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RF characterization of an inflatable parabolic torus reflector antenna for space-borne applications

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2 Author(s)
R. A. Hoferer ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Y. Rahmat-Samii

Space-borne satellite applications provide a vast array of services extending from global connectivity to Earth observation systems. The soil moisture radiation mission is a proposed space-borne passive microwave system complementary to the existing Earth observing system operating at low microwave frequencies and requiring an antenna with multibeam, high-beam efficiency, and dual polarization capabilities. To achieve both the large reflector size and the multibeam pattern at the operational frequencies an innovative multibeam reflector antenna design was needed. The advances in inflatable antenna technology has been proposed to overcome the launch vehicle size and weight restrictions. This paper describes a novel offset parabolic torus reflector antenna design that produces the desired multibeam pattern and is compatible with the inflatable antenna technology. Using the system requirements of this mission as an example, the design process for an inflatable parabolic torus reflector antenna is outlined, the development of suitable distortion models is given, and representative RF characteristics are presented. These RF characteristics include far-field patterns, beam contour patterns, beam efficiency, and other key performance parameters. The development of an advanced analytical modeling/numerical tool in support of the design effort is also detailed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 10 )