An efficient beam steerable antenna array concept for airborne applications

Aliakbarian, Hadi ; Van der Westhuizen, Ewald ; Wiid, Riaan ; Volskiy, Vladimir ; Wolhuter, Riaan ; Vandenbosch, Guy A. E. (2014)

CITATION: Aliakbarian, H., et al. 2014. An efficient beam steerable antenna array concept for airborne applications. Radioengineering, 23(1):165-174.

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Deployment of a satellite borne, steerable antenna array with higher directivity and gain in Low Earth Orbit makes sense to reduce ground station complexity and cost, while still maintaining a reasonable link budget. The implementation comprises a digitally beam steerable phased array antenna integrated with a complete system, comprising the antenna, hosting platform, ground station, and aircraft based satellite emulator to facilitate convenient aircraft based testing of the antenna array and ground-space communication link. This paper describes the design, development and initial successful interim testing of the various subsystems. A two element prototype used in this increases the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by 3 dB which is corresponding to more than 10 times better bit error rate (BER).

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