27, November 2017

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9145
Open Date: 20/11/2017
Closing Date: 22/01/2018 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.18I.06
Prog. Ref.: Fut.Mis.Prep.
Budget Ref.: E/E104-E5 – Fut.Mis.Prep.
Tender Type: C
Products: Satellites & Probes / Electronics / EEE Components / Monolithic Microcircuits (including MMICs)
Techology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / RF Technologies and Equipment / RF Devices
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of EO Programmes
Division: Future Missions & Instrument Division
Contract Officer: Ipsilanti, Anna
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 20/11/2017
Update Reason: Tender issue

The current state of the art for ice and sea nadir altimeters includes capabilities for both SAR and interferometric operation at Ku-band. However, there is now solid experience for Ka-band altimeters particularly in view of the results of the AltiKa/SARAL mission. One application of using Ka-band in addition to Ku-band is the measurement of the difference between the elevation of the echoes from snow/sea ice and open water gives the elevation of the ice above the ocean. Other applications relate to the improved performance achievable over sea from the wider bandwidth available at Ka-band. With respect to implementation aspects, it is understood that at this frequency a baseline solution using COTs MMIC components will not deliver sufficient SNR in order to provide satisfactory performances. A Ka-Band HPA which delivers a significant step in output power (10 W) is therefore seen as a key component in this proposed architecture and is therefore the subject of this EOEP-5 Block-1 study. The use of Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology is stipulated, although currently low TRL, in this development activity as it is seen as an attractive future solution in order to deliver the high output power required in a compact and efficient form. The outcome of the programme is the delivery of MMICs and assembled test-jigs in order for demonstration in an ESA laboratory.

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