Session

Technical Session IX: Advanced Technologies II

SSC12-III-8_presentation.pdf (1145 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Nano- and pico-satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), unlike their larger counterparts, have more stringent limitations on antenna design due to power constraints that govern the operational frequency and size that defines the mass and volume constraints. High bandwidth applications use higher frequencies and require higher transmission power. High gain antennas can reduce the transmission power requirements. CubeSat’s with body-mounted solar cells are limited in power generation due to limited surface area. Deployable solar panels offer a solution to the limited power by maximizing the surface area of solar cells exposed to solar radiation. The metallic deployable solar panel support structure can be exploited to behave as an electrical ground and microwave signal reflector for a high gain antenna in several configurations. This paper presents multiple novel high-gain S-band antennas that exploit the structure of a 3U CubeSat equipped with deployable solar panels for gain improvement. The configuration of the satellite is designed to operate in a low drag configuration by operating outside of the passive gravity gradient stabilized attitude by using passive or active attitude control. Gain improvements of more than 3 dB are obtained through careful packaging. The antenna configurations have a gain of more than 7dBi and bandwidth of more than 10MHz. Analysis is provided with considerations of power, satellite coverage, as well as attitude stability. This technique of improving antenna gain can be extended to higher as well as lower frequency of operation.

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Aug 15th, 5:15 PM

Configuration of 3U CubeSat Structures for Gain Improvement of S-band Antennas

Nano- and pico-satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), unlike their larger counterparts, have more stringent limitations on antenna design due to power constraints that govern the operational frequency and size that defines the mass and volume constraints. High bandwidth applications use higher frequencies and require higher transmission power. High gain antennas can reduce the transmission power requirements. CubeSat’s with body-mounted solar cells are limited in power generation due to limited surface area. Deployable solar panels offer a solution to the limited power by maximizing the surface area of solar cells exposed to solar radiation. The metallic deployable solar panel support structure can be exploited to behave as an electrical ground and microwave signal reflector for a high gain antenna in several configurations. This paper presents multiple novel high-gain S-band antennas that exploit the structure of a 3U CubeSat equipped with deployable solar panels for gain improvement. The configuration of the satellite is designed to operate in a low drag configuration by operating outside of the passive gravity gradient stabilized attitude by using passive or active attitude control. Gain improvements of more than 3 dB are obtained through careful packaging. The antenna configurations have a gain of more than 7dBi and bandwidth of more than 10MHz. Analysis is provided with considerations of power, satellite coverage, as well as attitude stability. This technique of improving antenna gain can be extended to higher as well as lower frequency of operation.