Available Technology

Metal Patch Antenna

An all-metal patch antenna with greater bandwidth and reduced susceptibility to electrostatic discharging
JPL's patch antenna comprises a conductive patch attached to a ground plane by a support post and a probe connector arranged to conduct electromagnetic energy to the conductive patch (for signal transmission) or from the conductive patch (for signal reception). The central support post improves the mechanical stability of the antenna and increases its bandwidth without significantly affecting its radiation pattern performance. The conductive patch can include ribs that extend from the center axis to the outer edges of the patch to stabilize it further. An all-metal patch antenna has been fabricated and subjected to thermal and vibration testing. The antenna was thermally cycled three times from 135 °C to 120 °C; no damage to either the support post or the antenna was observed. In addition, the return loss was very close to pretest measurements, indicating essentially no hysteresis. The antenna was vibration tested using 40 g z-axis and 20 g x- and y-axis; the vibration frequency shifts were less than 5%, and no structural failures or signs of probe abrasion were observed.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed an all-metal patch antenna with improved physical stability and performance that can be readily formed into low-cost, lightweight phased array antenna systems for a variety of communications applications. Conventional patch antennas have narrow bandwidth and contain dielectric materials, which makes them unsuitable for use in environments with strong electron fluxes. Because the dielectric provides structural support to the patch, state-of-the-art patch antennas that minimize or eliminate the use of dielectric materials lack the mechanical stability to survive hostile environments, such as spacecraft liftoff. JPL's novel patch antenna improves the state of the art by using all-metal components to reduce susceptibility to electrostatic discharging, improve mechanical stability, and increase bandwidth.

Double-tuned antenna for transmission and reception at adjacent frequencies


Communication - space, military, commercial

Patent Number: 
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Patent Issue Date: 
June 11, 2015
Far West
Lab Representatives
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