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Phased array antenna vs single antenna for remote sensing.

  1. Dec 19, 2016 #1
    My question stems from the Cosmic-1 satellites using single antennas for radio occultation and the cosmic-2 sats that will use a phased array antenna.

    I've done a fair amount of research in regards to the phased array antenna. Overall it seems to improve the signal to noise ratio when making observations in the lower troposphere (high antenna gain).

    I have a weak understanding of antennas (not an engineer). So does anyone else know any other advantages to a phased array antenna in comparison to single array.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2016 #2


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    I have to give the stock answer; "It all depends".
    There are so many factors in antenna design and even more when it is to be mounted on a satellite.
    There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple when possible. Presumably the occultation exercise can benefit from a steerable antenna and the available technology would probably be more advanced for the second satellite. So I would guess that the better performance would always have been preferred but was not available for the first mission.
    PS Steerable would mean that a narrower beam could be used - hence the gain would be higher.
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