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Patch Antenna Arrays Beam Steering for Enhanced LEO Nanosatellite Communications

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Given the growing demand of high-performance communication solutions on high-constraint Low Earth Orbit (LEO) small satellites, in this work we propose a set of designs of patch antenna arrays for CubeSats in the X band that are suitable for satellite-to-ground and Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) communications for LEO. In our analysis we consider the unit cell geometry as well as the array design as parameters. The parameter space is evaluated using the Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis software CST Microwave Studio. We transfer the designs evaluated in CST to AGI Systems ToolKit (STK) to evaluate the influence of each parameter on the link budget for different passes and attitude noise conditions. Our results show that it is possible to achieve a 12-15dB gain in the link budget for the given scenarios. We also observe that such antenna arrays can provide satisfactory attitude inaccuracy compensation with a phase shifter quantization as low as 2 bits.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC)
Number of pages6
Publication yearMay 2020
ISBN (print)978-1-7281-3107-8
ISBN (electronic)9781728131061
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Event2020 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2020 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 25 May 202028 May 2020


Conference2020 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2020
LandKorea, Republic of
SeriesIEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC

    Research areas

  • beam steering, LEO, nanosatellite, patch antenna, Phased array

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