Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 13.1TT.46
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 4, 2013
(*) Priority 2
The objective of this activity is to develop and validate a prototype COSPAS SARSAT user Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) antenna which is compatible the proposed new MEOSAR operational capabilities and demonstrate the ability to receive the MEOSAR S&R return link. Another objective of this activity is to demonstrate a European/Canadian capability to design and manufacture state of the art COSPAS SARSAT PLB antennas.
Targeted Improvements: Increased visibility of the beacon by 60% allowing various opportunities for optimising the whole MEOSAR system.
The introduction of the Galileo system offers an unrivalled opportunity to take MEOSAR systems development to the next stage by introducing improvements for the S&R services and beacons. The next generation beacons are now under discussion by COSPAS-SARSAT Expert Working Group on Second Generation Beacons. The MEOSAR satellites will require a redefinition of the radiation pattern of the beacons as currently defined in the specification and type approval standards.
The current specification indicates that the antenna gain, for elevation angles greater than 5 deg and less than 60 deg, should be between -3 dBi and 4 dBi over 90% of this region. Such proposals have already been presented by ESA to COSPAS-SARSAT and were received positively.
Typical beacons have adopted a monopole type antenna, which suffers from a null in the boresight direction and is not the ideal pattern for MEO satellites at high elevation angles.
The activity will start with a critical review of the system requirements and derive antenna subsystem requirements. Taking into account the practical limitations to beacon size, weight and deployment scenarios different antenna types will be investigated in order to reach an optimum given the future MEO requirements. A dedicated trade-off among the most promising antennas concepts will be conducted paying particular attention to miniaturisation.
A preliminary design of the most promising antenna concepts will be performed and critical breadboarding performed. A detailed design of the most performant antenna concept will be performed. This will be breadboarded and tested. If applicable a design, manufacturing and testing iteration will be performed.
(*) Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.