A method for ensuring polarization agility in conjunction with beam steering in planar array antennas is proposed. It relies on interleaving two subarrays with orthogonal, linear polarizations that, together, can generate arbitrary polarization states: adjustable linear, elliptical, and left- or right-handed circular. The complexity of the resulting system is comparable with that of standard, fully populated array antennas consisting of identical, linearly polarized elements. By dynamically controlling the amplitude and the phase of the signals fed to the subarrays, a stable polarization state can be maintained during beam steering. The concept is validated by numerically investigating an architecture obtained by interleaving nonuniform subarrays designed by means of a deterministic placement strategy. The effects of the mutual coupling between the different radiating elements are modeled and discussed.
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