Towards Dual-band Reconfigurable Metasurfaces for Satellite Networking
The first low earth orbit satellite networks for internet service have recently been deployed and are growing in size, yet will face deployment challenges in many practical circumstances of interest. This paper explores how a dual-band, elec- tronically tunable smart surface can enable dynamic beam alignment between the satellite and mobile users, make service possible in urban canyons, and improve service in rural areas. Our design is the first of its kind to target dual channels in the Ku radio frequency band with a novel dual Huygens resonator design that leverages radio reciprocity to allow our surface to simultaneously steer energy in the satellite uplink and downlink directions, and in both reflective and transmissive modes of operation. Our surface, Wall-E, is designed and evaluated in an electromagnetic simulator and demonstrates 94% transmission efficiency and a 85% reflection efficiency, with at most 6 dB power loss at steering angles over a 150 degree field of view for both transmission and reflection. With 75𝑐𝑚2 surface, our link budget calculations predict 4 dB and 24 dB improvement in the SNR of a link entering the window of a rural home in comparison to the free-space path and brick wall penetration, respectively.