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During this project, a 6m and 10m composite reflector antenna system will demonstrate their performance capabilities for Q/V band operation via over-the satellite testing.
The key challenges are the precision fabrication and assembly of large reflector systems at Q/V band to maximize uplink and downlink gain.
Composite reflectors offer increased stiffness and low CTE compared to metallic reflectors, giving improved performance under wind, gravity and thermal loadings. This improved performance is key to successful deployments of large antennas in Q/V band.
The 6m and 10m antennas use advanced composite materials for the reflector panels and backstructure, providing a rigid structure with low CTE.
The antenna system is a center-fed cassegrain configuration, with dual circular polarization in both Tx and Rx. The composite reflector is fastened to a steel hub which houses the RF electronic equipment. The hub is in turn mounted to a turning head assembly, where dual azimuth drives and a single elevation drive provide the motive force for on-station tracking.
The project is conducted in two phases. The first phase encompasses the deployment of the 6m Q/V antenna to the test site, and its on-satellite testing. The second phase replaces the 6m reflector with a 10m reflector, and the test plan is performed again for this aperture.
The 6m reflector system has been installed and tested using the Eutelsat 65W satellite. Both e gain and tracking accuracy met the target requirements. The 10m reflector has been fabricated and is in transoit to Guadeloupe for its test campaign.