Transparent and Non-Transparent Microstrip Antennas on a Cubesat



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In this dissertation, various types of compact novel microstrip antennas for CubeSats are proposed to replace the traditional whip antennas that need sophisticated mechanical deployment. The antennas are designed to be low-profile while having a minimal (or zero) blockage of the solar panels on the CubeSat. The antennas were designed for the ISM and GPS bands. Mainly two types of designs were investigated: transparent (supersolar) antennas and non-transparent (subsolar) antennas. The transparent antennas are placed above the solar panel. This is the reason why they are also called supersolar antennas. There are multiple ways of making transparent antennas. Most of the transparent antennas proposed in this paper are developed based on a meshed-wire patch. This method has been proven in previous studies to allow for highly transparent antennas with a satisfactory radiation efficiency. Goals for these designs include making antennas with circularly polarization (CP) and having a large impedance bandwidth. For one of these designs, this dissertation will also discuss a fast optimization method. After optimization, a bandwidth of around 3.5 times that of a traditional microstrip antenna on the same substrate can be achieved. Also we propose here a new type of transparent antenna that is inspired by the traditional mesh-wire patch, but with a structure which can be fabricated very economically. We call this type of antenna a mesh-substrate transparent antenna. For this structure an exploration of the performance is given for various transparencies. The non-transparent antennas are also called subsolar antennas as they will be placed below the solar panels. In this case, no solar power will be blocked. However, the antenna design needs to consider the effects of the solar panel, which usually has a ground plane. Therefore an important issue with this design is to avoid radiation blockage caused by the solar panel.



Antennas, CubeSat, Transparent, Non-transparent, Broadband