The objective is the design, manufacturing and testing of a BB of a miniaturized Ka-Band multilayer BFN.
Monolithic beam forming network (BFN) presenting a high level of integration leading to size reduction and a 50% loss reduction.
Future telecommunication satellites will aim at achieving higher throughput and flexibility with respect to current satellite systems with consequential unit cost reduction (cost/Gb). This goal may be fulfilled by implementing a high number of user beams within the target coverage (e.g., >200 beams for European coverage and >30 for national coverage).
For instance, in the case of a DRA antenna, in order to generate a given number of beams a high number of individual radiating elements are required. A very complex structure for splitting and routing the signal (BFN) is then needed between the repeaters and the individual radiating elements.
Current BFN architectures are typically implemented by cascading several hybrid couplers heavily interconnected. The resulting structures are often bulky, with negative impacts on the payload mass and footprint as well as presenting considerable RF losses.
Manufacturing technologies based on the local deposition of materials (additive manufacturing) have been successfully used in a number of applications such as microwave filters and RF harnesses. The application of these additive manufacturing technologies to BFNs can provide an increased integration level leading to size reduction and, potentially mass reduction while even improving RF performances. Additionally, due to the monolithic design approach, the AIT complexity is reduced.
This activity consists in the design, manufacturing and test of miniaturised multilayer BFNs to be used in telecom multibeam missions based on additive manufacturing technologies.
The work-logic of this activity may be summarised as follows: