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Sensor Web / Testbed Initiatives  

Ground Adaptive and Phased Array Antennas


see the associated Validation Report, Part 7
Related Sites
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Questions and comments related to this document should be directed to:

Michael Flick
EO-1 Technology Transfer Manager
EO-1 Mission Office
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Phone: 301-286-8146
Fax: 301-286-1736
E-Mail: Michael Flick

The vision for the EO-1 ground antenna system research is to find the next generation antenna technology that would eliminate or minimize moving parts. Using the emerging technology of digital signal processing, software is used to shape the antenna pattern. In essence, if taken to the end goal, the software would shape the antenna pattern to follow the target satellite without moving parts such as the large motors used to slew the 11 meter dishes at the GN ground stations. Furthermore, the software is also able to shape the antenna pattern to optimize the desired signal and minimize the impact of interference. Thus, whereas most antenna systems can have self interference because of the signal bouncing off buildings and other structures, called multipath, adaptive antenna technology can be used to actually enhance the desired signal thus leveraging the multipath. Therefore, this technology can be used to create wireless access points for low earth orbiting satellites especially, if in the future, medium to large constellations are launched. This technology will provide a more cost effective means for a ground station to handle multiple satellites simultaneously. NASA's GN ground stations can typically handle only one satellite per ground station and thus act as bottleneck for potential future constellations.

Documentation of studies in this technology area using EO-1 as a testbed follows:

  1. Optimizing Satellite Communications With Adaptive and Phased Array Antennas (paper) PDF
  2. Optimizing Satellite Communication With Adaptive and Phased Array Antennas (presentation) PDF
  3. Adaptive Ground Antenna Arrays for Low Earth Orbiting Satellites PPT
  4. Adaptive Antenna Arrays Give More Bang for Fewer Bucks HTML
  5. Adaptive antenna array could improve access to NASA’s Earth observing satellites URL, HTML
  6. Data from Space: Adaptive Array Network Could Improve Access to NASA’s Earth Observing Satellites URL, HTML

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