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The overall objective is to develop MPA products operating in Ku-band or in Ka-band.MPAs have been successfully implemented by Astrium at L-band and S-band. Implementation at higher frequencies is even more challenging, particularly with regard to achieving and maintaining an adequate MPA port-to-port isolation performance.
To liaise with operators and ensure the overall system aspects are conducive to their future business.
This study into Ku and Ka-band MPAs has fulfilled the original purpose of the project and has the benefits that it has been able to consolidate the baseline design and issue a detailed set of technical specifications for all the equipment of a future MPA. Moreover, the study has been able to identify and quantify the technical risks that have to be addressed before entering into the development. Detailed design and specification activities have been carried out in this study for a family of MPAs, which include both 4 x 4 and 8 x 8 MPA configurations. A redundancy scheme has been derived for both 4 x 4 and 8 x 8 networks. A ground-based calibration scheme has been derived and shown to be the most cost effective and suitable. An AIV development plan has been created which has addressed the overall testing philosophy, the equipment required, the definition of activities, the test system and supporting software.
The architecture of the MPA consisted of an Input Network (INET), TWTAs, Linearisers, Output Network (ONET), low power redundancy ring, high power redundancy ring, gain and phase adjusters and a calibration system. MPAs of order 4x4 and 8x8 were investigated. The active channel amplifiers where chosen to be prior to the INET. An option was that other channel amplifiers could remain within the MPA as part of the MPM, prior to the linearised TWTAs, but with their fixed gain mode in operation. The output ports of the MPA are directly connected via waveguide transmission lines to the antenna elements of an array fed reflector. Each output from the MPA could therefore produce a signal with the power and capacity for a radiation pattern. A 4x4 MPA is shown in figure 1.
To establish a viable hardware cost basis for implementing an MPA EQM.
The project achieved the original objectives to examine the design, performance and implementation of Ku/Ka-band MPAs. The project documentation and final review have successfully been completed.