A New Helix Antenna Design for the Mars Observer Experiment

Helix Model

AF9Y's 5 Foot prototype. (Just the first half of the 10 foot final design)

IV3WLQ's Helix Array

IV3WLQ's 4 bay Helix Array based on the New 10 Foot Helix Design

I've attempted to optimize a low cost Helix antenna design suitable for detecting the Mars Observer. Here are the characteristics and modeling results:

Reflector Screen: NONE - A single 10.66" loop reflector is used which eliminates the cumbersome reflector screen
Boom: 10 Foot length of 4" dia, thin wall PVC (normally used for tile). Weight is less than 5 Lbs and the cost is $3.50 (at Builder's Square)

Helix: 23 Turns of 1/4" refrigerator copper tubing spaced 5.125" per turn. 55 Feet of tubing required at an approximate cost of $20.