The future of aerospace antennas delivered
SWISSto12 antennas leverage upon the design and manufacture freedom offered by 3D-printing to push the envelope of possible in antenna technology. The company has specialized in high-performance, innovative antennas for multiple aerospace applications.
Monolithic feed chains
SWISSto12’s 3D printing allows to produce feed-chains in a wide frequency range from C-band to Q-band showing outstanding RF-performance. Reduced mass and assembly time/efforts are achieved by means of clever mechanical designs and lower number of interfaces.
- Monolithic component including diplexer, OMT-polarizer, and horn;
- Customizable port location and form factor, adapted to client’s requirements;
- Ka-band example:
- 20/30 GHz (full Ka-band bandwidth);
- dual-circular polarization in the two bands with a cross polarization in excess of 27 dB;
- low insertion loss (typically 0.2 dB);
- very high isolation (> 90 dB) between bands;
- weight less than 75 g;
- Other frequency bands available.
Ka/Ku airborne arrays
Ultra-lightweight airborne Ku and Ka antennas with outstanding RF performance are now possible thanks to the SWISSto12’s 3D printing. Monolithic modules integrating a large number of apertures reduce the full array assembly from 1000’s pieces to less than 10 parts. Ku-band and Ka-band antenna arrays meet FCC mask regulations.
- Hyper light: Ku (7kg) - Ka (6kg);
- Fully compliant with FCC mask;
- Innovative RF design for enhanced performance;
- No grating lobes: highest transmission efficiency / achievable ESD;
- Robust antenna assembled out of only 4 pieces;
- Ku example (4 blocks):
- Rx band: 10.7 – 12.75 GHz;
- Tx band: 13.75 – 14.5 GHz;
- Gain at Tx: 33-34 dB;
- Dual linear polarization;
- Aperture size: 25.2” x 6.3” / 64cm x 16cm.
Slotted waveguide antenna arrays
3D printing can be also used for the production of slotted waveguides antenna arrays. SWISSto12 has developed innovative slotted waveguide solutions that are compatible with batch production of monolithic antennas while offering the best possible RF performance. Available from X-band to Ka-band.
- Customizable aperture shape;
- Possibility to include complex BFN functions such as comparators for tracking.
Antennas and antenna clusters
3D-printing provides an ideal solution for monolithic horns. Monolithic antenna clusters can contain from 10’s to 500’s elements, depending on the application. They allow to reduce assembly time by reducing the number elements to be mounted, for instance in active antenna arrays or antenna farms. Considering clusters at an early stage allows to improve mechanical performance and weight of the RF system. The production lead-time is much faster than if standalone elements were considered.
- X-band example (4 elements 2x2):
- X-band military band (≈7.5 GHz);
- dual-circular polarization in with a cross polarization in excess of 30 dB;
- low insertion loss (typically 0.35 dB);
- filtering up to Ka-band;
- total weight < 250 g;
- total length: < 350 mm;
- Ku-band (single horn for shaped reflector):
- commercial Ku-band
- dual-linear, cross-polarization in excess of 35 dB;
- antenna loss: 0.1 dB;
- taper 20 deg;
- weight: x3 reduction with conventional horn;
Waveguide filters and diplexers
SWISSto12 is the reference supplier of 3D printed filters for ground and space applications. SWISSto12 filter portfolio ranges goes from S-band to Q-band, including narrow-band and wideband bandpass, lowpass, cutoff and stopband filters, using proprietary topologies such as custom waveguides, corrugated, combline, evanescent, dual-mode. SWISSto12 offers design for both highest performance and competitive cost. SWISSto12’s filters are monolithic ultra-light devices. The portfolio also includes diplexers and multiplexers.
- Ku-band narrowband filter for converters:
- Q approx. 3000;
- bandwidth: 2%;
- compatible with banks;
- total weight << 100 g;
- GEO environmental test passed;
- Ka-band output filter:
- Band: 17.7-20.2 GHz;
- rejection: typically 100 dB, all harmonics below -60 dB;
- all harmonic rejection up to 43 GHz;
- insertion loss: approx. 0.25 @ 19 GHz;
- multipactor: > 4kW;