossed
dipole or current element, the polarization of the electric components is obtained by making the area of each
vector is in the plane of the dipole. If it is a magnetic turn equal to the product of the pitch of the turn times
dipole or current loop, the polarization of the electric the radianlength (1/27r wavelength). The rotation is
* Decimal classification: R125.3 XR326.6. Original manuscript
determined by the screw direction of the helix. Ideally,
received by the Institute, November 7, 1946. Presented, 1947 I.R.E. there should be no other radiating or reflecting con-
National Convention, March 6, 1947, New York, N. Y. This study ductors in the vicinity. Capacitive loading at the ends
was made for Hazeltine Electronics Corporation, Little Neck, N. Y. of the coil is permissible, as well as circuit connections
t Consulting Radio Physicist, Great Neck, N. Y.