Measurement of the Earth-Observer-1 Satellite X-Band Phased Array

Authors: Kenneth Perko, Louis Dod, and John Demas

The recent launch and successful orbiting of the EO-1 Satellite has provided an opportunity to validate the performance of a newly developed X-Band transmit-only phased array aboard the satellite. This paper will compare results of planar near-field testing before and after spacecraft installation as well as on-orbit pattern characterization. The transmit-only array is used as a high data rate antenna for relaying scientific data from the satellite to earth stations. The antenna contains distributed solid-state amplifiers behind each antenna element that cannot be monitored except for radiation pattern measurements. A unique portable planar near-field scanner allows both radiation pattern measurements and also diagnostics of array aperture distribution before and after environmental testing over the ground-integration and pre-launch testing of the satellite. The antenna beam scanning software was confirmed from actual pattern measurements of the scanned beam positions during the spacecraft assembly testing. The scanned radiation patterns on-orbit were compared to the near-field patterns made before launch to confirm the antenna performance. The near-field measurement scanner has provided a versatile testing method for satellite high gain data-link antennas.

 

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