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Proceedings Paper

Toric offset three-reflector antenna for an advanced microwave limb sounder
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Paper Abstract

An advanced Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), now in concept development for a potential future mission, is a space-borne heterodyne instrument to measure pressure, temperature, and atmospheric constituents from thermal emission between 120 and 2400 GHz. Previous MLS instruments used pencil-beam antennas sized to resolve ~1 vertical scale height. Current atmospheric models need better horizontal resolution than orbit spacing provides. To meet these needs, a new antenna concept combines the wide scan range of the parabolic torus with unblocked offset Cassegrain optics. The resulting system is diffraction-limited in the vertical plane but extremely astigmatic, with beamwidths 0.13×2.5°. Nadir axis symmetry ensures that this Beam Aspect Ratio (BAR) is invariant over ±33 degrees of azimuth. The antenna can feed either an array of receivers or multiplexed low-noise receivers whose FOVs are swept by a small scanning mirror. We describe 3 stages of antenna design: First, using a paraxial-optics method, we choose conic profiles given vertical resolution orbit geometry, then develop the surfaces by nadir axis rotation, matching axisymmetric feeds to the BAR. A ray-trace program validates the design and generates alignment and deformation tolerances. Finally, a physical optics analysis verifies reflector surface currents and radiation patterns.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 December 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4849, Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts, (18 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460463
Show Author Affiliations
Richard E. Cofield, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thomas A. Cwik, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Nasrat A. Raouf, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4849:
Highly Innovative Space Telescope Concepts
Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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