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Title: Development of CubeSat antenna systems for ionospheric sounding
Author: Kirkby, Graham
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9529
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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There are many uses for space based VHF/UHF synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems; however, there are significant obstacles which must be addressed to develop operational systems. One of these is the impact of the ionosphere on the relatively low frequency radar signal. To aid the design of future SAR satellites, the ionospheric propagation environment must be fully understood; however measurements of scintillation affecting the VHF/UHF signal, at sufficient bandwidth, have not yet been made. To address these issues the Wideband Ionospheric Sounder CubeSat Experiment (WISCER) is being developed. The satellite will quantify ionospheric distortion on a radar signal by transmitting a wideband (100MHz) sounder signal. Two antenna candidates have been analysed: the crossed Moxon and the conical helix antenna. Improvements to the crossed Moxon antenna design, yielding the WCM antenna, have led to an increase in bandwidth from 65 MHz to 105 MHz. A prototype of the conical helix antenna has been launched on a sub-orbital sounding rocket, providing a proof of concept and a de-risking flight opportunity for that antenna and its strain rigidisation. A trade-off analysis has been conducted to compare the two antenna candidates with the result that the WCM antenna is the preferred WISCER antenna.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering