Electrically thin VHF Array Elements for Satellite Applications Using Artificial Magnetic Material

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The application of large antenna arrays for space missions in VHF band is hindered by the dimension and weight of the single radiating element from a conventional design approach.

Satellites used for this kind of applications are typically micro/mini platforms and cannot accommodate large antennas. To this purpose, element volume minimization and mass reduction are considered performance drivers, even considering the array deployment and satellite mass requirements. The important size reduction properties of Artificial Magnetic Materials (AMM) / Meta Materials (MM) made this approach a natural choice for the development of miniaturized antennas. A multipurpose, dual polarized array element with highly reduced dimensions and weight was developed to overcome these obstacles. This paper describe the design, manufacturing and testing of a dual polarized array element considering application in a low orbit Automatic Identification System (AIS) mission.

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