Changhyeon Im, Wongu Seo, Seulgi Park, Kihun Kim, Sungkyun Park, Hosung Choo

Design of a Deployable Broadband Mesh Reflector Antenna for a SIGINT Satellite System Considering Surface Shape Deformation

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

In this paper, we propose a deployable broadband mesh reflector antenna for use in signals intelligence (SIGINT) satellite systems, considering performance degradation due to shape deformation. To maximize gain by increasing the diameter of the reflector while reducing the weight of the antenna, the reflector of the antenna is designed using lightweight silver-coated Teflon mesh. The mesh reflectors are typically expanded by tension to maintain their parabolic structure; thus, shape deformation cannot be avoided. This shape deformation results in shape differences between the surface of the mesh reflector and the ideal parabolic reflector, thus resulting in the degradation of the performance of the mesh reflector antenna. To observe this degradation, we analyze antenna performance according to the number of arms, the number of joints, the feed distance, and the distance from the reflector center to each joint. The performance of the mesh reflector antenna is examined using an effective lossy conducting surface (ELCS) that has the same reflectivity as the silver-coated Teflon mesh to reduce simulation time and computing resources. The designed silver-coated Teflon mesh reflector and the double-ridged feed antenna are fabricated, and the bore-sight gain is measured using the three-antenna method. The measured bore-sight gain of the proposed antenna is 31.6 dBi at 10 GHz, and the measured and simulated results show an average difference of 3.28 dB from 2 GHz to 18 GHz. The proposed deployable mesh reflector antenna can be used in a variety of applications where small stowed volume is required for mobility, such as mobile high-gain antennas as well as satellite antenna systems. Through this study, we demonstrate that shape deformation of the mesh reflector surface significantly affects the performance of reflector antennas.

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