The Final Review of the MLNB Project has been done in October 2012 at SES premises (Luxembourg).
The MLNB demonstrator setup presented during the final Review has been developed jointly by SES, FTA/Inverto and using an ASTRON HEX-board for beamforming with a potentially low cost L-band beamforming chipset based on the QUBiC-4G NXP SiGe chipset technology.
The demonstrator has consisted of a Ku-band antenna prototype conceived by FTA/Inverto for coherent reception of 3 feeds and a beamforming chipset from ASTRON operating in L-band and based on an NXP SiGe technology and chipset processes as well as beamforming control software from SES TechCom.
The feasibility of the low cost design meeting the reference specification for the antenna and beamforming system has been demonstrated through compact antenna test range (CATR) tests as well as live air satellite reception tests showing the achievable reception gain re-configurability permits to adapt the broadcast antenna front end to different reception scenarios.
The demonstrated benefits to satellite broadcast reception have been to first provide an antenna system to mitigate adjacent satellite interference via reconfigure antenna gain nulling, second provide an antenna system for reception of any desired satellite signal within a given azimuth opening angle as well as third provide assistance at installation via an auto-fine-pointing procedure.
With these tests, illustrating the feasibility of the proposed reception system concept, this ESA project has concluded on its first phase 1 of a proof-of-concept and demonstration phase. The preparations for a subsequent product development focusing phase 2 are on-going.