The objective of the activity is to develop and test a low profile ground user terminal antenna based on a compact mechanical scanning mechanism with an operational bandwidth of at least 10% and an overall thickness lower than 7 cm.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling mechanical scanning based and low profile antennas with 10% fractional bandwidth for ground user terminals not existingtoday in Europe.
In the last years, there has been an increasing demand for user antennas based on electronic scanning. These developments require larger investments and are technically challenging. The design of such terminal antennas implies using active components. A full compliance with the stringent RF requirements is difficult to achieve. Higher power consumption and thermal issues are not easily manageable at a user terminal level. On the other hand, mechanical scanning based antennas employ simple andcheap antenna architectures exploiting different types of mechanical actuators.
Innovative motors characterised by simple mechanical accommodation, reduced thickness, better dynamic and contact-less implementation are available today. They are already replacingconventional motors based on brush gears and belts. In addition, advanced manufacturing techniques start providing significant advantages in terms of compactness, weight, design and assembling time.
Possible new architectures may exploit:
a) true time delay phase shift based on linear actuators;
b) the rotation and/or translation of passive flat lens antennas to achieve the beam scanning;
c) antennas based on resonant cavities with slots and helix radiating elements mechanically rotated.
This activity will design manufacture and test a low profile user terminal antenna, operating in Ku- or Ka-band, exploiting a mechanical scanning mechanism whilst achieving an operational bandwidth of at least 10% of fractional bandwidth.