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3

The ISS has 2 S-band antenna support assemblies (SASAs). There is one on each of the S1 (Starboard 1) and P1 (Port 1) truss segments. This EVA replaced the one on the P1 truss. Source: Downloaded the official visualization package from https://vrlab.jsc.nasa.gov/doug/flight_packages/: It's called "US_EVA_P1_SASA_RR_v5.exe" which is a big clue ...


2

Being non-expert in patch array antennas, I can't answer the "how". Nevertheless, X-band antennas in this range of gain and compatible in form factor to 6U Cubesats are commercially available. Here is an example of an 8x4. The datasheet says it has 20.7-21 dBi and it measures 20 cm x 10 cm x 0.3 cm., weight 90 g. Of course, the beam pattern cannot ...


4

I think it's all about distance. Let's make the reasonable assumptions that: (1) LICIAcube uses also X-band to beam data back to Earth; (2) the available transmit power is the same as that on MarCO; and (3) the receive antenna on Earth is the same. MarCO has to close the link-budget at ~300 millions Km from Earth, while LICIAcube needs to do so at only 11 ...


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