SWISSto12, a leading provider of RF products and payload systems for telecommunication satellites based on novel 3D printing technologies, announced the kick-off of the ARAMIS project (Active Reconfigurable telecommunication pAyload for MIcrogeo Satellites) to develop a next generation Ka-Band active antenna in support of fully-reconfigurable digital payloads.
With co-funding support through the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) ARTES C&G program, the Centre national d’études spatiales and the Swiss Space Office, the ARAMIS program is a multi-million Euro initiative that will develop a next generation Ka-Band active antenna sub-system for geostationary (GEO) satellite missions. This essential building block of flexible satellite payloads is compatible for operation both with analog and digital beamforming networks, and redefines the realm of possibilities for modern flexible satellite payloads. With this initiative SWISSto12 becomes the first independent supplier in Europe to develop a GEO capable active antenna product, which is expected to reach readiness for a GEO demonstration flight as early as 2025. The active antenna will be developed for accommodation either on SWISSto12’s microGEO telecommunication satellite class or on larger GEO satellite platforms of industry leading satellite integrators.
The ARAMIS active antenna can support the reconfigurability of a payload’s main operating parameters (beam size/shape/position, number of beams, frequency plan and power allocation) allowing the most efficient match of service coverage area with the user’s traffic request. The capabilities offered by this technology are key to address the requirements of satellite operators who face a rapidly evolving market demand and need flexible solutions to adapt their service offering to market demand over time.
For the execution of this ARAMIS program, SWISSto12 has teamed up with Thales, a leader for RF amplification systems with its Imaging and Microwave Subsystems activities. Thales will develop and provide SWISSto12 with state-of-the-art solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) in Ka-Band, based on GaN technology and capable of providing up to 40 W at high DC-to-RF efficiency.
“We are thrilled to announce this important initiative that is key to the development of our product portfolio for advanced telecommunication satellites. The combination of our cutting edge and patented 3D printed antenna products with the uniquely power efficient and performing SSPAs from our partner Thales enables this new class of active antennas. This product will offer a highly competitive active antenna product to the MEO/GEO market as well as fuel the capabilities of SWISSto12’s microGEO missions” said Dr. Emile de Rijk, CEO of SWISSto12.