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The measurement of a large antenna using a spacecraft as a receiver

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1 Author(s)
Talaga, P. ; Dept. of Math., Weber State Coll., Ogden, UT, USA

Two computational methods for obtaining the gain pattern of a large antenna using power levels recorded by a spacecraft are developed from the transmission equation. Nominally, the large antenna is linearly polarized while the spacecraft's receiving antennas are circularly polarized. Since the spacecraft has no attitude control system, the orientation of the receiving antennas is not known a priori nor its orientation the same from orbit to orbit. The first method relies on an independent spacecraft attitude determination system to furnish the orientation of the receiving antennas. It combines this information with receiving-antenna gain measurements to give the power level of the incident radiation. Losses due to polarization mismatch are taken into account, but polarization loss factors are not actually computed. The second method relates simultaneous measurements made by separate channels with separate receiving antennas. By solving a system of equations numerically, one can determine the direction of the incident radiation as well as its power level. This alleviates the need for an attitude determination system. These methods originated in the operations of the spacecraft NUSAT1 (northern Utah Satellite)

Published in:

Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1990

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