Innovative Antenna Designs for Communication and Radar Applications
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On the Europa Lander High Gain Antenna (HGA) Advanced Technology task, we are completing our testing of the 32 x 32 Element HGA and exploring the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques with an eye to reducing its mass and assembly complexity. The antenna is designed in a modular fashion using 16 square subarrays to produce over 35 dB gain at X-band at both the Deep Space uplink and downlink frequencies with an efficiency of over 80%. The antenna was designed to fit in the limited space between the lander deck and the descent stage using materials robust to the high radiation, 100K, environment.
The first full size 32×32 element HGA prototype has been built and will begin environmental tests in the summer. The tests will conclude with a measurement of the antenna pattern at ~100K in the JPL near-field range and with internal electro-static discharge tests on the antenna dielectrics using the JPL high energy particle accelerator. We have also begun prototyping an 8 x 8 element subarray antenna using a combination of AM and conventional manufacturing techniques.
We are looking for a Postdoc to participate in the testing and data analysis for the current 32 x 32 element HGA and to collaborate on the further application of AM techniques on our 8 x 8 element prototype and ultimately on the full 32 x 32 element antenna. The Postdoc will join our four person team consisting of electrical, mechanical, and materials engineers. The Postdoc will have the opportunity to contribute towards the evolution of an antenna design from prototype to flight model and to apply state-of-the-art AM techniques to the antenna fabrication. The Postdoc will contribute to the final HGA Advanced Technology task report detailing the performance results and discussing the readiness of this antenna design for the Europa Lander mission and other flight applications.
The candidate will also participate in designing innovative metasurface antennas at Ka- and W-band. Dr. Nacer Chahat will serve as the JPL postdoctoral advisor to the selected candidate. The appointee will carry out research in collaboration with the JPL advisor, resulting in publications in the open literature.
Candidates should have a recent PhD in Electrical Engineering. Candidates must also have depth in RF and Microwave engineering for communication and radar applications. Demonstrated innovation in RF antenna design, and demonstrated experience in novel antenna implementation techniques are also required. Candidates who have received their PhD within the past five years since the date of their application are eligible. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum duration of three years. Candidates should submit the following to this site: CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating their research accomplishments and interests.
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