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Proceedings Paper

A new approach to fabricating cost-effective millimeter-wave antennas
Author(s): Dean Szwabowski; Shel Kulick
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Paper Abstract

There are a number of millimeter wave antenna projects being formulated and in later planning stages. DSN, ALMA, SKA are three examples. Each is critically dependant, in part, on economical, precise, thermally stable antenna assemblies. This paper describes the incorporation of apparently diverse technologies, that when assembled judiciously, produce a near optimum solution to this problem. Involved are new forms of composite materials, the application of special coatings, derived from outside of the aerospace industry, fabrication techniques, also drawn from commercial industry but occasionally applied in aerospace, and an aggressive, economy-driven design philosophy. A description of a novel reflector design that is being developed for the JPL DSN Antenna Array Project is presented. The design is low cost, producible, and meets the performance specification of the DSN program with application to numerous other millimeter wave antennas. The most significant performance requirements for DSN are as manufactured and operational surface accuracy (thermal stability) for a 12-meter aperture antenna operating at Ka band. The design is particularly specific to a unique manufacturing process that is the assemblage of materials, material form, and processing technologies. Also presented are related subscale articles that have been produced to demonstrate the technology and RF performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 21 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552176
Show Author Affiliations
Dean Szwabowski, Vanguard Composites (United States)
Shel Kulick, Applied Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr., Editor(s)

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