New antenna system passes first phase


Navigation and communication systems for cars and boats will be the main beneficiaries from the project, but the needs of both trains and aircraft will also be considered. Phase one of the project focused on identifying the main commercial applications and a definition of antennae requirements and technical specifications. After completing this phase, Jast is now able to better evaluate the main market segments and identify future key actors. These will include: service providers, mobile satellite system developers and manufacturers as well as vehicle manufacturers.

Worldspace satellite operator, which is currently developing S-DAB (Satellite Digital Audio Broadcast) systems,have been contacted and it's using Jast's antenna solution on the trials campaign of its new S-DAB system over Europe. Several car manufacturers have also been contacted to develop the devices for aftermarket distribution.

The study also focused on the requirements of several different Mobile Satellite Systems (MSS). These include commercial services provided on the L, S, Ku bands, for example, navigation systems such as Galileo/GPS and EGNOS systems, as well as communication systems like S-DAB.

A prototype will be built simultaneously satisfying the requirements of different systems. It will be able to provide navigation and communication services allocated on L and S bands to mobile users and a Ku band antenna system will be designed to fulfill Ku broadband communication requirements. A fully optimised antenna for the Ku band has been developed and measured, matching current broadcast specifications. Improvements have also been made to the bandwidth and gain of the array.

In construction of the prototype technical developments are not limited however to bandwidth and antennae. Of key importance are the different substrate materials to be used on the breadboards (similar to a large circuit board). Because weight and strength or so critical, a further study is being carried out on composite materials.

Headquartered in Lausanne, Jast is responsible for the antenna system and it's subcontractor, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is providing technical support and test facilities to the project. In the coming months the group plan to improve the accuracy of the output power level of the antennae, realise a dual application with Worldspace and GPS for the L and S bands, and also increase optimisation in the Ku band antenna. These results are expected in the autumn of 2003.

To view the project page and learn more technical details, just click on the related link at the top-right hand corner of this page.

14/05/2003 - 00:00
Published 25 July 2003
Last updated at 06 August 2014 - 10:38