Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Volker Quetschke

Second Advisor

Dr. Teviet Creighton

Third Advisor

Dr. Soma Mukherjee


Earth-satellite communications and tracking of spacecraft are accomplished using ground stations. Traditionally, this has been achieved by using a large parabolic antenna or pair of antennas that point at a source of interest and mechanically steer the antenna(s) as the source moves throughout the sky. Phased arrays, which have often been used in radio astronomy, can provide multiple benefits when used as a ground station including fast scanning speeds across the sky, tracking and communication of multiple sources simultaneously, and significant improvements to overall gain, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and data bandwidth. This thesis presents a preliminary analysis of a 20-element UHF/VHF phased array which achieves an additional 13.2dB of gain when compared to a single antenna. Additionally, a directional sensitivity of 2.2 degrees in the UHF-band and 6.2 degrees in the VHF-band has been shown. This array is intended to be located at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Brownsville campus for the purpose of communicating with and tracking low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.


Copyright 2020 Brent K. Cole. All Rights Reserved.

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