Aim of the AISMAN project is to design, manufacture and test a miniaturized space array antenna suitable for SAT-AIS application.
Miniaturization is understood as a technique to reduce the size of the antenna in stowed configuration. Both techniques to reduce the physical dimensions of the single-element antenna and techniques to fold/deploy the final array antenna aperture have been considered.
After trade-offs at element and array level, a miniaturized antenna element, working at VHF frequencies and suitable for AIS applications, has been studied, designed, manufactured and extensively tested.
The design process has been refined and validated through experimental measurements, providing a valuable design tool for further antenna design steps.
The antenna element has been also tested in embedded array configuration, with inclusion of a satellite mock-up, and compliance to the array requirements has been demonstrated.
A parallel study on DBF techniques has been carried out.
An additional activity (CCN-01) has led to the design, manufacturing and full test (RF & thermal) of an improved antenna element, moving a step closer to flight model production.
The test outcomes show that the initial trade-offs could result in different element selection if driven by specific mission requirements. Such requirements can set different weights to the trade-off marking, driving the selection of the element accordingly. The flexibility of the element design allows accommodating this selection process.
A Design, Development and Test Plan has been prepared, considering non-recurring and recurring costs for a batch production of up to 30 FM items.