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Prototype antenna elements for the next-generation TDRS enhanced multiple-access array

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4 Author(s)
Carol L. Kory ; Analex Corporation, NASA Glenn Research Center ; Kevin M. Lambert ; Roberto J. Acosta ; James A. Nessel

This paper summarizes a study performed to produce prototype antenna elements for the next-generation enhanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Continuation (TDRS-C) multiple-access (MA) S-band phased-array antenna. Compared to the multiple-access antenna on the current class of TORS, the enhanced multiple-access antenna requires elements that achieve greater on-axis gain, simultaneous circular polarization capability, and increased beamwidth. To demonstrate that array elements could be realized meeting these requirements, designs that were successful in simulation were fabricated and tested. These included a helical antenna; a novel short backfire antenna, excited with a circular waveguide (cup waveguide) with integrated polarizer and orthomode transducer (OMT); and a corrugated-horn antenna with integrated polarizer and OMVT. The paper describes the design process for the novel elements, and compares measured and simulated results. It also compares the elements in terms of performance, size, and mass.

Published in:

IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 4 )