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An Ultra-Compact Helical Antenna for Small Satellites

Knott, Geoffrey and Viquerat, Andrew (2019) An Ultra-Compact Helical Antenna for Small Satellites In: 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2019), 21-25 Oct 2019, Washington, D.C., US.

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Space data services provide the largest market value to the global space industry. With the increasing use of small satellites that lower costs and lead times, the entrepreneurial space age has begun. However, advances in technology miniaturization are required to improve small satellite capabilities, which are limited by small volumes and low power consumption. This paper presents a deployable antenna for small satellites capable of achieving high-gain radiation performance despite being ultra-compact. The antenna is a helically curved boom that is deployed from a coil. The boom is an open slit tube. A ground plane comprised of four metallic booms supporting a sparse mesh is deployed by stored strain energy. A prototype of the antenna system has been built to test and validate the deployer mechanism, deployment strategy, and dimensional stability of the helical antenna and ground plane. The architecture builds on proven space technology, specifically the deployer mechanism of the InflateSail de-orbiting drag sail that successfully demonstrated low-Earth orbit space-debris removal in 2017. In this work, the deployer unrolls the helical boom whilst the sail itself is repurposed to boost the radiation performance of the helical antenna.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
Date : 21 October 2019
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright ©2019 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 05 May 2020 19:54
Last Modified : 05 May 2020 19:54

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