Skip to Main Content
For phased array receivers, the accuracy with which the polarization state of a received signal can be measured depends on the antenna configuration, array calibration process, and beamforming algorithms. A signal and noise model for a dual-polarized array is developed and related to standard polarimetric antenna figures of merit, and the ideal polarimetrically calibrated, maximum-sensitivity beamforming solution for a dual-polarized phased array feed is derived. A practical polarimetric beamformer solution that does not require exact knowledge of the array polarimetric response is shown to be equivalent to the optimal solution in the sense that when the practical beamformers are calibrated, the optimal solution is obtained. To provide a rough initial polarimetric calibration for the practical beamformer solution, an approximate single-source polarimetric calibration method is developed. The modeled instrumental polarization error for a dipole phased array feed with the practical beamformer solution and single-source polarimetric calibration was -10 dB or lower over the array field of view for elements with alignments perturbed by random rotations with 5 degree standard deviation.