23, June 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10217
Open Date: 11/06/2020
Closing Date: 21/09/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1TT.37
Prog. Ref.: CC-AT 4.0.1
Budget Ref.: E/0534-01G – CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Ground Segment / Ground Station / Antennas / Structure & Thermal, Servo / Mechanics, Reflectors, feeds and diplexers, Antenna Control Units (ACUs), Drive Systems, …
Technology Domains: Electromagnetic Technologies and Techniques / Antennas / Antenna Design Tools
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Technologies and Products Division
Contract Officer: Rinaudo, Nicole
Industrial Policy Measure: C1 – Activities in open competition limited to the non-Larg…
Last Update Date: 11/06/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

Objective: The objective of this activity is to develop and test a steerable, small and reliable user terminal antenna for fixed andmobile satcom applications allowing for seamless beam switching (<100 ms) in a NGSO multi-beam satellite network. The antenna shallbe based on a hybrid i.e. mechanical and electrical/switching mechanism reducing complexity and size. Targeted Improvements: Complexity reduction by a factor of 10 when compared to fully electronic two-dimensional steering solutions. Description: Current NGSO ground user terminals for both fixed and mobile applications rely on a two-dimensional beam steering or beam forming mechanism. This mechanism is either fully mechanical in the case of a more traditional parabolic antenna, fully electric in the case of a phased array antenna or a combination of mechanical and electric steering in case of a hybrid antenna. The degree of technological maturity varies; however, all current solutions are too bulky, too costly and/or too unreliable, and therefore prohibitive for some applications, in particular in the consumer area, and for cost sensitive coms-on-the-move applications. The industry is therefore looking for small, low-cost and reliable solutions of user ground terminals that can access NGSO multi-beam satellite constellations and that allow for a seamless beam switching. A possibility is to align the one-dimensional beamforming plane with a given orbital plane of a NGSO satellite system. This would require one-dimensional beam formers with wide angular scanning range, such as Rotman lenses or leakywave antennas. Other one-dimensional beamformers, like Luneberg lenses, could also be considered due to the very wide scanning range. This activity shall investigate one-dimensional beam forming and beam steering technologies with a wide scanning range of minimum90 degrees that enable a make-before-break handover in a dual or multiple beam satellite NGSO system. The beam switching time should be<100 ms. Hybrid steering approaches, combining mechanical steering, electronic steering and beam switching should be traded-offagainst complexity, efficiency, physical dimensions, reliability and costs. Technologies allowing for a graceful signal deterioration shall also be explored. A representative prototype of the most promising solution shall be developed and tested. Procurement Policy C1: Activities in open competition limited to non-Large-System Integrators (LSIs)) as prime. LSIs are allowed to participate as sub-contractors. For additional information please go to EMITS news “Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes”.

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