European Space Agency

3-axis Ka-Band Tracking Antenna 3-Axis Tracking Antenna for Ka-Band Maritime Satcom Terminals

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Objectives

The main project objective of this ARTES 5.2 project was to develop a prototype 3-axis Tracking Antenna, which can withstand even the highest vibration/shock levels, with a high performance parabolic reflector with feed, a radome tuned for Ka-band, and a satellite tracking system capable of <0.2° pointing accuracy in rough seas, using solutions which ensures a competitive price. 

Fig 1.: The SpaceCom A/S 3-axis Tracking Antenna on a ship motion simulator.

Fig. 2.: The SpaceCom A/S 3-axis Tracking Antenna during vibration/shock testing.

Challenges

The key challenges in the project has been to develop a maritime 3-axis tracking antenna capable of handling high levels of vibration/shock, high pointing accuracy, and very low sidelobe levels as required by satellite operators during Type Approval of such a system, at a very competitive price.High performance maritime 3-axis tracking antenna, at a very competitive price.

Benefits

High performance maritime 3-axis tracking antenna, at a very competitive price.

Features

The key features of the SpaceCom 3-axis tracking antenna are:

  • Low cost design
  • Performance unaffected even at very high levels of Operational and survival vibration and shock
  • High performance parabolic antenna and feed
  • Radome tuned for Ka-band, with very low reflection and insertion loss. Very low impact on antenna off-axis sidelobe levels.
  • Interface to the iDirect X7 modem

System Architecture

The SpaceCom A/S 3-axis Tracking Antenna consists of two units:

  1. The Above Deck Unit (ADU) with the 3-axis mechanical gimbal carrying the parabolic reflector with feed and the RF unit (BUC, LNB, polarizer)
  2. The Antenna Control Unit (ACU) which interfaces to the iDirect X7 Satellite Modem, and the ADU. It also contains a power supply for the ADU

 

Plan

The project was completed in December 2018.

Current status

The project was completed in December 2018. A prototype was tested and results show that all specifications are met.

Contacts

ESA Contacts

Status date

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 09:09