As the “right-hand man” to space communications, navigation, environmental monitoring, and other satellite systems, the space active phased array antenna is capable of scanning and covering long distances and large scale ranges through its complex deployment mechanism, large physical aperture, and lightweight structural design. In comparison with mechanical scanning antennas, the space active phased array antennas can realize flexible beam scanning through the active phased array principle, while simultaneously achieving a high gain, low sidelobe, high resolution, and high reliability. Improving the comprehensive performance of the satellite is crucial with the rapid development requirement and large application field. In this article, the development history of the space active phased array antennas is summarized, and these antennas are characterized by the following structural features: large aperture, deployment mechanism, and lightweight configuration. The state of the art of space deployable active phased array antennas is also presented. Furthermore, seven crucial design technologies of antenna essential components are discussed, and the development trends of structural technologies of the space deployable active phased array antenna are demonstrated.
|Number of pages
|IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine
|Published - 6 Jul 2020