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Large/Complex Antenna Performance Validation for Spaceborne Radar/Radiometeric InstrumentsOver the past decade, Earth observing missions which employ spaceborne combined radar & radiometric instruments have been developed and implemented. These instruments include the use of large and complex deployable antennas whose radiation characteristics need to be accurately determined over 4 pisteradians. Given the size and complexity of these antennas, the performance of the flight units cannot be readily measured. In addition, the radiation performance is impacted by the presence of the instrument's service platform which cannot easily be included in any measurement campaign. In order to meet the system performance knowledge requirements, a two pronged approach has been employed. The first is to use modeling tools to characterize the system and the second is to build a scale model of the system and use RF measurements to validate the results of the modeling tools. This paper demonstrates the resulting level of agreement between scale model and numerical modeling for two recent missions: (1) the earlier Aquarius instrument currently in Earth orbit and (2) the upcoming Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. The results from two modeling approaches, Ansoft's High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS) and TICRA's General RF Applications Software Package (GRASP), were compared with measurements of approximately 1/10th scale models of the Aquarius and SMAP systems. Generally good agreement was found between the three methods but each approach had its shortcomings as will be detailed in this paper.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Focardi, Paolo
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Harrell, Jefferson
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Vacchione, Joseph
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 6, 2015
Publication Date
July 7, 2013
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Meeting Information
Meeting: USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting
Location: Orlando, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: July 7, 2013
End Date: July 13, 2013
Sponsors: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Distribution Limits
Antenna Modeling
Reflector Antennas
Antenna Measurments

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