European Space Agency

TECHNIQUE FOR LOCATING PASSIVE INTER-MODULATION SOURCES (ARTES AT 5B.188)

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ISSUED

EMITS REFERENCE

Program

ARTES AT

Price Range

> 500 KEURO

Description

The objective of this activity is to develop fast testing techniques for on-board antennas to locate radiated and conducted sourcesof Passive Inter-Modulation (PIM) products. Validation of the PIM location technique shall be performed on representative hardware.

Targeted Improvements: Enabling fast identification of the locations of PIM sources in assembled antennas during satellite assembly, integration and test (AIT). Potential time saving of several days during AIT in case of PIM test failure.

Description: Passive Inter-Modulation (PIM) interferences can significantly affect the overall performance of telecommunication satellite payloads. This is particularly true for payloads dedicated to broadcasting services, where common antennas are used for transmit and receive applications. Use ofdissimilar metals, loose metal-to-metal contacts and poor workmanship are the most likely sources of PIMin payload assemblies. For this reason, stringent design, manufacturing and assembly processes are applied in order to avoid or mitigate PIM occurrence.Part of the payload assembly, integration and test (AIT) is often verification of the workmanship by a PIM test at ambient temperature, or in a space representative thermal vacuum environment. However, in the case of PIM anomalies, there is nofast testtechnique available today to identify thelocation of the PIM source(s). Thus, identifying the workmanship issues can be time-consuming and will delay the AIT of the satellite.The aim of this activity is to develop a fast testing technique for on-boardantennas to locate radiated and conducted sources of Passive Inter-Modulation(PIM) products within quasi real-time (e.g. a few hours). Validation of the location technique shall be performed on representative hardware.

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