29, June 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8670
Open Date: 09/06/2016
Closing Date: 01/09/2016 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 16.1TT.73
Prog. Ref.: ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Budget Ref.: E/0505-01B – ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / “Communication – BB (Antennas excluded)” / Digital: Cryptographic, Digital Signal Processors
Technology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom Signal Processing RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Technologies and Equipment / RF Equipment RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Payloads / Telecommunication Payloads
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies, Product & Systems Dep
Division: Technologies and Product Division
Contract Officer: Rinaudo, Nicole
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 09/06/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

The objective of this activity is to develop the technology to allow Digital Signal Processor based equipment to directly output anRF signal, thus avoiding the need for an up-converter. Targeted Improvements: Elimination of the baseband (BB) or intermediate frequency (IF) to RF converters required to support digitally processed payloads, and digital modulators. Thus saving mass, power and cost. Description: The output of the current generation of digital processors, used on commercial satellite missions, is either at baseband, or a low IF. This signal must then be up converted to the operating frequency of the spacecraft, such as C, Ku or Kaband. The need for these up converters significantly increases the cost per output of Digital processed payloads. A number of techniques are becoming available in ground applications, which allow the direct conversion of digital signals into RF. For example the combination of a conventional DAC with a Gilbert Cell up converter, or direct digital modulators. The activity will start by review the existing techniques for converting directly from Digital to RF, and establishing their suitability for use in a space flight application. A preferred technique will then be selected for breadboarding. A demonstration breadboard shall then be manufactured and tested. Finally a road map for future development and exploitation shall be established. The direct converter shall generate an output which encompasses at least CBand and Kuband. The technique shall have the possibility to scale the solution to Kaband in thes hort term future if it is not already achievable.

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