2011

Phase Retrieval for Radio Telescope and Antenna Control

Phase-retrieval is a general term used in optics to describe the estimation of optical imperfections or “aberrations.” The purpose of this innovation is to develop the application of phase retrieval to radio telescope and antenna control in the millimeter wave band. Earlier techniques do not approximate the incoherent subtraction process as a coherent propagation. This approximation reduces the noise in the data and allows a straightforward application of conventional phase retrieval techniques for radio telescope and antenna control.

The application of iterative-transform phase retrieval to radio telescope and antenna control is made by approximating the incoherent subtraction process as a coherent propagation. Thus, for systems utilizing both positive and negative polarity feeds, this approximation allows both surface and alignment errors to be assessed without the use of additional hardware or laser metrology. Knowledge of the antenna surface profile allows errors to be corrected at a given surface temperature and observing angle. In addition to imperfections of the antenna surface figure, the misalignment of multiple antennas operating in unison can reduce or degrade the signal-to-noise ratio of the received or broadcast signals. This technique also has application to the alignment of antenna array configurations.

This work was done by Bruce Dean of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-15977-1

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