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Dual Polarized UHF/VHF Honeycomb Stacked-Patch Feed Array for a Large-Aperture Space-borne Radar Antenna

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8 Author(s)
Mahta Moghaddam ; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109. Tel: 734-647-0244, email: mmoghadd@umich.edu ; Yahya Rahmat-Samii ; Preston Partridge ; Line Van Nieuwstadt
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As penetration depth through vegetation and ground becomes more important in active remote sensing applications, there is a shift toward using lower frequencies. To facilitate imaging of ground water, soil moisture and composition, and penetrating through forest canopies, a dual-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has been proposed to operate at VHF and UHF frequencies. To accommodate weekly repeat observations from LEO, a swath of roughly 350 Km is needed, requiring a 30-m long antenna aperture from the SAR design point of view. The beams of the UHF and the VHF antennas must coincide in the cross-track direction, resulting in antenna widths of 3m and 11m, respectively. A stacked, linearly dual-polarized patch array feeding a 30 meter diameter parabolic reflector is proposed for this application, which synthesizes near-rectangular effective apertures on the reflector. Using a mesh reflector technology, the mass of such an antenna configuration is about ten times smaller than a corresponding phased-array antenna. A scaled-frequency version of the feed array was initially designed, built, and tested. It was also integrated with a scaled reflector antenna to verify the performance of the overall system. The actual frequency version was then designed, built, and tested. The design of the dual-band stacked array and the power dividers will be discussed, the fabrication process explained, and the approaches used for optimizing the performance characteristics will be presented. The measurement results for return loss on both transmit and receive, isolation, and radiation pattern will be presented and shown to be in good agreement with the simulated results.

Published in:

2007 IEEE Aerospace Conference

Date of Conference:

3-10 March 2007