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A XKa bands feeder antenna for a planetary

exploration high gain reflector antenna

K.Kagoshima,S,Takeda T.Kobayashi,Y.Kato A.Tomiki
Kazuki Ikeda H.Iijima T.Toda
College of Engineerring, Ibaraki University Tokyo Denki University Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
Hitachi-shi Japan Tokyo Japan (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration
kagosima@mx.ibraki.ac.jp koba@c.dendai.ac.jp Agency (JAXA)
Abstract A compact X/Ka bands feeder antenna has been
proposed for a Cassegrain type reflector antenna board on a 60mm
planetary exploration satellite. A sequentially rotated array in
X band
X band and a helical array in Ka band are employed for
realizing the circular polarization. In the X band array, the
unique feeding method has been developed for reducing cross Ka band 60mm
polarization level of the sequential array and in the Ka band
array, the compact configuration has been realized by
positioning it within the space of the X band elements.. Antenna RF circuit
(a) X/Ka bands feeder antenna (b) Element arrangement and feed
structure in X band
In the field of the planetary exploration, it is desired to
provide high speed communication link for collecting large
amount of data from the planets. In addition to X band, Ka
band has been allocated to the planetary exploration and the
horn type X/Ka bands feeder antenna has been developed as a (c) Element arrangement in Ka band
feeder antenna for a Cassegrain reflector antenna 1 . Fig.1 Structure of the proposed X/Ka band feed antenna
However, the horn antenna is large and heavy, therefore,
improvements in size and weight are required especially for
space borne satellites. In section 2, the structure of the antenna is briefly
described and the important antenna design items are
In this paper, we propose a compact X/Ka band feeder discussed in section 3.In section 4, the major results are shown
antenna for a high gain reflector antenna. We assume the and the conclusion are described in section 5.
reflector antenna with major specifications listed in Table 1.
In X band circular polarization antenna, we employ a
sequentially rotated patch antenna 2 fed by an L-probe
3to realize the simple circular polarization feeding circuit Fig.1(a) shows a proposed X/Ka frequency bands
and wide frequency bandwidth of the input characteristics. feeder antenna for a satellite borne high gain reflector antenna.
Moreover, we propose the unique feeding method for the The X band antenna consists of four elements sequentially
patch antenna which is effective to reduce cross polarization rotated array with a rectangular patch element fed by a L-
level in the plane of =45 degrees 4 . In Ka band probe at a vertex position as shown in Fig.1(b). Aspect ratio
antenna, we use a helical antenna array for circular of the rectangular patch is chosen by considering the cross
polarization and obtain suitable beam-width to effectively polarization level and frequency bandwidth of the input
illuminate the reflector. impedance and is around from 0.6 to 0.8. Since the number of
elements is four, each element is fed with the phase difference
of 90 degrees between adjacent ones.
Table1.Specification of a reflection antenna The Ka band antenna is consists of four axial mode
Diameter 1.5m helical antennas with several turns and are fed with equiphases.
type Cassegrain The Ka band helical array can be installed within the space
frequency X bandany 10MHz between X band elements, and spacing between the helical
@7.17GHz8.425GHz elements can be designed up to one wavelength of the Ka band
Ka band500MHz@32.05GHz frequency as shown in Fig.1(C). Fig.2 shows the comparison of
Polarization Circular(RHCP)
Fig.2 Comparison of the the configuration of the horn type X/Ka band antenna and the
FD ratio
1.45 configuration between the proposed one. The cross sectional area is reduced by about one-
horn and the proposed one fourth and the length is shortened by one-tenth.

978-1-4673-0462-7/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE

Input frequency characteristics of a patch antenna can
be enhanced by using L-probe fed, although the thickness of
the patch is about 0.13. By using this element for a
sequential array, reasonable low cross polarization level can
be achieved in the planes of =0 degree and 90 degrees, which Square patch Rectangular patch fed Rectangular patch fed at
means the planes in the line of the elements. However, in the normal to the side vertex

place of =45, the cross polarization radiation becomes (a) Candidate of patch element

very high as shown in Fig.3(b). This is due to the mutual -30

Theta (degree)

Theta (degree)
Theta (degree)

coupling between adjacent elements of the array. This -30 30 -30 30

drawback can be overcome by using the rectangular patch

-60 60
-60 60 -60 60

with moderate aspect ratio as shown in Fig. 3(a). However, as -90

-20 -10 0 10
-20 -10 0 10
90 -90
20 -20 -10 0 10

= 0
(dBic) (dBic)

the aspect radio decreases, input frequency characteristics = 45 = 45

(b) Radiation pattern of the (c) Radiation pattern of the rectangular
becomes narrow. If the rectangular patch is fed at the vertex square patch array patch fed at vertex
position, input frequency characteristics can be increased4 Fig.3 configuration of patch element and corresponding radiation pattern
. In this case, the polarization, which is linear, changes when they are used as an element of the sequential array
depending on the resonant frequency. This is not desirable
when the single element is used. However, as is used in the
sequential array for the circular polarization, this doesnt
matter and the mutual coupling becomes small between
adjacent elements and the cross polarization level in the =45
plane can be decreased as shown in Fig.3 (c).

As for the Ka band feeder antenna, the same

configuration with that of X band is difficult in manufacturing,
so helical elements are adopted. Considering the HPBW of
about 30 degrees, four elements array is employed.
Fig.4 Frequency characteristic of VSWR and Axial ratio of the X
band antenna
Fig.4 shows the input characteristics of the X band RHCP
antenna where the Ka band helical array coexists. Low VSWR LHCP
can be achieved from 7.1 GHz8.4 GHz which is the band
allocated for the planetary exploration. Axial ration in this
frequency range is moderate.
Fig.5 shows the X band radiation pattern at 7.6 GHz. It
is expected from the calculated data shown in Fig.3(c) that the (a) = 0 / 180 (b) = 45 / 135

low cross polarization patterns are achieved both in the planes Fig.5. X band radiation pattern(measured) f=7.6GHz,d= 35mm
of both =0 and =45 .Fig.5 shows that the proposed
antenna is effective in reducing cross polarization level in the
plane of =45.
Fig.6 show the calculated radiation pattern of the Ka
band helical array. HPBW is about 30 degrees which is
effective to illuminate the Cassegrein reflector. Measured
results are almost coincident to the calculated results. (a)=0deg (b)=45deg
RHCP(array) Single RHCP LHCP(array) Single LHCP

V. CONCLUSION Fig.6 Ka band radiation pattern d=0.9,calculated

We have proposed a compact X/Ka bands feeder REFERENCES

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