9, October 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10193
Open Date: 09/10/2020
Closing Date: 11/01/2021 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1TT.13
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: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / “Communication – BB (Antennas excluded)” / Analog: Comparators (Frequency/Phase)
Technology Domains: Onboard Data Systems / Payload Data Processing / Hardware Technologies for Payload Data Processing
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: 09/10/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

Objective: The objective of this activity is to design, develop and test a breadboard of a highly integrated V-band beam forming network for flexible on-board gateway antennas. Targeted Improvements: Enabling a progressive ground gateway deployment as well as flexibility in the selection of the gateway location and spacecraft orbital position. Description: Future very high throughput satellites will implement a full RF chain in Q/V-Band for the feeder link. Although satellite operators have announced that the next step will be to migrate the Q/V-Band to the user link, there is still a chance to improve current payload architectures and technologies onthe feeder link. For example, satellite manufacturers are working towards active antenna solutions based on digital or analogue beamforming networks (BFN). Unfortunately, when the number of active beams is large, the power consumption of digital processors is unaffordable and analogue solutions must be considered instead. Although analogue BFNs based on a Rotman lens are appealing, the technology has some drawbacks during manufacture, as well as in terms of mass and size due to the need to stack multiple layers to implement beamforming in two axes. An alternative is multi-node on-chip BFNs based on Si/SiGe technologies. The advantages and capabilitiesof such analogue BFNs have been demonstrated in previous ARTES contracts and the technology is now ready to be extended to V-band. BFN integrated circuits are currently available from different vendors in the lower frequency bands (i.e. Ku, Ka), which are a good technological starting point for this development. There are several European foundries that could support the development of an integrated circuit operating in V-band. The activity will investigate different on-board receive array antenna concepts for the feeder uplink using a multi-node integrated BFN and will study different BFN architectures and technologies. As a result of the activity, abreadboard of the multi-node integrated BFN will be produced and characterised. 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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