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Phased array of large reflectors for deep-space communication

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2 Author(s)
Sarabandi, K. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Feinian Wang

In this paper the problem of uplink array calibration for deep-space communication is considered. A phased array of many modest-size reflectors antennas is used to drastically improve the uplink effective isotropic radiated power of a ground station. A radar calibration procedure for the array phase distribution is presented using a number of in-orbit targets. Design of optimal orbit and the number of calibration targets is investigated for providing frequent calibration opportunities needed for compensating array elements phase center movements as the array tracks a spacecraft. Array far-field focusing based on the near-filed in-orbit (low Earth orbit (LEO)) calibration targets is also presented and array gain degradation analysis based on the position error of the array elements and in-orbit targets has been carried out. It is shown that errors in the in-orbit targets positions significantly degrade the far-field array gain while the errors in array elements positions are not very important. Analysis of phase errors caused by thermal noise, system instability, and atmospheric effects show insignificant array gain degradation by these factors

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

January 2007

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