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The implementation of a low-profile wide-angle moderate-gain mechanical beam-scanning antenna in the satellite Ka-band, required:
The proposed solution requires modest operation volume, it is light-weight. Very low-power motors are enough to drive the two movements required for steering. The electric performance is comparable bulkier structures based on reflectors. At the same time, the developed solution allows very low production costs for mass-market deployment.
Circular polarization, dual-band operation at 20 and 30 GHz, and elevation scanning range of [15º - 50º] with simultaneous mechanical 360º azimuth scanning. Elevation scan is obtained by in-plane translation of the lens in front of the primary feed and the 360° azimuth scan is obtained by the lens rotation.
The antenna is composed of four elements:
Four different lens designs were developed and tested during this project. A full-size 40 dBi lens was evaluated numerically. Due to practical manufacturing limitations in our lab facilities, the experimental prototypes are restricted to lower gains. The first fabricated prototype was a single band 30 dBi lens fed by a horn antenna or by small feed lens placed in front of a planar patch. Additionally, two dual band 30 dBi gain lens with two different phase corrections were also prototyped.
The project is completed. The main achievement of the project was the demonstration by simulation and experiment of the feasibility of a fully mechanical beam steering antenna for satellite-on-the-move terminals in the Ka-band, based on a reasonably thin dual-band planar metamaterial lens with in-plane translations above the primary feed.
A couple of other achievements concurred for the above main result: