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Active integrated meshed patch antennas for small satellites



Meshed microstrip antennas are optically see-through when printed on transparent substrates and can potentially be directly integrated on solar cells to save surface real estate of small satellites.Integrating active components such as amplifiers with see-through antennas further extends multifunctionality of solar panels. Two active integrated meshed patch antennas were studied at 2.48 GHz. The antennas serve as loads for class-B power amplifiers and as radiators. As a reference, the first design was a regular meshed antenna integrated with an amplifier. In the second design, the antenna was modified to suppress its second harmonics to improve the power added efficiency (PAE) of the integrated amplifier. It was shown that the PAE of the second design is increased by the harmonics suppression. The maximum PAE was measured to be 47.2% for the harmonics suppressing meshed antenna, and the output power is 15.8 dBm at the peak PAE. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microwave Opt Technol Lett 54:1593–1595, 2012; View this article online at DOI 10.1002/mop.26906