Next generation active antennas for satellite communications

Active Antennas are the future of satellite communications. SWISSto12 exploits the new design avenues offered by its technology to develop highly optimized antennas for LEO, MEO, and GEO satellite missions. RF active electronics are developed with third-party partners and integrated by SWISSto12 into the active antenna systems.

Electronically steered antenna array for LEO

LEO antennas have to steer beams over a very wide field of view. This fact imposes severe constraints to the array elements, which before had to be produced using lossy dielectrics. SWISSto12, leveraging upon its 3D-printing, produces electrically small array elements in waveguide technology with unbeatable loss. The arrays can have up to 500’s dual-polarized elements (horn, OMT-polarizer, filter) and are produced monolithically. The latter ensures an ultra-simple integration, making the antenna especially suited for satellite constellations. Designs are available in Ku- and Ka-band. Verified experimentally. Data available upon request.

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Electronically steered antenna array for GEO

Upcoming GEO flexible satellites will require arrays larger than 2 m2. SWISSto12 proposes a modular approach for the realization of such large arrays. Modules are very light (5 times lighter compared to conventionally manufactured antennas), require minimal assembly, and simplify notably the integration in the spacecraft. Other advantages are: excellent RF performance, especially very low insertion loss due to limited number interfaces; clusters enhance the mechanical performance of the payload, possibility of incorporating thermal management features, freedom in the array shape; etc. Designs are available from X- to Q-band. Designs can be TX&RX or only-TX or only-RX. Verified experimentally. Data available upon request.

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