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Estimating a Large Phased Array Antenna Radiation Pattern by Computer Electromagnetic SimulationThe design of a conformal antenna for use on UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and other aircraft can be enhanced with computational electromagnetic modeling to determine the expected radiation patterns of the antenna when mounted on the aircraft. However, detailed simulation of the antenna structure and the aircraft together requires significant computational resources and time which may not be available. This paper details several methods for estimating the radiation pattern of a 50 by 50-element patch antenna. The Conformal Lightweight Antenna Structures for Aeronautical Communication Technologies (CLASACT) Program aims to build and test a 14.25 gigaherz (Ku-band) conformal antenna on a NASA-owned UAV. The antenna is intended for satellite communications and will enable communication between a ground station and a UAV when the separation distance is too great for line-of-sight communication. It is estimated that a 2 degree beamwidth will be necessary, requiring a 50 by 50 array of patch elements. The narrow beamwidth requirement, together with an element spacing of 0.6 lambda means that the array length will be 30 wavelengths, electrically very large. Three methods of varying complexity are described for estimating the total far-field radiation pattern. The results are shown for each method in the form of a normalized power pattern.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Mackenzie, Anne I.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
November 29, 2018
Publication Date
October 1, 2018
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 533127.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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