Stand Alone Ka-Band Down-Converter and Receiver

Status date

The aim of this program is to fill our frequency converters portfolio with competitive and flexible Ka-band designs matched with customers most current needs in terms of frequency ranges, performance, and unit functionality.

Thanks to the three ongoing developments including EQM qualification, AAS is already able to proposeto customers Flight Models with a reduced production schedule, reduced non-recurrent costs and a high confidence on quality level.

The main performances are summarized in the following table:




30/20 Receiver with
WR34 wave guide input

65 dB < 2.6 dB over T° 55 dBc -100 dBc/Hz
at 100 KHz
Including LO with
internal reference
30/20 Down-Converter with coax input 36.5 dB < 18 dB 40 dBc -100 dBc/Hz at 100 KHz Including LO with internal reference
30/12 Down-Converter with coax input 29.5 dB < 18 dB 52 dBc -95 dBc/Hz at 100 KHz Including LO with internal reference

The main issues are:

  • Manufacturing of the macro-package.
  • Assembly and test of the Macro-hybrid.
  • Qualification of the Down-converters and Receiver.

AAS is now able to propose to customers a very large portfolio of frequency converters based on the same technology (parts, materials and processes) from the C-band up to the Ka band, which can easily matched to specific requirements of the customers in terms of schedule and cost.


The same architecture is used for these three Units:

The whole RF chain is implemented into a hermetic macro-hybrid using only MMICs for active parts. A very high integration level of the Macro-hybrid is obtained through the use of an automatic assembly process and allows to propose:

  • A very good performance in Ka band (in terms of gain flatness, return losses?),
  • A very high reliability,
  • A reduced manufacturing and test schedule,
  • A flexibility in terms of electrical performance with the identical interfaces,
  • A large production capacity.

The LO chain is based on the same building blocks: VCO, SPD and PLL board including OCXO reference.

The large flexibility between these designs is obtained by using building blocks, which will allow to match the design to specific customers requirements. For example, both the 30/20 and the 30/12 Down-converter use the same macro-package, the same housing that allows to have the same Interface Control Drawing to simplify the payload integration. See figure 1.

click for larger image

Figure 1: 30/20 or 30/12 Down-converter with internal LO reference




Final Review

Final Report

Successfully done on 4th of July 2006

In October 2006

End of the year of the down-Converters and February 2007 for the Receiver, with the qualification of the EQM

End of the year of the down-Converters and February 2007 for the Receiver

Current status

The detailed electrical design (including part stress, worst case analysis?) and all the environmental analysis have been completed and presented at the BDR.

For Down-converters, the design phase is completed. The macro-package has been manufactured and the macro-hybrid assembly/test is now in progress. In parallel, the LO blocks, DC/DC and housing are also in production.

For the Ka Receiver, the macro-package manufacturing is still in progress and the assembly of the macro-hybrid will start in September. As for the down-converters, the other sub-assemblies are already in production.