Radio Technologies for Broadband MM-Wave Satellite Communication Systems


Dorada partners

structure dorada

RF measurement facilities: Vector Network Analysers up to 67 GHz and spectrum analysers up to 50 GHz. Antenna testing is supported by an 8m far-field anechoic chamber with automatically controlled positioner and interfaced data capture as well as an NSI 1.2x1.2 m2 near-field scanning system.The Institute of Signals, Sensors & Systems (ISSS)is also equipped with a vacuum cryogenic chamber for superconducting filter testing.

Role in DORADA: ISSS will coordinate the project and be involved in all work packages. Over the past years, a strategic partnership is being developed between MISEC and the antenna and microwave group at ISSS. This partnership has led to the development of several projects at the interface of the expertise between electromagnetics and manufacturing including the development of innovative high power RF-MEMS switches, novel technologies for high efficiency mm-wave patch antennas, original microwave technology for packaging and assembly of electronics, as well as microwave based biosensors for lab-on-a-chip applications. Critically, this heritage provides suitable avenues for cross-disciplinary fertilisation between these two traditionally segmented research fields, which can facilitate the intersectorial knowledge transfer aimed at DORADA.

Space Engineering is a group of Italian companies composed by Space Engineering SpA (Group Leader), Teleinformatica e Sistemi srl.(TeS), Collaborative Engineering srl and Meads llc. SPENG operates in the space and telecommunications market at both system-level (e.g. performance assessment, design) and
equipment-level (hardware/software design & development), primarily through research-and-development intense projects targeting from basic Research Technology Development projects up to flight qualification. SPENG owns a significant number of international patents (antennas, scientific software, DSP and radar) and presently operates with annual turnover of about €20M. In April 2012, a 66.7% takeover of SPENG by the ASTRIUM group was completed.

Facilities at SPENG that will be available to hosted researchers are shared between two sites; engineering design is primarily taking place at the company’s headquarters in Rome while laboratory infrastructure is primarily hosted at the company’s purpose-built 4,500 m2 industrial plant in Tito, Basilicata province, Italy.
Simulation and design tools including industry’s standard EM component and antenna simulators (Ansoft HFSS, Ticra GRASP, Mician Microwave Wizard, CST© Microwave Studio™, ESTEC/ESA WIND Guided Wave Technology CMS, Agilent ADS, AWR Microwave Office) as well as in-house filter analysis and synthesis (FILTSYNTH) CAD tool. Mechanical analysis is supported by NASTRAN and CATIA while thermal analysis by ESATAN. System level CAD capability includes Agilent ADS, MATLAB and Simulink as well as SPENG’s own proprietary tool Quick_Plan™ 3.0.

Integration infrastructure a class 100,000 (ISO8 level) clean room designed to standard ISO14644-1, suitable for integration, validation and test of flight and no-flight equipment and subsystem developed in the framework of space programs.

RF and antenna testing: a far-field anechoic chamber operating between 1 GHz to 50 GHz with maximum diameter of antenna under test 2 m and less than 0.35 dB for gain and 3 degrees for phase errors; a spherical NSI near-field scanner; SG Horn and OEWG Horn Kit up to 50 GHz; a suite of spectrum and vector network analysers up to 67 GHz regularly calibrated to industry standards. Environmental testing is available through a movement simulator and a climatic chamber.

Role in DORADA: SPENG brings significant heritage covering a broad area of satcom technology and including low TRL to flying models. The company has had substantial participation in several major space programs, including GLOBALSTAR (satellite telephony), METEOSAT 2G and METOP (meteorology, search and rescue), ALPHASAT (experimentation), SICRAL (defence), COSMO/SKYMED (Earth observation), GNSS-EGNOS and GALILEO (navigation). Together with SPENG’s substantial involvement in RTD programs through ESA, ASI and own investments, the company has gathered simultaneous expertise at system optimization capability together with niche design capabilities for some critical system components. Particular system-level strengths brought by SPENG are found in test bed implementation, mission analysis and telecommunications software tools. Specialised expertise on component development is available on RF and digital equipment, antenna systems and increasingly on the integration of space components. A powerful and fully integrated CAD platform for mission/system planning and analysis including the modelling of the electromagnetic environment through an extensive suite of powerful tools and features, the Ku-band mVSAT for high speed rail developed under a EUTELSAT contract and commercially exploited by SNCF in France, the TDP#5 payload and Earth station hosted at the TeS facility in Tito. SPENG also brings to DORADA expertise on RF and mm-wave HPA as well as filter development.