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Conformal Fully-Metallic Additive Manufactured Dual-Band Polarizer for Space Communications



Prime contractor
Organisational Unit
24 May 2024

Duration: 18 months


In the realm of satellite communications, specific requirements demand attention, including the need for a large bandwidth, circular polarization (CP), and often two orthogonal CP polarizations in two separate bands. Traditional solutions, such as arrays of circularly polarized elements or broadband antennas like helix or log-spiral antennas, fall short of meeting these stringent criteria due to narrow bandwidth and geometric limitations. Moreover, the space segment introduces critical considerations, focusing on minimizing losses and antenna weight to ensure efficiency, reduced launch costs, and cost-effectiveness. The prevalent solution involves combining linearly polarized field antennas with polarizers that convert linear polarization into circular polarization with orthogonal handedness in distinct bands. This approach allows for the creation of high-gain CP antennas, balancing performance and cost-effectiveness. To mitigate antenna system losses, the strategy revolves around the use of fully metallic antennas. Notably, recent advancements in metal additive manufacturing techniques have opened the door to the production of fully metallic polarizers. The evolving landscape of metal additive manufacturing renders the cost-effective manufacturing of these fully metallic polarizers a reality, offering low losses across the K to D band spectrum while maintaining a lightweight profile. Additionally, fully metallic polarizers demonstrate resilience in outer space environments, responding better to temperature variations compared to dielectric substrates.

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Conformal Fully-Metallic Additive Manufactured Dual-Band Polarizer for Space Communications