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Extra focusing multi-beam antenna for compensation of distortions of its reflector in operating conditions


A.G. Romanov – Ph. D. (Eng.), Main Designer of Development Activity, JSC Academician M.F. Reshetnev «ISS» (Zheleznogorsk)
I.Yu. Danilov – Ph. D. (Eng.), Head of Department, JSC Academician M.F. Reshetnev «ISS» (Zheleznogorsk)
V.V. Mochalov – Engineer, JSC Academician M.F. Reshetnev «ISS» (Zheleznogorsk)
Yu.I. Choni – Ph. D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Kazan National Research Technical University named after A.N. Tupolev

Even relatively small deviations of the large satellite hybrid reflector multi-beam antenna (MBA) shape caused by its non-uniform heating being under operational conditions lead to significant modification of large hybrid-reflector MBA characteristics. Primarily, this concerns the beam alignment. If a beamforming is performed through array feeds then the only way to stabilize their position data is associated with mechanical means ensuring reflector stiffness or beam recovery through compensating actions.
For beamforming, modern large hybrid-reflector MBAs use feed clusters. Under these conditions, it becomes possible to stabilize the beam alignment and beam parameters through adaptation of the cluster weight vector (power distribution of the cluster). For these purposes, pilot signals are used occasionally radiating by ground beacons. At the antenna array receiving elements’ outputs, complex amplitudes of these signals carry the antenna current state data and serve to regulate the weight vector in accordance with some adaptation algorithm. Ensuring a compliance of the weight coefficients with the complex-conjugate values of the pilot signal is widely used due to its simplicity and efficiency.
The paper contains the investigation of extra focusing effectiveness by the example of a large hybrid reflector offset MBA with the following parameters: reflector diameter Ø = 12 m, focal length F = 7.4 m, clearance H = 3 m, array area 2 m×1 m filled with feeds, which form 7-element hexagonal clusters with the hexagon side of 100 mm. The array center is located in the paraboloid focus, and its plane is inclined towards the reflector optical axis at the angle of 72°. It was assumed that reflector distortions lead to uncontrolled equivalent focus transition within a sphere with the radius of 72 mm.
Using the effective large reflector antenna simulating program, the multi-path computations were performed to evaluate the efficiency of the large hybrid reflector MPA extra focusing. The efficiency criteria were the minimum and average gain of the beam in its nominal direction under the ultimate deviations of the reflector equivalent focus. The calculations show that, without extra focusing, the gain decreases by an average of 1.5 dB with the maximum reduction of 2.7 dB. With the fixed number of clusters’ elements, the weight coefficients’ regulation reduces the losses to 0.3 and 0.6 dB, respectively. The adaptation of the cluster position along with the weight coefficients leads to even more significant results: 0.1 and 0.2 dB, respectively.

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