An Inflatable Antenna for Space-Based Low-Frequency Radio Astronomy

by John P. Basart, Iowa State Univ, Ames, United States,
Shreekanth A. Mandayam, Iowa State Univ, Ames, United States,
Jack O. Burns, Iowa State Univ, Ames, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


Antennas for a low-frequency orbiting radio telescope must have minimal problems in deployment, a directional beam, and a wide-angle scanning capability. Inflatable antennas with deposited metal dipole arrays meet these three requirements. In the proposed design, dipole antenna elements are equally spaced on a Kevlar spherical balloon. Beam steering is accomplished with a combination of switches and phase shifters. The beam can be moved to any position on the sky with so significant change in the shape of the main beam. The characteristics of the inflatable antenna are well matched to the needs of a low-frequency orbiting radio telescope.

Subject Headings: Beams | Antennas | Astronomy | Telescopes | Computer vision and image processing | Orbits | Satellites | Space exploration

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