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The project will develop a new type of equipment called Agile Integrated Downconverter Assembly (AIDA). This equipment will support the next generation of flexible payloads developed by EADS Astrium.
The development of new types of downconverter modules targeted at high volume production requires a novel concept of packaging techniques using ceramic materials, and known as Hi-MMHT (Highly Integrated Modular Microwave Hybrid Technology). This development is realised in a joint effort between EADS Astrium Ltd and Kyocera Fineceramics Ltd.
The processing approach and technology developed within Phase 2 will be both forward looking and able to provide cost benefits from the integrated RF processing approach but also backwards compatible with conventional channelised solutions. Therefore the equipment functionality had to be apportioned to allow fully channelised equipments and equipments based on integrated RF processing. This essentially meant that the "functional" sections of the equipment discussed above had to be stand alone physical designs able to work in either serial channelised configurations with each other and/or in common service sections.
For the purposes of this development a 6 for 4 redundancy configuration will be developed.
The project will develop and build an Elegant Breadboard (EBB) 6:4 Agile IDA equipment that will be put through environmental testing (Shock, Vibration, Thermal Vacuum, EMC). The follow-on project to MMHT (GFP Phase 1) will produce and test an Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) of the AIDA equipment incorporating 'lessons learned' from this EBB.
The design, build and test for the EBB AIDA equipment is now complete (see picture below). Testing was performed successfully in all environmental conditions (temperature, vibration, shock, EMC).
The MMHT programme has been highly successful with the implementation of a new technology concept, with product ranging from low level building blocks (MMHT) to high level building blocks (Hi-MMHT).
This new portfolio of products has enabled the RF & Electronics Group in Astrium Portsmouth to successfully bid new equipments on the FSS/BSS payload market and has opened the door to further export sales worldwide.
It has also paved the way for Future Flexible Payload designs being developed by Astrium, of which the first flight application will be HYLAS. MMHT Phase 2 has been a key contributor to de-risk this first application by developing the first Hi-MMHT modules.