European Space Agency







ARTES Advanced Technology

Price Range

200-500 KEURO


Objective:The objective of this activity is to design, develop and test a flatter lens-based mobile antenna for high speed transport vehicles.

Targeted Improvements:This activity aims at improving existing solutions based for example on lenses technologies, reducing the antenna profile by a factor 2 while keeping the same RF performances.

Description:Antenna size reduction isa permanent objective in the Satcom market and is enabling compact high performance satcom payloads.

An example of such potential solutions is the Lüneburg lens. This is a spherically symmetric gradient-index lens with a typical refractive index n that decreases radially from the centre to the outer surface. They are well known for use with electromagnetic radiation from visible light to radio waves and enable the design of high-performance and wideband focusing antennas, equivalent to reflector based antenna solutions.

The main advantage of these solutions over reflector-based antennas is that beam steering is achieved by moving only the feed, thussimplifying the overall antenna design. In particular, half-Luneburg lenses could be used in combination with a ground plane without affecting their performance, thus reducing the antenna height by a factor two when compared to an equivalent aperture dish.

The purpose of this activity is to revisit the concept of Luneburg lenses for terminal antennas in view of these recent achievements, using either single-lens concepts or lens-array concepts in combination with adequate lens transformations to further reduce the antenna height, possibly leading to a low-profile solution with simpler steering mechanisms thanks for example to in-plane feed displacement instead of a spherical feed displacement. Other lens based solutions presenting similar advantages may also be considered with the aim to reduce the antenna height by an additional factor 2 when compared to commercially available lens designs.

The expected deliverables are:

  • Report containing a review of the state-of-the-art and a consolidation of the mission scenarios, leading to the selection of the most promising concept.
  • Technical analysis aiming at a selection of a design and manufacturing process.
  • A representative demonstrator of the preferred concept manufactured and tested to confirm the anticipated benefits.

Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit requestof at least one delegation.

Tender Specifics