Full-Wave Modeling of the PLANCK Space Telescope

Modeling the optical system on the Planck Space Telescope pre-launch was a very demanding task, with the huge electrical size, the strict accuracy requirements and the complicated feed arrangement all posing complications for efficient modeling.

Pre-launch, the only viable option was to use a combination of physical optics (PO/PTD) for the main beam and ray optics (GO/UTD) for the sidelobes and as a coarse estimate of the effects of the structure surrounding the dual-reflector system.

Recent work, in part during an ARTES 5.2 contract with ESA, has allowed the development of a very efficient full-wave solver based on the Multi-Level Fast Multipole Method combined with a Higher-Order discretization on discontinuous meshes. In the present work, we demonstrate how this allows full-wave analysis of the LFI instrumentation of the Planck Space Telescope to be completed in a matter of hours on modest computing resources.

However, while the efficient solver allows us to find the induced surface current density on the structure with moderate computing time, other developments were necessary to allow adequately sampled full-sphere evaluation of the radiated far field.

In summary, this algorithm provides an accurate and efficient full-wave solution of structures that until recently would force engineers to use asymptotic methods.

Publication: 36th ESA Antenna Workshop on Antennas and RF Systems for Space Science
Place: ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

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