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S-Band Evolved Antenna Prototype Meets LADEE Mission Requirements

Using the Intelligent System Division’s Automated Design of Spacecraft Systems (ADSS) software system, an evolved S-band antenna design was developed that meets current Lunar Atmospheric and Dust Environment Experiment (LADEE) mission requirements. A prototype was fabricated and its electromagnetic performance showed it met the mission's demanding requirements for gain and impedance while exhibiting high efficiency. A system consisting of two evolved antennas has the potential to replace a system of three conventional antennas, saving mass and cost, and increasing reliability.

BACKGROUND: LADEE is an Ames-led mission planned for launch in 2012. The lunar orbiter will study the Moon’s atmosphere and dust in the Moon’s vicinity. Instruments will include a dust counter, a neutral mass spectrometer, a laser communications terminal, and an Ames-developed UV Spectrometer (UVS). One of the telecommunications challenges is developing an antenna system capable of satisfying both low-gain and medium-gain data rate requirements. The evolved antenna was pioneered in 2006, using the Intelligent System Division’s ADSS software system to automatically design three X-band evolved antennas that flew on the Space Technology 5 mission.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Innovative Partnerships Program

Contact: Craig Pires, Jason Lohn


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