Graphene-based antennae to be used in NASA space programme. This project is also relevant for consumer electronics, medical, smartphone technology and aerospace.
“Dr Maggie Chen, associate professor of engineering at Texas State University, has spent the last 15 years researching the best materials to create durable and flexible electronic circuits with the aim of using them to construct a new kind of antenna for use in NASA’s space travel programs.
It is expected that the work of Chen and her research students will establish a new graphene-based, 3D-printed antenna that will replace the use of standard silver antennae.
Texas State provides the perfect environment to support this kind of research, with it being one of the few universities with the required technology for creating flexible electronics that will be relied upon by the innovation.
The aim of the research is to produce an antenna that is profoundly different to those currently used as standard. Chen and her team seek to create an antenna that will be lighter and smaller, and will be able to foster a more efficient approach in their use in space. They aim to create antennae that can be rolled up, launched into space, and self assemble, or, pop-up, when they arrive in space.
Chen recognized graphene’s advantages of being more resistant to oxidation than silver is, while also being more resistant to degradation when bent. The ability to create an antenna that can be bent is key to Chen’s work, and graphene can do this better than silver. She also observed its value in being low cost, durable, flexible and compact, characteristics of great use to the project in hand. For these reasons, graphene became the main focus of the lab at Texas State.
While the antenna is being designed primarily for use in NASA’s space program, an innovative new antenna would have use in the fields of consumer electronics, medical, smartphone technology and aerospace. In each of these sectors antennae play a major role, and a revolutionary new design would likely have significant impact here.”
Source: Azano by Sarah Moore
Image: Pixabay artists imagination