DEPLOYABLE HIGH GAIN REFLECTARRAY ANTENNAS FOR SMALL SATELLITES
The MMA patent pending Deployable High Gain Reflectarray (DaHGR) Antenna has both a wideband and a narrower band configuration. The antenna architecture is realized using very lightweight flexible membrane substrates incorporating a hoop or tape structure to deploy the membranes and maintain tension. The solution builds on innovations by MMA in extremely lightweight deployable systems specific to large antennas and aerobraking systems.
Current state-of-the-art mesh antennas use ribbed umbrella and hoop structures for deployment. While these are potentially scalable to some extent, they inherently have high parts counts and require significant touch labor at a high number of attach points to form the desired mesh surface. These systems have constraints on their stowed volume which present challenges with small launch vehicle fairings and dispensers. The DaHGR sets a new standard for deployable antennas with 1/3 the parts count, less than 1/5 the volume (with a more favorable/flexible aspect ratio), and 1/3 the cost of current SOA deployable mesh antennas.
The P-DaHGR antenna solution combines the best attributes of successfully flown solutions, but with advantages in performance, compaction and simplicity, and significantly reduces the development and implementation risk by leveraging proven technologies. A large, space-fed reflectarray provides equivalent performance as a conventional parabolic reflector for all missions not requiring extremely large bandwidth. Bandwidths achievable by reflectarrays easily support a multitude of mission requirements.
Key specifications include:
- Offset parabolic reflector configuration
- UHF-Ka band
- High stiffness
- Low RF losses
- Thermally stable
- 1 – 20 m² aperture
- Up to 0.5 m²/U packing efficiency
- 2U – 40U volume