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Human proximity effects on circular polarized handset antennas in personal satellite communications

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2 Author(s)
Colburn, J.S. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Rahmat-Samii, Y.

Satellite-based systems are the next step in mobile communications. Several low and medium Earth orbit mobile communication satellite systems have been proposed and are currently being deployed. For all these systems, high-performance circularly polarized antennas for the mobile terminals are of importance. Although considerable material is available on circularly polarized antennas, there is an absence of information on how the human's close proximity to the antenna affects the circular polarization purity of the radiated field. This paper presents an analysis of representative circularly polarized helical handset antennas. The helix is used because of its wide bandwidth properties and capability to provide both circular and linear polarization. Thus, this element could be used for handsets that are planned to work with both the terrestrial-based communications systems of today and the satellite-based communication systems of tomorrow. The intent is to characterize the effects the close proximity of a human head model has on the computed performance of the circular polarized antenna. The method of moments (MoM) and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) numerical techniques are used to study various helix structures on top of a small box representing a handset. In order to be able to effectively apply the FDTD, a novel square helix structure is introduced. Results computed with these two techniques are compared to illustrate the accuracy of each implementation. The results indicate significant polarization purity degradation caused by the presence of a human head. For the particular geometry simulated, the presence of a head model degraded the average axial ratio within a 50° vertical cone from 2.9 to 9.1 dB. This significant increase in axial ratio can have profound effects on link budgets

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Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 6 )