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Electronically Steerable Antennas with Panoramic Scan Field of View, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Electronically Steerable Antennas with Panoramic Scan Field of View, Phase I
Electronically steerable antennas are key to effective radio transmission at millimeter-wave frequencies. To enable communication with rovers, robots, EVA astronauts, and other highly maneuverable elements in planetary surface explorations, steerable antennas must be capable of full 360 degree (panoramic) azimuth scan. For base stations and fixed communication terminals, the antenna must be capable of producing multiple independently-steerable beams. Multi-beam antennas with passive beam-forming networks present ideal candidates for these scenarios, and are preferable to phased-array antennas from the points of view of multi-user capability and DC power consumption. In the framework of this SBIR project, Freeform Wave Technologies, LLC proposes to develop a panoramically steerable multi-beam antenna technology for NASA's K- and Ka-band mobile radios. The proposed technology is based on novel quasi-optical beam-forming concepts and can lead to compact, light-weight, and highly versatile antenna topologies. Analytical and computational tools and methodology for designing the beam-forming network will be developed (phase I), and 16-element array prototypes with single and multiple steerable beams will be designed and manufactured (in Phase II) for 18-40 GHz and 25.5-27 GHz frequency bands, respectively. More »

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