European Space Agency

EQM FDU (FERRITE DRIVER UNIT) Anti-Jamming capabilities on Reflector type Antenna

Objectives

A FDU (Ferrite Driver Unit) for Flexible payload applications is qualified during this development. The qualification sequence is completed up to radiating tests on a representative flexible mission. This flexible mission consists in jammer avoidance capabilities on commercial telecommunication systems.  More precisely, this is an add-on system adaptable on most of reflector type antenna and consist on an array of feed controlled by a FDU subject of this development. This is a competitive solution achieving; optimum mass, volume, power consumption and cost.

Challenges

Ferrite phase shifters based solutions is an attractive mean to control beam shaping for coverage flexibility. More particularly beam shaping with high isolation level towards undesired signals/interferers is request for anti-jamming capabilities. Therefore, focal array based on phase control only could limit the cost by reducing the amount of equipment’s (mass and volume) to implement in a payload. Nevertheless, these solutions need to have an accurate phase control driver. An EQM of ferrite phase shifters Driver will be fully qualified and tested in a representative environment through a promising application. The FDU equipment covers several flexible beam shaping applications, even low cost  Anti-jamming solutions which could find  a great interest on the Commercial market.

Benefits

Most users will be concerned by the needs to :

  • Adapt coverage with demand during the life of the satellite
  • Ensure coverage flexibility in receive and transmission mode.
  • Secure their link (avoid interference)
  • Maintain  nominal coverage correction
  • Add an additional flexible mission

Features

COVERAGE FLEXIBILITY Example

The FDU allow to control phase shifter assemblies for several applications.

 

Application example in the context of EQM FDU development: The system will allow securing a link from earth to the satellite. The system could ensure from a basic version to an upgraded version with additional functionalities.

  • Add-on systems : on most reflector type antenna
  • Isolate jammer on the coverage
  • Ensure uplink from main gateways
  • Ensure nominal coverage for not jammed frequency band

System Architecture

Low cost flexible solution in Tx and Rx is a challenging task in order to be attractive and competitive to beable to answer to an increasing demand. The advantage of Ferrite based solutions has been demonstrated through AFSR type antenna development as a potential candidate. Moreover, the commercial telecommunication links are not protected from interference and the existing solutions could not be cost-efficient due to the equipment’s needed and a complex architecture. Recently, more and more requests from operators are for low-cost solutions. The needs generally are limited to ensure a low level protection. A tailored solution will be the appropriate response to these requests and solution based of Ferrite phase shifters seems to fulfil the demand in a more simple architecture. Nevertheless, these last solutions need an accurate electronic control (Ferrite Driver Unit). The long development plan of a FDU is generally not compatible with a program development plan and limits the proposition of such solution. Therefore, an EQM FDU is proposed in this study which could fulfil several flexible mission demands.

The test set-up proposed to validate the use of the EQM FDU is described hereafter.

The antenna shall ensure in a basic version :

  • An anti-jamming function : for a percentage of the full bandwidth and on a part  of the coverage : a secured link between gateways to the satellite.
  • A flexible coverage for a percentage of the full bandwidth and on a part  of the coverage

This application is an example and the basic version could easily be upgraded with additional function such as detection and localization

 

Plan

  • development and qualification of an ferrite driver unit
  • development of an representative Tests antenna for validate the performance of the FDU in a promising application.

The Architecture Review has been handled in March 2016 and the PDR in December 2016. Analysis and Trade-off allowed to define an architecture concept and orientations on the final product. The CDR review has been handled in July 2017 followed by a TRR FDU review for the EQM FDU in August 2017 which followed by the full sequence of qualification Tests. The manufacturing of modules and integration of the EM antenna focal array ended with  a TRR EM antenna review in parallel of the QR FDU review which closed the end of qualification tests of the FDU in April 2018. At EM antenna level, the focal array tests have been performed : calibration and TVAC tests. The complete EM antenna tests integrated with the reflector and the FDU has been achieved at the end of  April 2018, the FR handled in September 2018.

The qualification of the FDU is successful and the equipment fulfils the applications needs. The FDU has been implemented on a promising application by a complete radiating tests. An accuracy of beam forming has been demonstrated through an EM antenna representative of a promising mission constituted for this project and allowed to demonstrate the mastering of the FDU in practical flexible Antenna application case. This solution has been proposed as an attractive low cost product in future telecom applications.

Current status

The Architecture Review has been handled in March 2016 and the PDR in December 2016. Analysis and Trade-off allowed to define an architecture concept and orientations on the final product. The CDR review has been handled in July 2017 followed by a TRR FDU review for the EQM FDU in August 2017 which followed by the full sequence of qualification Tests. The manufacturing of modules and integration of the EM antenna focal array ended with  a TRR EM antenna review in parallel of the QR FDU review which closed the end of qualification tests of the FDU in April 2018. At EM antenna level, the focal array tests have been performed : calibration and TVAC tests. The complete EM antenna tests integrated with the reflector and the FDU has been achieved at the end of  April 2018, the FR handled in September 2018.

The qualification of the FDU is successful and the equipment fulfils the applications needs. The FDU has been implemented on a promising application by a complete radiating tests. An accuracy of beam forming has been demonstrated through an EM antenna representative of a promising mission constituted for this project and allowed to demonstrate the mastering of the FDU in practical flexible Antenna application case. This solution has been proposed as an attractive low cost product in future telecom applications

Status date

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 07:07