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    The optimisation, design and verification of feed horn structures for future Cosmic Microwave Background missions

    McCarthy, Darragh and Trappe, Neil and Murphy, J.Anthony and O'Sullivan, Créidhe and Gradziel, Marcin and Doherty, Stephen and Huggard, Peter G. and van der Vorst, M. (2016) The optimisation, design and verification of feed horn structures for future Cosmic Microwave Background missions. Infrared Physics & Technology, 76. pp. 32-37. ISSN 1350-4495

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    In order to investigate the origins of the Universe, it is necessary to carry out full sky surveys of the temperature and polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, the remnant of the Big Bang. Missions such as COBE and Planck have previously mapped the CMB temperature, however in order to further constrain evolutionary and inflationary models, it is necessary to measure the polarisation of the CMB with greater accuracy and sensitivity than before. Missions undertaking such observations require large arrays of feed horn antennas to feed the detector arrays. Corrugated horns provide the best performance, however owing to the large number required (circa 5000 in the case of the proposed COrE+ mission), such horns are prohibitive in terms of thermal, mechanical and cost limitations. In this paper we consider the optimisation of an alternative smooth-walled piecewise conical profiled horn, using the mode-matching technique alongside a genetic algorithm. The technique is optimised to return a suitable design using efficient modelling software and standard desktop computing power. A design is presented showing a directional beam pattern and low levels of return loss, cross-polar power and sidelobes, as required by future CMB missions. This design is manufactured and the measured results compared with simulation, showing excellent agreement and meeting the required performance criteria. The optimisation process described here is robust and can be applied to many other applications where specific performance characteristics are required, with the user simply defining the beam requirements.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The authors would like to acknowledge funding from the European Space Agency under the Strategic Initiative for Irish Industry, Academia and Research Institutes, and the Irish Research Council (formerly IRCSET) under the EMBARK scheme.
    Keywords: Horn antennas; Antenna design; Millimeter wave antennas; Optimisation; Genetic algorithm; Cosmic Microwave Background;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Experimental Physics
    Item ID: 9791
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Marcin Lukasz Gradziel
    Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 14:16
    Journal or Publication Title: Infrared Physics & Technology
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Research Council (EMBARK), European Space Agency
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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