Year

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering

Abstract

Cube satellites or CubeSats are attractive for use in space research and education programs. This is because of their low-cost, short development time, and ease of deployment. Moreover, CubeSats are able to communicate with each other, and assemble into swarms to carry out different functions such as wide area measurements and sensing. These capabilities require CubeSats to be equipped with an efficient, high gain, wideband and small antenna to facilitate communication links with each other and with ground stations. However, the limited real estate, power and communication opportunities of CubeSats pose real challenges to any antenna designs. Specifically, designs are required to meet the size and weight restrictions of CubeSats while yielding high gain and wide bandwidth. To date, CubeSats employ wrapped-up wire dipole antennas that require deployment after launch. However, this adds complexity and there is a risk they might not deploy, which increases the likelihood of mission failure. They also have low total gain and narrow bandwidth. One approach to avoid deployment failure is to use micro-strip patch or slot antennas. However, they have low gains and narrow bandwidth. Moreover, their performance on CubeSats is unknown.

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