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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

ROC-Rib Deployable Ka-Band Antenna for Nanosatellites

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

ROC-Rib Deployable Ka-Band Antenna for Nanosatellites, Phase I
In these days of tight budgets and limited funding, NASA is constantly looking for new ways to reduce development time and costs of future spacecraft. This is the driving spirit behind NASA's increasing interest in the CubeSat platform, and the vision that is guiding development and demonstration of higher-risk technologies that can eventually lead to low-cost atmospheric science from CubeSats. For example, a tantalizing next-generation CubeSat system would combine a high-gain deployable antenna with a high-frequency Ka-band transponder to support very high bandwidth communications on the order of 10s of Mbps and/or very high-resolution radiometric remote sensing of atmospheric phenomenon. To address this need, Roccor proposes to develop a Ka-band deployable mesh antenna that can package within a 2U-3U CubeSat volume and deploy to diameters of 0.8-1.5m. The so-called "ROC-Rib" antenna employs a backing structure that is a hybrid wrap-rib/perimeter-truss design. A net supports a reflective mesh while the entire assembly provides the structural depth and surface accuracy needed for Ka-band operation. More »

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