Packable and Readily Deployable Tightly Coupled Dipole Array (TCDA) With Integrated Planar Balun
Date of this Version
To overcome the limited payload dedicated to onboard antennas for CubeSat/SmallSat applications, this paper presents a novel, foldable, dual-polarized Tightly Coupled Dipole Array (TCDA). In comparison to previous vertical feeds used for TCDAs, this array integrates a planar microstrip balun feed to enable foldability. The proposed array attains 5.4:1 (0.6-3.20 GHz) impedance bandwidth with VSWR < 3 at broadside and scans down to 45° at all azimuth planes. Notably, a substrate-integrated in-plane folding mechanism based on Lamina Emergent Torsion (LET) joints is employed to achieve foldability coupled with a simple fabrication process. The average simulated radiation efficiency was 95% across the band. A 5×8 prototype array was fabricated and tested to verify the finite array's foldability, bandwidth, and gain performance. This prototype achieves 80% one-dimensional size reduction, yielding 60% overall volume reduction. Consequently, the array prototype can be folded and stowed in a compact volume of 1.4U (25 cm ×7.2 cm ×9 cm).
Islam, Md Rakibul; Carvalho, Maxence; Venkatakrishnan, Satheesh Bojja; and Volakis, John L., "Packable and Readily Deployable Tightly Coupled Dipole Array (TCDA) With Integrated Planar Balun" (2022). Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Publications. 87.