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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 823626, 8 pages
Research Article

Effects of Reentry Plasma Sheath on GPS Patch Antenna Polarization Property

1College of Aerospace and Materials Engineering, National University of Defence Technology, Changsha, Hunan 410073, China
2Science and Technology on Space Physics Technology Laboratory, Beijing 100076, China
3School of Electronical & Mechanical Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710071, China
4Science and Technology Committee of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Beijing 100048, China

Received 27 January 2013; Revised 21 March 2013; Accepted 26 March 2013

Academic Editor: Duixian Liu

Copyright © 2013 L. Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A plasma sheath enveloping a reentry vehicle would affect performances of on-board antenna greatly, especially the navigation antennas. This paper studies the effects of reentry plasma sheath on a GPS right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) patch antenna polarization property during a typical reentry process. Utilizing the algorithm of finite integration technique, the polarization characteristic of a GPS antenna coated by a plasma sheath is obtained. Results show that the GPS RHCP patch antenna radiation pattern distortions as well as polarization deteriorations exist during the entire reentry process, and the worst polarization mismatch loss between a GPS antenna and RHCP GPS signal is nearly 3 dB. This paper also indicates that measures should be taken to alleviate the plasma sheath for maintaining the GPS communication during the reentry process.