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A phase-control approach for a large-element coherent microwave power uplink system

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4 Author(s)
Dickinson, R.M. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Losh, D.L. ; Barber, R.D. ; Dempsey, J.K.

Signal combining efficiencies of 98% have been achieved on low-Earth orbiting (LEO) debris with phase-locking of time-overlapped radar pulses from a two-element phased-array consisting of two 34-m beam waveguide steerable paraboloid antennas separated by 204 m. The uplink arraying at 7.19 GHz has been achieved for tracks from about 10° elevation at signal rise to 4° elevation at signal set under varying weather conditions (e.g., hail failing on one antenna). The typical root mean square (RMS) phase error for two coherent 100-μs 50-Hz 5-kW peak pulses reflected from LEO debris with signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) >23 dB is less than 4°. The phase-control system design, methods of calibration, and details of the design control table of phasing error contributors are presented and discussed. Based upon the measured performance, we predict that transmitting antennas for the Deep Space Network (DSN) could be coherently arrayed for up to hours at a time given static phase error calibrations on exo-atmospheric debris. Applications for this technique include low-cost implementation of high-power microwave transmitters for deep-space communication and radars for exploration of other planets and as part of a defense against comets and asteroids

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Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 3 )