The objective of the activity is to design and develop a high power ferrite switch network for beam hopping systems capable of being located close to the antenna feeds.
Targeted Improvements: Develop an enabling ferrite switch technology (up to 100W) for accommodation outside of the spacecraft where temperatures range in the order of -150 to +150 deg. C and thereby reduce the RF harness mass by 10%-20%.
Beam hopping allows efficient resource allocation in multi-beam satellites. By fast switching the RF signal for allocated and variable time-slots to different beams the data is routed to and from ground.
The on-board switching is a critical function of a beam hopping system and is achieved by high power ferrite switches. In a standard payload configuration ferrite switches are located inside the payload where the temperature range requirement is about -30deg to +85 deg. In this configuration, a high number of waveguides (one per beam) must be employed from the output of the switches to the input of the antenna feed assembly.
An alternative solution is to perform the switching outside of the spacecraft near to the antenna feed or within the feed assembly. In this way only one waveguide per switch matrix would be needed with the consequent reduction in the mass, size and payload complexity for the satellite.
In this activity a high power, high speed ferrite switch able to withstand a temperature range in the order of +150 to -150 deg. C and the harsh environment encountered outside the spacecraft shall be designed, developed and breadboarded. Demonstration of all critical functions such as power handling, switching speed and RF performance shall be carried out on a 1:4 switch matrix engineering model that shall be designed and manufactured. The development of the drive electronic shall be part of the activity.
Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.