Stellar Exploration, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA carried out antenna testing in Cal Poly’s Antenna Anechoic Chamber on October 14, 2010 for the company’s Silver Sword Antenna Project. An initial wrap-around patch antenna prototype installed on a cylindrical aluminum mounting structure was tested for its input impedance frequency response and radiation patterns at the GPS L1 (commercial) frequency, 1.575GHz. A total of 10 pattern scans (receive antenna azimuthal and elevation rotations at 5o increments) were acquired to characterize the antenna’s directional receive pattern in both co- and cross-pol orientations.
The wrap-around antenna geometry is designed to enable communications in all directions around the cylinder. The initial design was created in the ADS (Advanced Design System) software package, which includes feed network and power splitter design, and patch length and width optimization. Additional tests on a refined prototype, including a heat shield overlay, are planned for early next year.