19, January 2022

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11127
Open Date: 18/01/2022 15:00 CEST
Closing Date: 02/03/2022 13:00 CEST

The recent increase of Low Earth Orbit Earth Observation satellite numbers will saturate the capacity of the existing Ground Station Network. Provision of more dynamic capabilities to point and to track the satellite in order to guarantee the link for the TTC operations and for receiving the large amount of data collected is required. Activities have been carried out to evaluate the feasibility in terms of cost/performance benefit considering geodesical phased array antenna configurations which were able to operate within a limited frequency band. Recent evolution of the analog and digital technology towards integration and miniaturization includes:- RF multi-core chips able to include in a single MMIC Tx/Rx multi-channel functionality with Power andLow Noise Amplification and amplitude/phase control- innovative ASICS able to perform AD and DA conversion and simultaneous data processingThis activity will assess feasibility of a phased array Ground Station versus multi-frequency operating bandswithin the same aperture (e.g., S and X band or X and K band). The target is to adopt the new available COTSMMIC (analog or digital), which will maximize the integration and the modularity with a consistent reduction of the costs. Fast tracking and simultaneous multibeams are capabilities desirable for a new antenna system.Design, manufacturing and test of a small breadboard will be undertaken to validate the critical items andprovide useful feedback for the future production. A conformal phased array antenna, with electrical steeringcapabilities able to track satellites without any mechanical moving parts and generate simultaneous beams at different frequency bands and different directions by means of a Digital Beam Forming Network, is to be developed.This activity encompasses the following tasks:- Mission scenario(i.e. S-Band, X-Band, K-Band) evaluating the typical Ground Station requirement versus the phased array implementation- Consolidation of the requirement according to the selected operating frequency band- Trade off and selection of the most suitable antenna concept- Preliminary Design- Critical Item Bread-boarding and testing against the consolidated requirements- Reporting of Lessons Learnt

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Anze Singer
Initiating Service: TEC-EFA
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 7-A-III-Array Antennas and Standalone Radiators
Products Keywords: 4-B-1-a-Structure & Thermal, Servo / Mechanics, Reflectors, feeds and diplexers, Antenna Control Units (ACUs), Drive Systems,…

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