E-plane and H-plane

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This article is about electromagnetism. For the light aircraft, see e-plane SSDR.

The E-plane and H-plane are reference planes for linearly polarized waveguides, antennas and other microwave devices.

E-Plane[edit]

For a linearly-polarized antenna, this is the plane containing the electric field vector (sometimes called the E aperture) and the direction of maximum radiation. The electric field or "E" plane determines the polarization or orientation of the radio wave. For a vertically polarized antenna, the E-plane usually coincides with the vertical/elevation plane. For a horizontally polarized antenna, the E-Plane usually coincides with the horizontal/azimuth plane. E- plane and H-plane should be 90 degrees apart.

H-plane[edit]

In the case of the same linearly polarized antenna, this is the plane containing the magnetic field vector (sometimes called the H aperture) and the direction of maximum radiation. The magnetizing field or "H" plane lies at a right angle to the "E" plane. For a vertically polarized antenna, the H-plane usually coincides with the horizontal/azimuth plane. For a horizontally polarized antenna, the H-plane usually coincides with the vertical/elevation plane.

Diagram showing the relationship between the E and H planes for a horizontally polarized directional yagi antenna
Diagram showing the relationship between the E and H planes for a vertically polarized omnidirectional dipole antenna

Co-Pol and Cross-Pol Directions[edit]

Co-polarization(Co-pol) on cross-polarization (X-pol) are defined for the radiating E and H planes. These directions are defined in spherical coordinates to correspond to the spherical wavefronts of the propagating wave. By convention the co-pol direction is the direction of the E field while the cross pol direction is the direction of the H field. Receive power for an co-pol oriented antenna is maximum while receive power is minimum for cross-pol orientation.

See also[edit]