Radio Technologies for Broadband MM-Wave Satellite Communication Systems


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DORADA is funded by the European Commission Research Executive Agency, Marie-Curie Actions-Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways. An on-going and forecasted explosive growth of broadcast and broadband multimedia satellite communication services is putting extreme pressure to increase throughput.

To meet the ever increasing demand, future systems must exploit higher carrier frequencies and reconfigurable radio techniques. These systems are particularly demanding on the performance of RF frontends, which are increasingly required to combine agility and adaptability with superior performance at ever higher frequencies, setting an extremely challenging landscape for the existing RF technology base while offering major prospects for high-end technology supply in both home and global markets. DORADA has the aim of fostering a strategic intersectorial alliance capable to deliver the technological leadership and innovation in future mm-wave satcom developments that will underpin new services to the consumer and strengthen the position of the EU space industry globally. Bringing together Space Engineering - a European pioneer in satcom RTD – with world leading expertise in the areas of Microsystems manufacturing and microwave engineering available in the institute of sensors, signals and systems of Heriot-Watt University, DORADA nurtures an environment suitable to deliver transformative research exploiting complementarities and knowledge transfer. The main S&T goal of DORADA is to develop and implement novel antenna architectures and innovative passive and active mm-wave circuitry which will overcome present technological bottlenecks related to the development of future mm-wave very small aperture terminals (VSATs).

Significantly, DORADA will benefit from and be linked to Europe’s and the World’s most recent experimental mm-wave civil communication payload, the Technology Demonstrator Payload 5 on board the ALPHASAT satellite. A key deliverable of DORADA will be a test bed demonstrator that will enable on-the-air verification of the developed technology exploiting this infrastructure.

Alphasat in orbitDORADA aims to underpin a strategic partnership between leading European industrial and academic Research Technology Development units that will enable addressing key technological challenges relating to the delivery of satellite communication (satcom) services during the coming decades. DORADA assembles complementary expertise on system and hardware level satcom technology with world-class capability on manufacturing, microwaves and antennas. It promotes to deliver transformative investigations, development and demonstrations of innovative architectures, circuit design and technological solutions that relate to the front-end implementation of high-performance cost-efficient adaptive mm-wave satcom VSAT/mVSAT. A set of key technology areas where novel solutions are being developed include:
a) compact and efficient power amplification;
b) tunable filters and passive components;
c) tracking antenna systems.

DORADA represents an original proposition to exploit Europe's first and the World's latest civil mm-wave experimental payload, the Technology Demonstration Payload 5 (TDP#5) on board the ALPHASAT satellite for on-the-air technology verification.

Our promotional leaflet, 'Finding Solutions in antenna engineering and radio electronics' is available online.

 Members can link to the DORADA sharepoint