Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Jim Browning


An ion thruster for satellites on the order of 10-50 kg in mass is currently under development. The thruster uses an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) generated by a flat spiral antenna fabricated using the Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC) materials system. The antenna operating frequency range (600 MHz to 1 GHz) in LTCC (εr=7.8) results in a wavelength on the same order of magnitude as the total length of conductor in the antenna. This condition provides some interesting antenna electric and magnetic field characteristics. The antenna has been modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics® Simulation Software. By changing the geometry of the antenna in the model, the antenna design has been analyzed and improved. Two new antenna designs have been fabricated. The simulation results are compared to measurements of the antenna radio frequency (RF) electric field pattern. The simulation shows good agreement with the measurements.