European Space Agency

Broadband and Compact Ku-Band Global Horns

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Objectives

Satellite manufacturers are requesting light, compact and broadband equipment. Broadband equipment increases satellite manufacturers flexibility to satisfy the increasingly demanding requirements and the possibility to reuse equipment in different missions. Cost reduction is always pursued. In order to evolve with our Customer needs, a new concept must be used. The development of a new antenna line offering a good trade-off between mass reduction and broadband increase is necessary. To achieve this goal, the use of light, easy-to-manufacture antennas based on spline profile horns has been identified. A design of a compact and easy to manufacture broadband OrthoMode Transducer (OMT) polarizer is required to have a completely competitive product.

Challenges

The main challenges are summarized in the table below, showing what our customers require:

Customer Customer Problems/Needs
Space Systems Loral (US)
  • Standardization of antennas for multi-mission satellites
  • Need of broadband hardware
  • Schedule reduction
  • Mass reduction
  • Cost reduction
Airbus Defence and Space (FR)
  • Gain increase at global earth coverage
  • Mass reduction
  • Cost reduction
Orbital ATK (US)
  • Power Handling and PIM qualification
  • Broadband hardware
  • Gain increase at global earth coverage
  • Mass reduction
  • Cost reduction
MDA (CAN)
  • Gain increase at global earth coverage
  • Mass and dimensions reduction 
Thales Alenia Space (FR)
  • Gain increase at global earth coverage
  • Mass and dimensions reduction
  • Cost reduction

Most of our customers have showed interest in the promising characteristic of the Global Horns based on spline profiles integrated with a compact and broadband OMT.

 

Benefits

Our key competitive differentiations are summarised in the following table.

STRENGTHS

- Wide presence in most of the primes as TTC antenna supplier.

- Extensive heritage in Horn Antennas and OMTs.

- Heritage in Multi-flare and Smooth profile Horn antennas, which is a product technologically comparable with Spline profile Horns.

- Competitive price.

- In house design and manufacturing.

- Flexibility and client oriented.

WEAKNESSES

- Competence already with higher maturity products.

OPPORTUNITIES

- SSL Long Term Agreement. Opportunity to have qualified heritage.

- Regular supplier of Multi-Flare horn antennas for ADS, Orbital, MDA and Thales. Natural evolution to Spline Horns.

THREATS

- Competence with heritage in the multibeam and feed arrays markets may enter in the Global Horns market. 

 

 

Features

Our Global Horn antennas for TCR will satisfy current demand for modern communication antennas with feeding networks able to operate in wide-band, provide high purity dual polarization and handle high power. Besides, our customers are looking for standard broadband products with low mass. The antenna that TRYO is proposing solves all these needs. The adoption of our product by the customers will affect the way they are traditionally running their business. The main impact on their business will be the availability of standardized broadband products that will bring them a high technical flexibility and at the same time, cost and calendar improvements.

The space industry demand reliable products with tighter tolerances and shorter manufacturing times in order to address the future scenarios.

Our customers are also asking for product fully qualified. The Global Horn antennas will be fully qualified including PIM in temperature testing.

The strategic impact of the proposed development for our entity is to have a standard product suitable for all the main satellite manufactures. In fact, the standardization of satellite products will also mean a scope reduction in work for TRYO as a supplier, thanks to the reduction of the required documentation and meetings, and allowing the use of less restrictive qualification categories.

System Architecture

The figure below is a functional block diagram of the product that identifies its main functional modules and external interfaces.

The main functional modules of the Ku-Band Tx-Rx Global Horn are described in the table below.

Module Functions/Features Description Critical Technologies
Radiating Element Set

Radiating element

Matching section

RF radiating element with global earth coverage Smooth profile horn
Polarizer Set Polarizer Dual linear polarizer OMT based on a two-fold symmetric junction

The external interfaces of the product are summarised in the table below.

Interface Identification Key Parameters Purpose
RF Interface: V pol

Vertical polarization sense

Return loss

Standard RF Interface WR75
RF Interface: H pol

Horizontal polarization sense

Return loss

Standard RF Interface WR75
Thermo-Mechanical Interface According to General Design Interface Requirement Thermo-Mechanical Interface to the satellite

Plan

Two phases, one for design and one for qualification, are foreseen.

Antenna (Horn & OMT) Design phase:

The design phase shall include the following tasks:

  • Software development for the simulation and optimization of horns based on spline profiles.
  • Full simulation of electrical performances.
  • Issue of the corresponding electrical analysis.
  • Modelling of the antenna.
  • Mechanical analysis.
  • Thermal analysis.
  • Issue of the manufacturing drawings and all the PDR and CDR documents

The antenna design and analysis shall be documented. The design shall be approved as well as the corresponding manufacturing drawings in the CDR/MRR. The manufacturing of the EQM shall be authorized in the corresponding CDR/MRR meeting.

Antenna (Horn & OMT) Qualification phase:

It includes the EQM production and testing. A comparison between the obtained results and the predicted ones shall be performed.

A PIM test in temperature within a radiation transparent chamber is included.

A TRR and a Final Review milestones are expected for the Qualification Phase.

Current status

Completed

Contacts

ESA Contacts

Status date

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 10:45