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