What Does Multi-Polarization Really Mean?

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Wireless network and Connection technology concept with Bangkok city background at night in Thailand, panorama view

Polarization refers to the direction in which energy travels between antennas. These electromagnetic fields oscillate as they travel through three-dimensional space, which includes a series of planes. If an antenna is vertically polarized, signals travel along the vertical plane. If the antenna is horizontally polarized, signals travel along the horizontal plane instead. Many antennas are polarized like this in a linear fashion, but space has more than just vertical and horizontal planes. There are also obstructions.

The Limits of Linear Polarization

When linear antennas are tested, it’s usually under line-of-site (LOS) conditions where there aren’t any obstructions between the transmitting and receiving antennas. In the real world, however, obstructions abound. Trees, hills, mountains, buildings, and vehicles literally get in the way. Pollution can affect transmissions, too. These obstructions change the polarization of the signal that reaches the receiving antenna. In turn, this can weaken the signal and cause “drop-outs”, or communications failures.

Drop-outs can also be caused by antenna position. For example, a pair of vertically polarized antennas won’t work well if one antenna is at 90° and the other is at 18°. This can happen if, say, the transmitting antenna is mounted atop a building at 90° and the receiving antenna is mounted atop a vehicle that’s traveling uphill. Of course, any hills between the building and the vehicle are obstructions and, in the real world, non-line-of-site (NLOS) conditions like this are commonplace.

Multi-Polarized Antennas for the Real-World

Multi-polarized antennas transmit and receive signals on more than just the vertical and horizontal plane. In fact, these devices can leverage the infinite number of planes in three-dimensional space. They’re ideal for NLOS conditions and, when you buy them from MP Antenna, you’ll know that they’re Made in the USA. We are the only company that has a patented technology for multi-polarized antennas and in a single feed – the system used to radiate electromagnetic waves into the surrounding space.

MP’s multi-polarized antennas can receive vertical or horizontal signals regardless of orientation. That means better coverage and connectivity, regardless of differences in elevation or obstructions. The same antenna can handle WiFi, radio frequency, and cellular frequencies in a single footprint, and without weak or degraded signals and inconsistent throughputs. For applications that need to withstand moisture, vibration and impact, ruggedized products are available.  

Learn more about MP’s multi-polarized antennas or contact us to discuss your specific application.