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Absorption and dispersion properties of sapphire and crystal quartz between 15 and 130 GHz were measured using the freely propagating transient radiation from optoelectronically pulsed integrated antennas. The polarization sensitivity of the experimental apparatus was characterized and used to obtain the absorption coefficients and refractive indices in the above frequency range for both ordinary and extraordinary beam propagation. We also studied the frequency‐dependent transmission (amplitude and phase) of these two materials as a function of the angle between the electric field and the optic axis.