4, January 2019

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9135
Open Date: 14/12/2018
Closing Date: 08/02/2019 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.1ET.04
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Payloads / Instruments / RF and microwave Instruments / Altimeters
Techology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Payloads / EO Instruments
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Electrical Engineering Department
Division: Radio Frequency Systems & Payloads Offic
Contract Officer: Erkelens-Sickinger, Franziska
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 14/12/2018
Update Reason: Tender issue

The ocean science community is highly interested in the study of meso-scale structures for which data can be delivered by a multibeam and interferometric altimetry instrument. At Ka-band large across track multibeam antennas can be realised with moderate mechanical dimensions leading to multiple across track beams. Swath altimetry with reasonable sampling is possible, which could lead to a simple and cost effective solution compared to high end interferometric solutions as SWOT. At lower frequencies as e.g Ku-band SAR interferometric solutions with small baselines could perform similar as Ka-band multibeam antennas however with higher effort in calibration and potentially need of an additional nadir looking reference instrument. CryoSAT 2 could benefit from both solutions while this advanced instrument would allow as well meso-scale ocean science. Wide Swath SAR altimetry would allow the study of mesoscale ocean structures and sea ice structures as well (CryoSat).Multiple beam and interferometric antennas would permit to sample the ocean surface in reasonable resolution with moderate complexity. The study shall investigate in this advanced concept. The study shall be structured in two phases. In Phase 1 advanced wide swath altimetry instruments based on multibeam and interferometric antennas shall be studied. The complexity of both types of instruments shall be compared in view of the space segment and the on-ground processing.A down selection shall be carried out and the selected instrument shall preliminary designed. In particular the antenna configuration including operational frequency shall be traded-off and clearly defined as input for Phase 2. Phase 2 shall cover the antenna frontend design and the definition of critical elements. The critical elements shall be breadboarded and tested against performance requirements. Finally the achievable instrument performance shall be derived based on the test results. A roadmap of needed technology developments towards a full instrument shall be proposed.

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