Helical Antenna


A helical antenna is a specialized type of antenna used primarily for radio frequency communication. It features a helix-shaped conductor, often wrapped around a cylindrical support, which is capable of receiving and transmitting circularly polarized radio waves. This design allows the antenna to achieve a compact size and directional radiation patterns, making it well-suited for various applications such as satellite communications, GPS systems, and amateur radio operations.


The phonetics for the keyword “Helical Antenna” are as follows:Helical: /hɪˈlaɪ.kəl/Antenna: /ænˈtɛnə/

Key Takeaways

  1. Helical antennas are versatile and compact, making them ideal for a variety of applications, including satellite communication, mobile communication, and radio broadcasting.
  2. They provide excellent performance in terms of circular polarization and gain, which allows for efficient communication over long distances and reduced signal interference.
  3. The antenna’s design parameters, such as helix diameter, spacing, and length, can be adjusted to optimize performance, allowing for customization to suit specific frequency ranges and needs.


The helical antenna is a crucial technology term due to its versatile and efficient design, making it a popular choice in various communication applications.

This type of antenna operates through a helically wound conductor with a specific pitch, resulting in a unique radiation pattern that can produce circularly polarized waves.

The ability to adjust the helix dimensions allows for increased control over its axial ratio, radiation pattern, and impedance, which in turn enables the optimization of its performance for specific use cases.

Widely utilized in satellite communication, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), telemetry, and in devices such as remote radio transmitters and receivers, the helical antenna plays a significant role in ensuring seamless and reliable communication across different domains.


A helical antenna is a versatile and robust radio frequency (RF) antenna that specializes in fulfilling various communication requirements, particularly in situations where circular or elliptical polarization is desired. This antenna is widely used in multiple applications such as satellite communication, global positioning systems (GPS), wireless data transmission, ham radio, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Its purpose is to transmit and receive signals effectively in environments with multipath interference, which may cause signal fading and reduce the performance of traditional linearly polarized antennas.

The helical antenna’s unique design, which consists of a conducting wire wound in the shape of a helix, enables it to generate an efficient radiating pattern suited for long-range communications and maintain seamless signal reception. The helical antenna’s ability to provide efficient performance with a relatively compact and lightweight design has further solidified its reputation as a go-to solution for various industries.

In the realm of satellite communications, helical antennas are employed for establishing a reliable link between ground stations and orbiting satellites, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of data, voice, and video signals. Additionally, in GPS technology, a helical antenna ensures the reception of accurate navigational information by minimizing the impact of signal reflection, even when the emitter and receiver are subjected to relative movement.

In sum, the helical antenna stands out as a versatile choice for tackling an array of communication challenges, offering superior performance in the face of signal interference and facilitating smooth signal transmission in various applications.

Examples of Helical Antenna

A helical antenna is a specialized type of antenna that is commonly used in radio communication, which consists of a conducting wire wound in the shape of a helix. Here are three real-world examples of helical antenna applications:

Satellite Communication: One of the most significant applications of helical antennas is in satellite communications. These antennas provide good circular polarization and high gain, making them well-suited for satellite tracking systems, where signals are transmitted between ground-based systems and satellites in orbit around the Earth. An example of this is in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication systems used for global broadband internet access.

Radio Astronomy: Helical antennas are used in radio astronomy for observing celestial objects that emit radio waves. They offer a compact and robust design that helps to minimize interference from unwanted signals, providing clearer data for astronomers. The Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, United States, is an example of a radio telescope that has utilized helical antennas for radio astronomy research.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): RFID technology is widely used for tracking and identifying objects in various industries, such as inventory management, retail, transportation, and security. Helical antennas are used in RFID readers due to their compact size, low manufacturing cost, and the ability to produce highly directional beams. This helps RFID readers to communicate effectively with RFID tags, even in environments with significant interference or obstacles.

FAQ – Helical Antenna

What is a helical antenna?

A helical antenna is a type of antenna that features a helix-shaped conducting wire, coiled around a cylinder or ground plane. It is designed for both transmitting and receiving radio frequency signals and is notable for its versatility, directional nature, and wide bandwidth capabilities.

What are the applications of a helical antenna?

Helical antennas are used in various applications including satellite communication, radar systems, radio astronomy, wireless LANs, and mobile communication systems. They are ideal for situations that require a balance of compact size, wide bandwidth, and directional capabilities.

What are the key components of a helical antenna?

The key components of a helical antenna include a helix-shaped conducting wire, a support structure for the wire, a ground plane or reflector, and a radiation pattern. These components work together to create a unique directional radiation pattern allowing the antenna to transmit and receive radio signals efficiently.

What factors influence the performance of a helical antenna?

The performance of a helical antenna is influenced by factors such as the number of turns in the helix, its wire diameter, pitch angle (the angle of the helix with respect to its axis), the size and shape of the ground plane, and the antenna’s input impedance. By adjusting these parameters, the antenna can be optimized for specific performance requirements and applications.

What are the advantages of using a helical antenna?

Some advantages of using a helical antenna include its compact size, wide bandwidth capabilities, directional radiation pattern, and versatility in different applications. In addition, helical antennas can be easily modified to suit a range of performance requirements, making them a popular choice in the world of wireless communication.

Related Technology Terms

  • Electromagnetic Radiation
  • Antenna Gain
  • Antenna Polarization
  • Antenna Beamwidth
  • Directional Antenna

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents