Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Reyhan Baktur


Reyhan Baktur


Doran Baker


Jacob Gunther


This master's thesis presents a study on two types of conformal antennas for the use on cube satellites (CubeSats). The two antenna solutions are including slot and microstrip patch antennas. CubeSats have been one of the most important vehicles for space exploration due to their small sizes and very low payload. At the same time, a challenge rises when allocating extremely limited surface real estate to space instrument, solar cells, and antennas. The most effective solution for such a challenge is to design antennas such that they do not block solar cells or compete for space with solar cells. Accordingly, antennas with slot geometry is an effective solution because slot antennas can be places around solar cells and the slots are narrow enough to be fit into the spaces between solar cells. This thesis presents detailed studies of slot antennas with different frequencies, single and array configurations. Circular polarization is a favored character for satellite antennas used and it requires specific antenna geometry together with appropriate feeding network design. Design of circularly polarized slot antennas in single and array configurations is one of the main objectives of this thesis research. In order to compare the performance of a slot a patch antenna, a patch with the same polarization and operational frequency has been designed. It shows that if integration with solar cells is not the restriction, then a patch antenna is a more effective solution. When patch antenna is employed, however, the antenna can only be placed under the satellite where the surface does not need to place solar cells. The other objective of this study is designing circularly polarized antenna for CubeSat working at an ultra high frequency (UHF) band. As the frequency decreases, the size of the antenna increases, and this requires us to use different miniaturization techniques for the antenna. Some applicable miniaturization techniques and their challenges are addressed in this thesis.




This work made publicly available electronically on September 20, 2012.