European Space Agency


The objective of this activity is to develop a compact Ku-band input multiplexer for broadband applications applying state of the art circuit design techniques.

An Engineering Model of a four channel multiplexer shall be manufactured and tested to fully validate the novel concepts developed.

The targeted improvement is a 50% mass and footprint reduction of the channel filters of broadband input multiplexer based on dielectric loaded cavity filters.

An objective of the development is to bring the most promising technology to TRL 6.


The challenges involved the selection of a printed circuit board (PCB) technology to provide a low cost and compact design. The AFSIW technology was selected and involved the development of a patent pending thermal compensation technique that allowed to successfully achieve the specifications, together with interconnect solutions.


The AFSIW technology provides several benefits including reduction of height, weight, and cost while achieving thermal stability. The design can in fact be engineered to optimize the SWAP-C (Size, Weight, and Power – Cost). Furthermore, this technology is compatible with mass production.


Design based on the AFSIW PCB technology;

Implementation of an AFSIW low pass filter;

Band pass filters with iris coupling and transmission zero;

Implementation of cross-coupling;

Thermal compensation (intrinsic to the AFSIW filter thank to a patent pending technique); Adapter to SMA/K connectors; Adapter to WR51 for testing.

System Architecture

The AFSIW technology is probably one of the best technological choice for a low cost and compact high performance IMUX. A proprietary temperature compensation technique has been developed on this technology while maintaining high performances. The manifold topology has been selected as it provides the best overall performances in terms of size and cost.

A Ku-band IMUX with four channels was designed with the implementation of one low-pass filter to meet all out-of-band rejection requirements


Output 1: Finalised Technical Requirements => MS1: Mid Term Review1.

Output 2: Selected Technology => MS2: Preliminary Design Review. Output 3: Detailed Design and Analysis of an Engineering Model => MS3: Critical Design Review.

Output 4: Manufactured Engineering Model => MS4: Test Readiness Review.

Output 5: Experimental Test Results => MS5: Mid Term Review 2.

Output 6: Technology Development Plan => MS6: Final Review.

Current status

All contract phases have been completed.

The Ku-Band IMUX Engineering Model has been manufactured and passed successfully the qualification tests.

The results obtained within the frame of this ARTES project are very encouraging and paves the way toward the introduction of the AFSIW technology in spacecrafts, both for GEO and LEO applications.

Status date

Friday, September 4, 2020 - 13:43