PIN diodes are used to electronically switch a rectangular microstrip antenna between the optimal radiation state and the low radar cross section (RCS) state in this paper. A useful loading circuit is proposed. The circuit is connected between the patch and the ground plane of the antenna at each loading position. The loading positions of the circuit are determined by studying magnitude distributions of the induced electric field and analyzing statistically how many times that the maximum electric field occurs in each area for each discussed incident angle. PIN diodes are equivalent to capacitances and resistances when diodes are reverse-biased and forward-biased, respectively. When the antenna is not in service and excited by an incident plane wave, obvious RCS reduction is realized. In addition, the radiation performances are well maintained when the antenna is in service for transmitting or receiving signals.
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