Skip to Main Content
An array of microstrip antenna panels was designed for use on a small instrumented satellite as part of a 400-MHz telemetry link between that satellite and NASA's shuttle spacecraft. A roughly omnidirectional -plane pattern was desired. The 1.4-wavelength diameter of the satellite and the various ports and structures on its surface presented strong constraints on the antenna array design. Eight antennas, each one a quarter-wavelength panel with one radiating and one shorted edge, were chosen. A -plane pattern ripple of 4.4 dB and a gain of at least 0.1 dB relative to a half-wavelength dipole were realized. The design technique used for the individual antenna panels included the study of feed-point location for impedance matching and the effect of losses in the dielectric. A superposition method was used to synthesize the radiation patterns for different numbers and different excitations of antennas on the satellite.