Even though advances in the domain of digital onboard processors have recently been achieved, power consumption issues do not allow the use of fully digital beamforming for active satellite antennas. For this reason, intensive research efforts have recently been done in the domain of hybrid (analogue/digital) beamforming, which allows for finding a trade-off between the power consumption of the onboard processor and the complexity of the analogue hardware. The hybrid beamforming experiment planned in the SeRANIS project will pave the way for this key technology to continue maturing.
CORE OBJECTIVES AND UNIQUE FEATURE
The aim of the hybrid beamforming experiment is to identify an optimal trade-off between beamforming performance and onboard power consumption. In this way the feasibility of the hybrid beamforming technology for highly flexible satellite systems with limited power and processing resources will be thoroughly investigated.
Our objective is to design a Ka-band hybrid phased array antenna that is able to generate two spatially separated beams both in the transmitting and in the receiving direction. SeRANIS offers a unique possibility to test the hybrid beamforming technology for the first time in the harsh environment of space. At the end of the project, our research team will be able to formulate recommendations on the most promising hybrid beamforming solutions. These recommendations will be based on the results of measurement campaigns conducted during the satellite’s lifetime.
WHAT DO WE AIM TO ACHIEVE?
The expertise acquired during the project will constitute a strong asset to develop future civil and military satellite systems. Cooperation with industrial partners in the context of payload development will pave the way for technology transfer and favor the market introduction of new products for advanced digital satellite systems.
Moreover, the project also promotes the training of young researchers, which is of crucial importance to maintaining a competitive European research ecosystem.