Novel Antennas for Space Missions

  • Omar Samir Hassan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

With the proliferation of CubeSat missions for scientific and commercial purposes, the need for innovation in all aspects of small satellite design is at an all-time high. One of the more demanding sides of satellite design is the communication system. Not only does it need to be robust, reliable, and conformant to stringent space conditions, but also capable of supporting high-speed transmission and large data transfers. Thus, for communication systems onboard small satellites to keep up with the change in requirements between different missions, the antennas as core components, need to undergo a shift in their design process. Ever since data science emerged through machine learning and deep learning, it has been slowly making its way to more technical fields, and hardware electronics is one of them. This technology provides automation, reduced time and most importantly, optimization of component design, making it a perfect match for spaceborne antennas. By enlisting the aforementioned technologies, the advent of novel antennas has never been more realizable. In this thesis report, a novel antenna design that conforms to the current requirements for satellite communication is proposed and verified through electromagnetic (EM) simulation. Such requirements include, increase in impedance bandwidth, effective circular polarization bandwidth, configurability through switching, and improved front-to-back ratio through coherently adding the front and back radiation. This thesis report outlines the significance and relevance of the research problem. Followed by that, a review of the current state-of-the-art literature relevant to the proposed design is provided. The proposed novel antenna design is detailed and simulated, as well as the enhancement, optimization, and manufacturing of said design. Additionally, the design, assembly, and qualification of an in-house developed RF test chamber is detailed. This chamber was used to provide the needed environment for characterizing the manufactured antenna prototypes. Lastly, thesis conclusions are provided alongside the possible future work pertaining to the thesis subject.
Date of AwardApr 2022
Original languageAmerican English

Keywords

  • circular polarization
  • co-planar waveguide (CPW)
  • CubeSat
  • slot antenna
  • wideband
  • RF test chamber
  • Deep learning.

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