Advanced Front-End Technologies for Satellite Communications
In a range of projects funded by the European Space Agency and the European Commission and in partnership with the leading European space companies, we are developing novel front-end solutions for emerging satellite communication systems.
Driven by the rapid growth of fixed and mobile multimedia satellite applications, the continuously increasing requirement for downlink and uplink bandwidth is placing urgent demands for drastic changes in satellite coverage including cellular architectures, circularly polarisation and ever increasing carrier frequencies. This in turn demands step-changes to the space segment antennas stipulating e.g. dual-band, multibeam and circular polarisation operation. For our world-class expertise on frequency selective surfaces and derivative structures, we have been selected as the academic partner in a range of ESA-funded projects developing novel circularly polarised frequency selective surfaces, linear to circular polarisation reflectors as well as circular polarisation selective surfaces.
A key challenge for payloads operating in the VHF, UHF and L-band frequencies lies with the development of compact, low-loss and lightweight filters capable to withstand power levels in excess of 100 W. Although several techniques are available for the miniaturisation of distributed cavity filters, these are commonly associated with compromised power handling capability due to multipactor. Building on earlier successes whereby we have demonstrated techniques to increase the power handling of cavity filters by 27 dB with a minimal 5% reduction in quality factor, we are presently funded by ESA to bring this technology closer to market.
Satellite links operating in the Q/V-band are seen as a favourable technology in order to address the ever increasing data throughput requirements in the coming decades. In order to underpin this technology, ESA is supporting a range of trial tests based on the TDP#5 experimental payload on-board the ALPHASAT satellite, successfully launched in July 2013. We are leading the major FP7 project DORADA (Radio Technologies for Broadband Mm-wave Satellite Communication Systems) which targets to develop portable and cost-efficient solutions for the Q/V-band ground segment with emphasis on mobile very small aperture terminals (mVSAT) - the two-way satellite ground stations that can be deployed in mobile platforms such as trains boats or airplanes, in order to deliver portable satellite internet.
The aforementioned activities are led by the microwave group at ISSS primarily involving the following members of staff: Dr. George Goussetis, Prof. Jia-Sheng Hong, Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura, Visiting Prof. Savvas Kosmopoulos, Dr. Wenxing Tang. The microwave group is further a founding and management committee member of COST Action ic1301, wireless power transmission for sustainable electronics.