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Software Helps Design Multimode Antenna Feeds

Satellite-communications (satcom) systems at Ka-band frequencies rely on the precise pointing of multiple narrow antenna beams for effective operation. Accordingly, a group of researchersfrom Canada's MDA Space, Germany's Mician GmbH, and the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlandsimplemented a software tool to work on multimode feed designs for multiple-beam spacecraft antenna applications.

With emerging higher-power traveling-wave-tube (TWT) amplifiers at Ka-band frequencies, it is important that the software be capable of modeling higher power levels (beyond 100 W CW per channel) at those frequencies. The software that was developed is fully compatible with the commercial Wave Wizard electromagnetic (EM) simulation software from Mician.

The software was used to design a multimode horn antenna with receiving bands of 28.35 to 28.60 GHz and 29.25 to 30.00 GHzalong with transmit bands of 18.3 to 18.8 GHz and 19.7 to 20.2 GHzwith minimum transmit gain of 21 dB for both bands. The fabricated component showed good agreement between its simulated and measured performance. See "On-Wafer S-Parameter Measurements in the 325-508-GHz Band," IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 6, December 2011, p. 70.

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