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Objective: The objective of this activity is to develop cost-effective high gain antennas for inter-satellite links between cubesats.
Targeted Improvements: 1. Increased gain compared to the already proposed Bulls Eye Medium Gain antenna (>10 dB)2. Increased compactness compared to other 60 GHz high gain antennas (HGA)Using the described manufacturing technologies a mass reduction of 50% can be expected. It should be noted that for 60 GHz ISLs, there is a limited choice of high gain antennas compatible with CubeSat building blocks and this is a new development.
Description: One of the important capabilities, which could enhance the attractiveness and would enable telecommunication applications for smaller satellites, is inter-satellite links (ISLs). To save costs, itis proposed to take advantage of interesting developments that have occurred in the terrestrial world around the IEEE 802.11ad Wireless Gigabit standard and use these as building blocks for inter-satellite links at 60 GHz.For ISLs high gain antennas are needed. Cubesats consist of 100x100x100mm building blocks and the antenna design shall be compliant to this volume. Since the antenna is notthe only component that has to fit inside this cube, a low profile design is preferred. Possible solutions are compact metallised plastic dual-reflector antennas or flat lens antennas using IR filter technology. The developments are needed because existing antenna designs (e.g. Bull's Eye antenna) do not have sufficient antenna gain for the ISL. Furthermore, focus shall be on cost, mass and volume reductions. The activity will start with a review of the requirements including frequency, pointing accuracy, field of view, followed by a trade-off and then a selection of the most suitable HGA concept. A demonstrator shall be built and tested at the frequency of interest.
Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.
Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".