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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Compact Ka-band Feed Design Validation and Shaped Reflector Design for ISS and Ka-band RF Comm Demonstration for future Earth Observing Missions

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The objectives of this proposal include building an antenna feed for Ka-band reflector antennas and to re-design an earth-shaped reflector antenna prototype for an orbit altitude of 424 km for a possible demonstration on the International Space Station (ISS).  By the end of the first year, a compact wideband antenna feed operating at NASA's Ka-band frequency allocation would be built and tested and the new reflector design will be accomplished.  

This work brings an innovative solution by providing an Earth coverage antenna (ECA) for LEO missions operating at Ka-band frequencies, which was previously an open question and something that has never been developed. An ECA will be the most appropriate solution for missions wanting to go to higher data rates than currently provided by X-band comm systems, but with ultra-stable platform requirements. For the ISS specific application, the reflector will have to be slightly different than it would be for a ECA for an Earth observing satellite, however this effort will demonstrate Goddard Space Flight Center capabilities in designing this type of antenna for space applications

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