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An origami-based Tightly Coupled Dipole Array (TCDA) is proposed for small satellite applications. The array is formed by a two-layered structure using rigid and flexible substrates to enable accordion-like folding. The proposed TCDA operates across 0.4-2.4 GHz with VSWR < 3 at broadside and across 0.6-2.4 GHz with VSWR < 3 when scanning down to 45° in the E-, D-, and H-plane. An 8 × 8 prototype was fabricated using Kapton Polyimide and FR4 and tested to verify the bandwidth and gain of the origami array. The fabricated prototype was demonstrated to be packable, low-profile, and lightweight (only 1.1kg). Notably, when packed, the array has a one-dimensional size reduction of 75%. As will be discussed, the packing compression is made possible by eliminating vertical PCB boards and incorporating the balun feeds within the dipole layer. To our knowledge, this is one of the first foldable, low profile, and low-scanning ultra-wideband arrays in the literature.
Carvalho, Maxence and Volakis, John L., "Deployable Rigid-Flexible Tightly Coupled Dipole Array (RF-TCDA)" (2021). Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Publications. 80.