2, October 2017

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9112
Open Date: 19/09/2017
Closing Date: 14/11/2017 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.1ET.03
Prog. Ref.: GSTP Element 1 Dev
Budget Ref.: E/0904-611 – GSTP Element 1 Dev
Special Prov.: AT+DE
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / Antennas – BB / Feeds
Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / Communication – BB(Antennas excluded) / Analog: RF front ends
Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / “Communication – BB (Antennas excluded)” / Digital: Filters and Multiplexers
Techology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Technologies and Equipment / RF Equipment
RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Technologies and Equipment / RF Devices
Electromagnetic Technologies and Techniques / Antennas / Reflector and Lens Antennas
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Electrical Engineering Department
Division: Radio Frequency Systems & Payloads Offic
Contract Officer: Karl, Heinz-Uwe
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 20/09/2017
Update Reason: Loaded a new Clarification(English version)

Satellite payloads are becoming very complex. Several frequency bands are commonly embarked in the same satellite, consequently resulting in accommodation issues. Mass and size reduction together with stringent RF performance requirements and demanding environmental conditions (thermal and mechanical) are constantly faced challenges.Traditional manufacturing approaches imply certain design limitations within RF hardware. The RF section is composed of different functions such as cascaded filters, routings or power splittings. The various functions are manufactured separately and integrated later on. The integration and test of each section is an important part of the AIT tasks and increases the risk of, for example, generation of intermodulation products. Flexible sections or complex routings to connect different elements are challenges in terms of manufacturing, when relying on conventional fabrication processes. The architecture of the RF hardware is, in most of the cases, strongly linked to its supporting structure. Additionally, for high power devices, an adequate thermal design is required too.Ceramic and polymer materials are extensively used in RF devices, in most of the cases as support material to provide electrical insulation and also for a certain degree of mechanical flexibility. In other cases such as dielectric filters, they are the core elements of the RF hardware where every cavity of the filter is loaded with a puck of dielectric material. Some studies have shown the feasibility to build all the dielectric resonators in a single piece, with obvious design and manufacturing simplifications. However, this evolution is hindered by limitations of state of the art manufacturing techniques.Additive Manufacturing provides unrivalled design freedom within available production techniques, and a wide range of materials, including metals and dielectrics, are already available today. The use of ceramic materials is seen as a very promising concept to fulfil the stringent design requirements for this specific application.Substantial mass savings could be achieved by optimising the supporting and thermal link structures, together with the implementation of advanced waveguide shapes, and alternativeharness architectures, potentially improving the RF performance. Consequently, AIT schedules will be decreased, leading to significant cost reductions.The activity will consist of the following tasks: Review of current RF hardware design Review of available manufacturing techniques and materials Identification of components which can benefit from a re-design for AM Development and manufacture of identified parts Characterisation of manufactured parts (e.g. RF performance, accuracy, surface finish, electrical properties) Assessment of impact on performance, cost, mass and lead time

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