Objective: To reduce the complexity of large signal routing switch matrices by developing a single-pole multi-throw switch Microwave Monolithic IntegratedCircuit (MMIC) in Ka-band with at least 8 switchable ports and an RF power handling in excess of 2 W, along with the associated packaging solution.
Targeted Improvements:Enabling building block technology with at least eight switchable ports integrated inside the same device. The current state of the art is limited to two.Increase the RF power handling capability of MMIC switches from less than 1 W to up to 5 W.
Description: With satellite data transfer rates increasing continuously, high-throughput satellites (HTS) are facing growing demands in terms of frequency and bandwidth. One way to tackle these demands is to deliver the traffic through an antenna with a very high number of small spot beams, thus adopting a cellular-like network structure with a high degree of frequency reuse.As the number of beams of the satellite system surpasses one thousand or more, the beam-switching network becomes highly complex. It is no longerfeasible or desirable to implement the switching network with conventional mechanical switches, which are heavy, slow and bulky.New payload architectures offer a multitude of new possibilities. In an architecture comprising a beam switching network followed by a beam formingnetwork and an active array, almost no waveguide structures are needed andmost of the system can be realised using integrated components, such asMonolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs).
The beam-switching network can operate at a relatively low RF power levels, with the high poweramplification being realised only at the end ofthe signal chain, after the beam forming network and immediately before the antenna. RF switch networkMMICs that offer a broad range of switchable signal paths are an attractive building block for complex beam switching matrices.The goal of this activity is toidentify a suitable semiconductor technology, to design, manufacture and test a MMIC with at least 8 switchable ports andto demonstrate that adequate performance is achieved for the intended application for each through path (low insertion loss, very low ripple,highisolation in the switched-off paths, good port matching and a high RF power handling capability of up to 5 W over the completeKa-Band). The potentialto reduce the complexity of large switch matrices, as needed for beam hopping and flexible, high capacity payloads, shall be demonstrated.