RF Optical Components for DBS

Status date

The project was aimed at developing improved optical components for use in DBS distribution systems based on optical fibre technology.


The project has addressed the issues associated with the use of semiconductor lasers and detectors in the analogue optical transmission of DVB-S signals over a fibre distribution network. In particular the issues associated with the impedance match of these components, and the associated gain ripple, whilst maintaining good electro-optic and RF performance has been addressed.


The benefit of using these new components is that the next generation of optical LNB and receiver modules will enable systems to be built which have better gain flatness and are capable of higher split ratios, thereby servicing more end users from a single dish.


Under an earlier ESA funded project, a distribution system for DBS signals employing a passive fibre optic network has been developed. That system comprised an LNB with an optical output feeding a passive optical network with a receiver at each output node which converted the optical signal back to RF in the format required by legacy satellite receivers. The current project has developed lasers and detectors for use in the optical LNB and the receivers which have improved RF and optoelectronic performance characteristics.


WP 1 Component Specifications
WP 6 Laser Hybrid Breadboard
WP 7 Detector Hybrid Breadboard
WP 2 Laser MMIC Design
WP 3 Detector MMIC Design
WP 4 Mechanical Design
WP 5 Administration and Control

Current status

The project has been successfully completed. New lasers and detectors are now available, and these have been designed into the next generation of optical LNB and receivers. Trial manufacturing runs of these new products are underway, and full scales production will be initiated following their successful completion.