Date of Award:

7-2013

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Reyan Baktur

Abstract

Transparent patch antennas are microstrip patch antennas that have a certain level of optical transparency. Highly transparent patch antennas are potentially suitable for integration with solar panels of small satellites, which are becoming increasingly important in space exploration. Traditional patch antennas employed on small satellites compete with solar cells for surface area. However, a transparent patch antenna can be placed directly on top of solar cells and resolve the issue of competing for limited surface real estate. For such an integration, a high optical transparency of the patch antenna is required from the solar cells' point of view. On the other hand, the antenna should possess at least acceptable radiation properties at the same time. This dissertation focuses on some of the most important concerns from the perspective of small satellite applications. For example, an optimization method to simultaneously improve both optical transparency and radiation efficiency of the antenna is studied. Active integrated antenna design method is extended to meshed patch applications in an attempt to improve the overall power efficiency of the front end communication subsystem. As is well known, circular polarization is immune from Faraday rotation effect in the ionosphere and thus can avoid a 3-dB loss in geo-satellite communication. Therefore, this research also aims to present design methods for circularly polarized meshed patch antennas. Moreover, a meshed patch antenna capable of supporting a high communication data rate is investigated. Lastly, other types of transparent patch antennas are also analyzed and compared to meshed patches. In summary, many properties of transparent patch antennas are examined in order to meet different design requirements.

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