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In the frame of this activity, low cost S-Band Rx/Tx antennas for vehicular applications have been developed. The activity aims at a pre-series development of antenna units to be installed on cars for exploiting S-band DVB-SH system capabilities.
Two antenna types have been developed: Rx only antenna type and Tx/Rx antenna type. The Rx antenna type is a sub-product of the Tx/Rx type. The Tx/Rx antenna embeds four radiators for S-band: SAT Rx, S-band SAT Tx, GSM/UMTS and GPS and relevant RF Front-Ends. These antennas have been already used in the field in the frame of the SOLARIS/Eutelsat W2A experimentation.
The objective of the activity was to develop a low cost, miniaturised antenna unit for automotive applications suitable for S-band Mobile Satellite Systems based on DVB-SH and in particular suitable for the systems of the two European S-band licensees Solaris Mobile and Inmarsat.
The antenna has small dimensions and has aesthetically designed for installation on automobiles. The antenna implements a conical shaped beam and a very efficient active chain that maximises the reception of DVB-SH signal all over Europe.
Two different types of antennas were developed, one for Receiveonly systems (only broadcasting services) and one for bi-directional systems (including return channel). Both antennas are suitable for the reception of positioning systems (GPS), terrestrial communications (GSM, UMTS) and S-band CGC (Complementary Ground Components).
The multisystem antenna together with the respective satellite transceivers and applications allows the deployment of safety, logistics, communication and broadcast services in a pan-European coverage.
Figure 1 – Overview of the targeted services.
The key issues addressed in this project are:
This project has provided a major contribution to the development of a multisystem antenna integrating capabilities for bidirectional mobile satellite system and specifically designed for the car market.
The resulting antenna has the following main advantages:
The most significant achievements of the projects are:
i) The Tx/Rx type integrates up to 4 different elements to cover the S-Band SAT and TER Systems at Rx and Tx bands, terrestrial mobile network frequencies, and the GPS band.
ii) The second type of antenna (Rx-Only) is composed of 3 elements, covering Rx SAT and TER frequencies
The multisystem antenna to be developed satisfied very different requirements going from bi-directional link with a Geostationary satellite to multi-band terrestrial networks. The integration of such different systems working with signals at very different power levels requires a dedicated antenna design to minimise coupling and interferences between the systems. The antenna is composed of different radiating elements that are tightly integrated to minimise the overall size of the antenna.
The Receive-only antenna is composed of three elements: one for S-band receive band, one for GPS and one for GSM/UMTS bands. The Transmit/Receive antenna in addition integrates a separate element for S-band return link operations.
The receive antennas integrates RF low-noise amplifiers to maximise the reception quality. Custom filters are also integrated in the active chain to reduce out-of-band noise as well as interferences from other systems. The two types of antennas are assembled with a custom low-profile aesthetic radome suitable for mounting on cars.
The activity is composed of two main phases. The first phase has been dedicated to the following activities:
The second phase has included the following activities:
The project has been successfully completed.