Date of Award:

12-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Reyhan Baktur

Abstract

Small satellites, especially Cube Satellites (CubeSats), have become important vehicles for space exploration. One of the challenges CubeSats face is limited surface area. This limitation poses a question for antenna design–where to mount the antenna? This thesis presents a study where the antennas are directly integrated on top of solar cells. In order to achieve such integration, the antennas have to be highly transparent to light. This thesis aims at the transparency of 95%. Methods to effectively generate transparent antenna by using inkjet printing are discussed in detail and interaction between solar cells and antennas have been assessed and presented. It is found that the presence of solar cells cast a degree of gain reduction of the antenna, but such a loss may be improved with a more precise integration and by increasing the operational frequency. The effect of the antenna on solar cell performance is concluded to be less than 3%, promising a feasibility of implementing highly transparent antennas on CubeSats.

Comments

Publication made available electronically December 21, 2011.

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