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The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test miniaturised Ku- and Ka-band RF filters integrating a wide-band differential interface for on-board digital signal processors.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling technology development of miniaturized Ku- and Ka-band filters with a wide-band differential interface not existing today in Europe. Footprint reduction by 30%of pre- and post- processor modules.
Description: Over the past years, the number of payloads employing on-board digital signal processors (OBP) has increased and this trend is expected to continue. At the same time, digitisation of microwave hardware is increasing, with the goal of direct sampling at the operational RF frequencies rather than at lower intermediate frequencies.
Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) components operating directly at Ku- and Ka-band will allow analogue frequency converters to be replaced by digital circuits, resulting in more compact equipment having a high level of in-orbit re-configurability. Analogue signal processing chains are nevertheless required to condition the analogue signals fed to, and originating from, the digital signal processor so that the optimum system performance is obtained. These analogue processing chains will typically implement broadband filtering and linear amplification with adjustable gain. Filtering is especially critical for the signal processing performance and a large number of identical filters is needed, proportional to the number of OPB ports.
Miniaturising the broadband filters and implementing differential interfaces to the ADCs and DACs (e.g. by integrating baluns) will significantly impact the size of analogue pre- and post-processors. Up to 30% size reduction could be achieved by combining advanced design techniques with three dimensional implementation techniques such as Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC) or multilayer Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). At the same time, due attention must be paid to implementing good gain and phase stability and tracking through the different analogue signal processing chains, which is important in digital beam forming applications.
In this activity miniaturised Ku- and Ka-band RF filters will be designed, manufactured and tested, integrating wideband differential interfaces suitable for on-board digital signal processors.