New antennas for satellite mobile communications in Ka-band (SATCOM-KA)

New antenna concepts and topologies for Ka-band  terminals (in the range from 19 to 31 GHz) for satellite communications were explored in this project, targeting at reducing terminal volume and weight so that they may be suitable for on-the-move applications. The proposal was focused on the antenna panel, probably the most complex part of the whole terminal: the mobile terminal comprises TX and an RX antennas operating at well-separated bands (30 GHz and 20 GHz, respectively).

Furthermore, being a cellular service, the mobile terminal must be capable of switching polarization during handover from one spotbeam to the next. Therefore, the project has faced the design of so-called dual antennas sharing the same panel for both polarizations and/or both frequency bands, so that overall surface reserved to the antenna is lower. In addition, the project has studied new beam pointing mechanisms so that the antenna may remain static while the main beam moves tracking the satellite.

During the last year, main effort has been devoted to mechanically-scanned-beam antennas, giving rise to a new concept of mechanical phase shifter which has been experimentally verified. This concept has been subject to a patent and a journal paper.

Funding: Grant TEC2016-79700-C2-1-R funded by Agencia Estatal de Investigación (MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033) and by ERDF A way of making Europe.

Duration: 2017-2019