18, October 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10732
Open Date: 22/09/2021 10:14 CEST
Closing Date: 08/12/2021 13:00 CEST

The objective is to design, manufacture and test simpler but competitive passive multibeam antennas for next generation low Earth orbit satellites. Dual polarisation as well as transmit and receive capabilities shall be combined in the same aperture. At least 32 reconfigurable beams shall be generated in Ka band.Targeted Improvements: 50% decrease in antenna complexity (e.g. components and connection counts) as compared to an active antenna generating the same number of reconfigurable beams. Description:The current trend in small satellites is to increase the capacity using complex telecommunications payloads that need to connect to many users and ground elements. This poses a significant technical challenge that could be met by the use of higher gain passive multibeam antennas, which offer higher capability, but with a relatively low complexity. Because of their limited complexity, passive antennas remain of interest for future satellites characterised by medium/small physical dimensions. Building on the previously developed passive antennas and new emerging active antennas, future passive antennas should be able to generate a high number of repointable or switchable beams.In this activity, a scaled engineering model of a passive antenna for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites shall be designed, manufactured and tested. The antenna shall generate at least 32 beams in dual polarisation with simultaneous transmit and receive capability. Additionally, reconfigurability in the beam pointing directions is a key requirement in order to avoid wasting power in areas without users (e.g. oceans) in a significant part of the orbit. Possible antenna architectures to be considered include arrays, reflectors, reflect arrays and discrete lenses. Particular emphasis shall be placed on optimising the RF elements and the thermo-mechanical aspects of the design.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Nicole Rinaudo
Initiating Service: TIA-TT
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0534-01G – CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 7-A-III-Array Antennas and Standalone Radiators
Products Keywords: 2-L-1-a-Omnidirectional, Helix, Horn, Parabolic, Phased Arrays / Platform vs Payload

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