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Integration of a UHF Fractal Antenna into a 1U CubeSat for Low-Earth Orbit Mission

EasyChair Preprint no. 9823, version 2

Versions: 12history
11 pagesDate: March 6, 2023


This research work presents an initial attempt to exploit the self-similarity features of the so-called fractals in the design of a patch antenna, adopting a geometry that allows it to be incorporated into a standard 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm (or 1U) cube satellite (CubeSat). Prior to fabrication, a preliminary design was analyzed and simulated by adopting a commercial finite element method (FEM) solver for electromagnetic structures software, High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS)TM. The proposed antenna was designed at a solution frequency, f= 920 MHz and resonates well from 800 MHz to 1 GHz. The antenna was fabricated on an FR4 substrate (t = 1.6 mm, ε_r= 4.3, and tanδ = 0.02) of size 0.2λ × 0.2λ. Comparison of the simulated and measured results showed a good agreement in terms of reflection coefficient and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) of the proposed antenna at the frequency of interest. For comparison, a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) antenna was also characterized and measured. The measured peak gain of the proposed fractal antenna is at 3.148 dBi as confirmed by the radiation pattern results. It also exhibits a reflection coefficient of -26.110 dB, a VSWR of 1.104, and a wide bandwidth (BW) across the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band. This type of antenna has the potential to provide a reliable link between a CubeSat and a ground station terminal (GST) as confirmed by the long-range communication tests. Finally, the proposed fractal antenna is expected to meet the satellite data rate requirement based on the CubeSat mission in the low-earth orbit (LEO) such as gathering ground data for disaster analysis, vegetation detection, environmental monitoring, and other remote sensing applications.

Keyphrases: cube satellite, fractal geometry, patch antenna, satellite antenna, Small Satellites

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Raynell Inojosa and Celso Co and Mengu Cho},
  title = {Integration of a UHF Fractal Antenna into a 1U CubeSat for Low-Earth Orbit Mission},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 9823},

  year = {EasyChair, 2023}}
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