Programme Element: ARTES 1
Tender nr.: AO 1-7487
Open from: 07 May 2013
Closes on: 02 Jul 2013
The nature of the services to be offered by communication satellites is often
considered as an initial driver for the definition of the performance requirements and for the architecture of the payloads: for broadcasting satellites in Ku band
(11/14 GHz), the bandwidth of channels is generally set to 27 MHz, 33 MHz or
36MHz, with a single TWTA output RF power usually not exceeding 150 W and
operating at saturation with a single carrier. For mobile satellite services operating in L band (1.5/1.6 GHz), Multiple Port Amplifiers (MPA?s) have been used for the most recent satellites with several ten?s of units operating in parallel in multicarrier mode. The efficiency of power conversion from the power supply units is also an element of importance, where the reliability and the efficiency of the units is often debated when considering multiple power amplifiers to be served by a single converter. In the mean time, the satellite platform efficiency in delivering DC power to the payload is constantly improving. Satellite operators could thus expect additional return on investment if more channels could be offered to their customers for the same spacecraft cost. The purpose of this activity is thus (1) to identify new technologies and architectures of interest for payload output sections of geostationary telecommunication satellites (2) retain the most promising solutions and propose associated roadmaps for their introduction by the European industry on the commercial satellite market. The approach followed by this activity shall be, in a bottom up initial analysis, to identify avenues from anticipated technological evolutions, and to analyse their benefits at system level.
The scope of the activity shall include as a minimum: functions such as power
conversion, power amplification, power switching, channel output multiplexing,
diplexers and feeds. The activity shall range from the technology/material level (e.g.high power handling of microstrips, review of GaN technology performance and
availability), up to the architecture level of the payloads, including the equipment
level (e.g. bandwidth limitation of TWTA?s ?). As a minimum, this activity shall include the following steps (1) Definition of reference scenarios (one per service) ? with metrics and existing reference case for further assessment of the proposed improvements ?, (2) Critical review of the limitations of existing payload architectures and technologies, identification of areas for improvement, (3) Review of planned evolutions of technologies suitable for areas under scrutiny, (4) Selection of most promising technologies and solutions (based on design and performance analysis), (5) Review of proposed options against criteria and
reference scenarios, (6) Identification of roadmaps for the introduction of the
proposed solutions (including mapping against industrial capabilities of ESA member and cooperating states), (7) Evaluation of the return of investment of the proposed action plan against the anticipated markets. Focus shall be on tasks (3) and following, while Tasks (1) and (2) shall be seen as synthesis activities of results from previous activities.