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Objective:The objective of the activity is to develop a packaged, photonic integrated switch matrix as needed for on board photonic front ends with at least fifty individual input and outputs.
Targeted Improvements:Reduced size by 50% to less than 10x10x10 cubic centimetres; Vibration tolerance extended to all flight operation conditions; Reduced complexity of the electronic drivers for the control of the switch elements.
Description:On-board signal routing is an important function for all communication satellites and in particular for high throughput satellites to allow for flexible beam-to-beam connectivity. RF based switching is limited to tens of paths, whereas optical based switches can be scaled to hundreds of paths as needed for next generation of high throughput satellites as conceived today.
Optical signal switching today is realised by optical micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) using beam steering free-space optics. However, the compatibility with space applications is limited due to poor vibration stability, the need for active alignment due to thermal drift and the large switch matrix size due to the need for free space optical paths.
In this activity a new approach shall be developed to achieve an optical switch matrix with: power consumption limited to the switching stage and not when in a static switched state; no active compensation for thermal drift; tolerance to vibration for all flight operation conditions; reduced size by 50% in comparison with today's state of the art; a mechanical packaging concept suitable for the space environment, including a robust low loss optical fibre interface for the 50 input and 50 output fibres.
A full scale engineering model shall be designed, manufactured and validated experimentally.Note:
This activity is part of the ARTES CC AT Workplan 2018 and the ARTES ScyLight Rolling Workplan. Funding can come from both programmes.
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".