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The primary objectives with the proposed ARTES 5.2 developments are:
For many years, RUAG has delivered circularly polarised patch exited cup (PEC) antenna elements for mobile communication in the L- and S-bands. These PEC antennas have excellent features, such as dual polarisation, low losses, low mass, low PIM levels and good power handling capabilities.
The PEC elements are well adapted to the current system requirements. However, future systems will have increased TX power levels. The issues with the new requirement drivers are challenging.
The design of the distribution network will be the main challenge during the development of the high power PEC element. Increased power levels will cause multipaction and high thermo-elastic stress. PIM also gets even more critical at higher power levels, especially since the transmit and receive bands shall be somewhat wider than previously.
Our L-band antenna array elements have been a successful product the last ~15 years. It is mandatory to secure our role as a supplier in the future and therefore we need to continue the development of our antenna element.
The high power version of the L-band antenna array reduces the risks and workload for the customer and increases the value for us. It is thus a win-win situation for the parties concerned.
The system contains a PEC element and behind each PEC there is a distribution network. It is known that future requirements will include increased power levels, more stringent PIM requirements, and lower mass and volume.
The aim for the final product is an L-band PEC element. The total footprint shall not be larger than the minimum square that contains the circular rim of the antenna, i.e. approximately 1.10 - 1.25 wavelengths. The product shall be capable of simultaneous RX/TX dual circular polarisation with flexible power allocation, maximum 200 W in total. With such a product in the portfolio, RUAG will be well equipped to meet the needs of its mobile communication array element customers also in the future.
The PEC antenna shall be possible to mount on a common customer interface plate.
The ARTES 5.2 activities include design, analysis, and testing of critical components as well as testing of the antenna element on EM level.
Milestone meeting Plan:
Kick-Off – September 2012
To clarify outstanding issues and clarifications / Formal kick-off of the project.
BDR – June 2013
RUAG to present and for ESA to approve the preliminary assessment of equipment performance.
MTR – March 2018
RUAG to present and ESA to agree to the design of the equipment.
FR – May 2019
Main objective is to present the results of the EM elements test campaign and the outcome of the project.