One of the many challenges in radio astronomy is the ability to make accurate measurements quickly. In recent years engineers and astronomers have begun implementing phased array feeds (PAFs) as a way to negate the long observation times required by single antenna feeds. Unfortunately, large mutual coupling and other loss terms result in low sensitivity, restricting PAF usefulness in on dish observation. This thesis addresses several ways to reduce mutual coupling and maximize sensitivity for PAFs in radio astronomy. Antenna design of this magnitude requires accurate modeling capabilities. To this end, electromagnetic software models and low loss component designs are verified and validated with measured data. This process required the construction of a 50 Ω matched dipole and measurements on a network analyzer at Brigham Young University. The design and optimization of several single and dual polarization hexagonal grid arrays of 19 and 38 elements respectively are also described. Model figures of merit are compared with measurements taken on the 20-Meter dish at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, WV and the 300 meter dish at the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, PR. Although some unexplained discrepancies exist between measured and model datasets, the dual pol cryocooled kite array described boasts the highest PAF sensitivity ever measured.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Karl Jansky, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Arecibo Observatory, phased array feed, active impedances, beamforming