16, August 2019

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9923
Open Date: 14/08/2019
Closing Date: 02/10/2019 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 19.1ET.20
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / Antennas / Omnidirectional, Helix, Horn, Parabolic, Phased Arrays / Platform vs Payload
Technology Domains: Electromagnetic Technologies and Techniques / Antennas / Measurement, Characterisation and Calibration Techniques for Radiative Payloads and Antennas
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Electrical Department
Division: RF Payloads & Technology Division
Contract Officer: Singer, Anze
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 14/08/2019
Update Reason: Tender issue

Antenna based space science sensors operating under 400 MHz rely on simulation tools for the estimation of their in-flight performance. This is mostly due to the fact that the verification of the antenna radiating characteristics below these frequencies requires very large testing rooms with volumous and expensive absorbers that provide an anechoic environment to suppress multiple reflectionswithin the testing area. At these low frequencies the functionality of these absorbers is much reduced and the testing facilities behave as large cavities, yielding very inaccurate results. Consequently, these antenna sensors are launched with a relatively limitedknowledge of their actual performance in space. This activity shall investigate, and demonstrate through the manufacturing and testing of a bread board, novel techniques of testing and verifying low frequency antennas typically used as sensors (e.g. ground penetrating radars) in Science missions. These techniques can be based on Spherical Wave Expansion Mode Filtering or other mathematical post processing mechanisms combined with Spherical Near Field testing. Suitable probes for Spherical Near Field testing at 20 MHz shall be investigated and developed. Within this activity a simplified, but electrically representative, satellite mockup (e.g. 6U cubesat) and dipole antenna that operates at 20 MHz shall be developed and its performance verified against an electromagnetic model using the developed methodologies. In addition, the combined uncertainty of the measured antenna performance shall be determined shall be evaluated.

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