The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test two breadboards corresponding to a reconfigurable 4-channel 30 GHz low power Combiner Frequency Multiplexer (CMUX) and a 4-channel 20 GHz low power frequency Demultiplexer (DMUX).

Targeted Improvements: Replacement of conventional fixed-bandwidth CMUX and DMUX equipment with a tuneable solution capable of supporting agile traffic management.

Description: Current broadband satellites are typically based on a frequency re-use strategy in a multibeam satellitesystem. Agility is achieved using flexible high power amplifiers and routing capabilities at the expense of increasing the numberofcomponents (e.g. switches, filters, waveguide harnesses). Flexibility in the allocation of the traffic from/to the gateway to/from the user beams, depending on the demand, will provide additional freedom to exploit the payload capacity and to cope with changesin the market demand during the satellite's lifetime.

Current low power combiner frequency multiplexers (CMUX) and frequency de-multiplexers (DMUX) are based on fixed channel filters which cannot be modified and are identified as bottleneck components in a flexible system. Industry is currently working on payloads employing active antennas and capable of providing a high degree of flexibility. However, a certain level of flexibility can also be provided by means of reconfigurable multiplexers and demultiplexers at a relatively low cost.

Several RD activities for reconfigurable, high power, narrow band filters have been carried out. However, the main drivers in those developments were the high Q factor and high power operation. CMUX and DMUX devices operate at low power and therefore insertion losses are not the main driver, which could allow an additional degree of freedom for the design.

This activity aims to develop reconfigurable multiplexers/demultiplexers where the bandwidth can be flexibly assigned to each of the channels while still providing sufficient cross-channel rejection. One 1:4 channel 30 GHz CMUX and one 1:4 channel 20 GHz DMUX shall be designed, manufactured and tested as a proof of concept and to de-risk the technology. Agile and dynamic frequency allocation shall be demonstrated. Individual channel bandwidths shall have a wide tuning range in the order of 100 MHz and 1 GHz whilst maintaining good performance forthe rest of the channels in the multiplexer/demultiplexer.

Footnote: On Delegation Request activities will only be initiated on theexplicit request of at least one National Delegation.

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