European Space Agency

COSTARS: low COst S-band receive/Transmit Antenna for vehiculaR applicationS


The aim of the project was to develop two antenna products, namely a Receive/Transmit and a Receive only antenna. The antennas are able to cope with the hybrid satellite and terrestrial environment of European S-band spectrum: 1980-2010 MHz for the earth-to-space communications (forward link) and 2170-2200 MHz for space to earth communications (return link).

The antennas have been designed according to automotive market constraints, meaning of low cost and highly integrated products (including low noise block and filtering section), fully tested and industrialized.

The key objective of the project has been the development of two automotive antenna products, namely Receive/Transmit and Receive only antenna, able to receive DVB-SH signals as forward link and to transmit by using E-SSA protocol in the return link.

According to the objectives, Calearo developed a new range of antennas specifically designed for these technologies, based also on the well known experience of the Group in automotive and wireless fields.

The final deliverables of the project are a range of TX/RX and RX-only antennas, ready for deployment, conceived together with ESA, service providers and top-class car makers, anticipating the automotive and mobile needs for the multimedia-oriented vehicles to come in the next generations.


Starting from the requirements given by ESA and Satellite Operators, the activities were carried out to trade-off several antenna/RF front end alternatives, to validate critical components by means of breadboards and final manufacturing, and to test the pre-series of the final product.


The development of the antennas, together with the terminal development carried out by chip manufactures and technology providers, is paving the way for the exploitation of services delivered by the new generation of the S-band payloads.




The project has been split into two Phases:

  • Phase 1 focuses on design activities of the antenna units, including the critical breadboarding.
  • Phase 2 focuses on prototype manufacturing and validation by measurements, industrialization of the designs (including pre-series production), manufacturing and test of the final industrialized antenna units.

The project duration has been 18 months, starting from February the 1st, 2010. The work has been organized into work package series grouping the design and implementation activities.

Current status

The manufacturing of the two antenna products has been completed in November 2011. The following image shows the antenna.

click for larger image

The project was completed in March 2012 with the final presentation in ESA.

Status date

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 17:59