10, September 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10705
Open Date: 30/08/2021 09:44 CEST
Closing Date: 12/11/2021 13:00 CEST

The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test a Ka-band RF low noise amplifier line-up breadboard demonstrating significantly reduced DC power consumption. Targeted Improvements: One order of magnitude reduction in power consumption compared to current Ka-band RF low noise amplifiers. Description: High throughput fixed satellite communication networks, operating in the Ka-Band uplink frequency range, can use active receive antennas which comprise many hundreds of receive elements. Each element of the active antenna contains its own Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) module in order to minimise intrinsic added noise and thereby improve the system signal-to-noise ratio. Each LNA contains multiple RF amplifiers to boost the received signal to the correct power level, in addition to other components, such as variable attenuators, equalisers and isolators, which are used for gain setting and temperature compensation. Because of this, current LNA modules require up to 1.5 W of DC power to operate and achieve the required RF performance, giving rise to serious power consumption and dissipation concerns at array level. At present, low power consumption RF LNAs using microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) technology are available, but these are not optimised for the specific Ka-band uplink frequency range. This activity will investigate European technologies, which may provide an order of magnitude improvement in power consumption when compared to current LNA modules at Ka-band. When operating at such low power consumption, the correct balance of gain, noise figure, linearity, robustness and efficiency needs to be traded off throughout the entire RF signal processing chain. In addition, at MMIC level, careful consideration should be given to the circuit architecture in order to deliver a Ka-band LNA breadboard which best meets the low DC power consumption requirement, as well as other stringent system requirements. A MMIC RF amplifier chipset using European processes shall be designed and manufactured specifically for operation at Ka-band uplink frequencies, with emphasis on drastically reducing the power consumption, while not degrading significantly the RF performance as compared to current implementations. This activity will target the full amplifier chain in order to produce an overall solution with optimum RF performance and minimum power consumption.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Florence Odette Jeanne Glandieres
Initiating Service: TIA-TT
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0534-01G – CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 6-E-II-RF Equipment
Products Keywords: 2-L-2/3/4.1-n-Other

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