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On the reflectivity of complex mesh surfaces [spacecraft reflector antennas]

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3 Author(s)
W. A. Imbriale ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; V. Galindo-Israel ; Y. Rahmat-Samii

Poorer than expected surface reflectivity was observed in an early Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System antenna utilizing a tricot mesh weave. This poor reflectivity was determined to be caused by inadequate electrical contact at wire crossover points. A proper mathematical and numerical approach to assess the impact of wire junctions on reflectivity performance is developed. A mathematical method is presented for computing the surface reflectivity of complex mesh configurations like those on unfurlable-type spacecraft antennas. The method is based on the Floquet mode expansion to establish an integral equation for mesh wire currents. The equation is solved using the method of moments with triangular basis functions. It is observed that it is necessary to give special attention to the junction treatment among different branches of the mesh configurations. A vector junction current approach that resulted in satisfactory solutions for the current is described. The results of numerical simulations are compared against measured data and excellent agreement is observed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 9 )