PopHorn: A deployable folding horn antenna for low frequency space-based applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


Different shapes and types of radio antennas are useful in different circumstances. Horn-shaped antennas are particularly good for when a very accurate calibration of some radio instrumentation (e.g. a radio telescope) is needed, for example. This makes horn antennas very popular for many different applications at microwave frequencies, where they only need to be a few centimetres (or tens of centimetres) across. At low frequencies, a horn antenna would have to be gigantic to work in the same way however. This large size limits their usefulness, particularly for space-based applications where there are restrictive requirements on size and weight of the payloads. We will develop a type of folding antenna that can be packaged up into a relatively small and lightweight form suitable for attaching to a spacecraft, but which folds out into a large horn antenna shape when deployed, suitable for low-frequency applications. This will make it practical to do very high precision radio measurements at low frequencies from space.


10 25 50