European Space Agency

ARTES 5.2 Development of EM Ka-Band Downconverter Single Side-Band mixer


The primary goal of the programme was to design and develop a Ka-Band Single Sideband (SSB) Mixer. The mixer is specified to receive a group of low level carriers in a receive band (27.5GHz to 30GHz) and output those carriers at a lower frequency (17.7GHz to 20.2GHz)

with minimal generation of intermodulation products, in particular the 5LO-RF product.


Competitive cost,

Excellent performance: low intermodulation products,  gain flatness and linearity


The product provides a high performance Ka-band mixer solution for wide band Ka satellite communication payloads. The product has an operating frequency range encompassing the entire Ka-band from 27.5GHz to 31GHz and downlink plan from 17GHz to 21.2GHz.  It is a market leader in terms of 5LO-RF mixer spurious performance. 


The product operating frequency range is 27.5GHz to 31GHz for the uplink band and a downlink plan from 17GHz to 21.2GHz.

Conversion Loss is 12dB maximum.

Linearity (Input TOI) is +23dBm typical.

5LO-RF mixing product is <-33dBc.

Other in-band mixing products are <-70dBc.


The system architecture for this Ka-band SSB Mixer is based on Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) substrate technology and in two variants; one using beam lead schottky diode quads and a second using commercial Ka band MMIC mixer die.

The mixer is designed to be wide band in operation covering the uplink frequency plan from 27.5GHz to 31GHz and downlink plan from 17GHz to 21.2GHz. In the first instance the design has been optimised for operation at a fixed Local Oscillator (LO) frequency of 9.8GHz.


Project Kick-off     March 2013

BDR                      September 2013

MTR                      March 2014

Final Review         March 2015

Current status

BDR and MTR completed

MIC and MMIC based LTCC EM Ka-Band Single Side-Band mixers built and tested

MMIC variant selected as preferred option for any future development

Final Review held

Status date

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 11:27