Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Dean Arakaki

Abstract

Optimal missile guidance and flight performance require accurate and continuously updated in-flight coordinate data. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is used for this positional awareness. However, due to missile rotation and orientation variations during flight, GPS signal reception using traditional antennas may be intermittent. To remain cost competitive, Stellar Exploration Inc. is developing a low-cost omnidirectional GPS antenna for guided missile prototypes.

In this thesis, existing products and design techniques are examined, design constraints for supersonic missile applications are investigated, and corresponding performance goals are established. A conformal microstrip patch antenna is developed and simulated in Agilent’s Advanced Design System (ADS). The resulting antenna is constructed and characterized. Prototype testing verifies that the antenna maintains GPS signal lock regardless of orientation. The final cost is significantly lower than existing conformal products.

A second revision investigates enhanced modeling, dimensional reductions (via increased dielectric constant), and radome construction. Performance is compared to first revision antenna results and differences are examined. Suggestions for further revisions are discussed.

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