Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Reyhan Baktur

Abstract

This thesis work presents the feasibility of integrating meshed patch antennas directly onto the solar cell assembly to save valuable surface real estate of a small satellite. The solar cell cover glass is used as the substrate for the patch antenna. The antenna topology is chosen to be a meshed patch so that it is transparent to light to ensure the proper operation of solar cells. We found that although there is a compromise between the antenna efficiency and see-through percentage, one is able to optimize the antenna by carefully designing the mesh. To verify the design and integration, a meshed antenna operating at around 2.3 GHz is printed with conductive ink on a plastic substrate and placed on-top of solar cells attached to an aluminum ground plane. The printed solar cell antenna is measured with Nearfield Systems Inc. spherical near-field range and the measurements agree well with the design.

Share

COinS