Using Shape Memory Alloy for CubeSat Antenna Design in Space

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In this paper, a novel method on designing and deploying antennas using Shape Memory Alloy is presented. Shape Memory Alloy, such as NiTinol, have the ability to be trained. This is done when heating the material to a certain temperature (e.g. 500°C) in a certain shape. After cooling, the NiTinol can be deformed after which it will return to its previously trained shape when heated towards transition temperature. Using this property, two antennas are designed using wires and sheets, respectively to show the possibilities and to determine the future feasibility for a design for Radio Astronomy. These antennas are simulated and show promising results to continue research and development. The horn antenna achieves a gain of 17.48 dBi at 15 GHz when deployed and 10 dBi when folded. The S-Parameters show good matching across the complete Ku-Band. The Yagi-uda antenna, when fully deployed, achieves 11 dBi at 1420 MHz, making it therefore suitable for looking at the 21-cm hydrogen line. It is however more sensitive to errors in deployment and construction in comparison to the horn antenna. In future designs, this should be taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 15th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-31299-02-2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021
Event15th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2021) - Dusseldorf, Germany
Duration: 22 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


Conference15th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2021)


  • antenna
  • nitinol
  • radio astronomy
  • shape memory alloy


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