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The rectangular microstrip patch antenna has been extensively analyzed with regard to its input impedance and resonant frequency, both for infinite and finite ground plane dimensions. For infinite ground planes existing formulas have been compared and improved parameters presented. The influence from the side current radiation has been discussed as well. For finite ground plane dimensions the contribution from the ground plane edge diffraction has been accounted for in an equivalent radiation conductance and an equivalent diffraction susceptance. Formulas for these parameters have been developed on the basis of different theories. They are valid under the condition that only one of the ground plane dimensions are finite at the same time. Experimental investigations are carried out to test the accuracy of the developed formulas, showing good accuracy under the given conditions.