By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- A new study on Aerospace and Defense is now available. According to news reporting from Pasadena, California, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "CubeSats and small satellites have potential to provide means to explore space and to perform science in a more affordable way. As the goals for these spacecraft become more ambitious in space exploration, moving from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) or further, the communication systems currently implemented will not be able to support those missions."
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the California Institute of Technology, "One of the bottlenecks in small spacecraft communication systems is represented by antennas' size, due to the close relation between antenna gain and dimensions. Current antennas for CubeSats are mostly dipole or patch antennas with limited gain. Deployable (not inflatable) antennas for CubeSats are currently being investigated, but these solutions are affected by the challenge of packaging the whole deployable structure in a small spacecraft. The work that we propose represents the first attempt to develop an inflatable antenna for CubeSats. Inflatable structures and antennas can be packaged efficiently occupying a small amount of space, and they can provide, once deployed, large dish dimension and correspondent gain. Inflatable antennas have been previously tested in space (Inflatable Antenna Experiment, STS-77). However they have never been developed for small spacecraft such as CubeSats, where the packaging efficiency, the deployment, and the inflation represent a challenge. Our study explores for the first time the possibility of developing such antenna in a way compatible with CubeSat dimensions and constraints. The research provides answers on the possible dimensions for an inflatable antenna for small satellites, on the gain and resolution that can be achieved, and on the deployment and inflation mechanism compatible with CubeSat. Future work in the development of the antenna will include the test of the antenna in flight during a specific technical demonstration mission."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "The article is structured as follows: context and motivation for Cubesat inflatable antenna are described; then a study to design the antenna which achieves the required performance metrics, while respecting the constraints imposed by CubeSat structure, is presented."
For more information on this research see: Inflatable antenna for cubesats: Motivation for development and antenna design. Acta Astronautica, 2013;91():322-332. Acta Astronautica can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Acta Astronautica - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/310)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A. Babuscia, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States. Additional authors for this research include B. Corbin, M. Knapp, R. Jensen-Clem, M. Van de Loo and S. Seager.
Keywords for this news article include: Pasadena, California, Spacecraft, United States, Aerospace and Defense, North and Central America
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2013, NewsRx LLC