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SATCOM Reflectarrays

Reflectarrays are a compromise between heavy parabolic reflectors and expensive phased array antennas. Reflectarrays in modern times have proved extremely useful for radar systems and satellite communications. Reflectarrays combine the favorable aspects of both technologies, such as simplicity, radiation efficiency, light weight, and low profile. These features make reflectarrays an excellent choice for air-born and space applications, including satellite-to-satellite or space-to-earth communication.

Fig.1: A patch reflectarray that is 20 wavelengths in diameter with 1256 elements.


The work of our group focuses on designing wideband reflectarray elements and using novel material for antenna reconfigurability. Reflectarray elements, which are responsible for reradiating the energy of the antenna’s feed horn, previously have been narrowband. This results in lower bandwidth than parabolic reflectors. Reconfigurability allows the beam of the reflectarray to be steered to any direction.

Fig. 2: A patch reflectarray that is 20 wavelengths in diameter with 1256 elements. The resulting beam is normal to the reflectarray with 31 dB of gain.

Related Paper:

K. Q. Henderson and N. Ghalichechian, “Metal Only Spiral Slot Reflectarray Element Operating at 66 GHz,” 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation (APSURSI), Boston, Massachusetts, 2018.