Dual-Matrix Composite Wideband Antenna Structures for CubeSats
A concept for a deployable high-performance antenna for CubeSats is presented. The detailed design of a conical log-spiral antenna with wideband operation between 250 500 MHz, a gain of above 5 dB, and circular polarization is performed using electromagnetic simulations. A structural concept using dual-matrix composites with soft hinge regions, allowing the antenna to be packaged into small volumes, is developed. An antenna prototype is fabricated using Astroquartz fibers in an epoxy matrix; a high-strain silicone matrix is used in the hinge regions. Structural and electromagnetic analyses are conducted and show good agreement with predicted performance thus demonstrating the validity of the proposed antenna concept.
© 2015 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr Jeremy Banik at AFRL and Dr Tom Murphey, formerly at AFRL, have provided the initial inspiration for this work and many helpful comments and suggestions. This research was supported by the AFOSR (award no. FA9550-13-1-0061, program manager Dr David Stargel).