Objective: Objective of this activity is the development and evaluation of novel concepts for temperature compensated Output Multiplexer Channel Filters making use of advanced materials.
Targeted Improvements: Cost reduction of output multiplexers of between 30-50%.
Description: Output multiplexers are core payload elements in 80% of today's commercial telecom satellites. High power channel filters are key elements of the OMUX. The ohmic losses of the materials contribute to increase the temperature in the device. Thermal issues related with these losses in high power operation dictate the complexity of the design, which, in turn, impacts the overall mass and ultimately complicates the spacecraft design.
Classical materials are INVAR for low to medium power level and aluminium (inconfigurations with complex and delicate thermal compensation mechanisms) for medium to high power channel filters. The need for a temperature compensation mechanism to achieve the required frequency stability for high power levels (> 100W) leads to very challenging mechanical designs, complex assemblies and difficult tuning procedures. Over the past 10 years there has been a shift from hardware built in INVAR to those in aluminium, to allow for the increase in power handling requirements but also taking advantage of the reduced mass and footprint. Novel materials with very a low coefficient of thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity, like those based on advanced alloys (e.g. RSA-473, RSA-483) or metal-matrix composites, offer the possibility to overcome current limitations and eliminate the need for complex temperature compensation mechanisms.
In this activity, self-compensated OMUX channels based on novel materials shall be studied, developed to EM level, manufactured and tested. The following work logic is foreseen: