European Space Agency

Half-Height Antenna System


The objective of the project is to design and build an antenna system to investigate a Ku band antenna solution for Satellite Communications Applications.


The key issue to be addressed is to assess the RF performance of an antenna of reduced height. The aim being to reduce the height without the commensurate loss of RF performance that normally occurs.


The lens antenna design offers performance close to that of the parabolic reflector but in less than half the height. It can be upgraded to Ka band through a change of the feed chain, since the radiating aperture is effective at both Ka and Ku bands. In contrast, many competing low profile antennas are based on variants of direct-radiating arrays (e.g. flat panels) which are inherently narrow band and cannot be adapted for use at Ka band.

The project also designed and tested a 3D printed additively manufactured waveguide to compare with the traditionally manufactured metallic waveguide for the purpose of baselining a lightweight, lower cost solution for future developments.


The system utilizes a tracking platform to locate and point the antenna accurately at the satellite situated in the geo stationary arc.

System Architecture

Development of a lens antenna system with both traditionally manufactured and additively manufactured waveguides.


MS 1  CDR December 2015

MS 2  FAT December 2016

MS 3  MTR November 2016

MS 4  TRR December 2015

MS 5  Final Review December 2017

Current status

The Critical Design Review was successfully held at MDSRL on the 11th December 2015, the Mid Term Review successfully held on 3rd November 2016. The Milestone 3 review was held on 12th December 2016 and the Final Review in December 2017.

Status date

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 12:14