European Space Agency

Development of Dual Frequency Ku-Band Beacons


The primary goal of the programme is to design and develop a dual frequency beacon EQM, operating at Ku-band frequencies.

Full qualification testing of the dual Ku-band beacon product is also planned, enabling the product to be offered on the commercial market.

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Dual Frequency Ku-Band Beacon


The proposed design is based on the previously qualified single beacon, with the additional main features:

  • Dual Chassis and Isolator
  • DC-DC Converter PCB
  • 2-off OCXO Reference Frequency Oscillator assembly
  • Frequency Synthesiser assembly
  • Discrete HPA
  • Frequency Selection PCB
  • Output power telemetry


The main benefits of the programme are summarised below:

  • To enhance the Astrium beacon product line with a new product to meet the market requirements.
  • To complete the portfolio of the existing single beacon products operating in the following frequency bands: C, S, X, Ku and Ka.


The beacon product is based on technology developed by Astrium in the Generic Flexible Payload (GFP) programme, with common building blocks being re-used on the beacon product. The dual frequency beacon is a derivative of the previously developed single beacon product.

A functional block diagram of the dual beacon is shown below.


The programme duration is 16 months, starting in February 2012.

A CDR is concluding the design phase in May 2012.
EQM assembly and test is planned to commence in August 2012.

Unit qualification is planned to complete by April 2013.

Current status

The programme was completed in July 2013 with the successful completion of the qualification testing of the dual Ku-band beacon product.
Since then Astrium has been successful on the commercial market with the award of multiple flight programmes.

Status date

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:24