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Phased Array Flat Panel Antennas: Exploring the Advancements

by Reliasat
25th Jan 2024

In the ever-evolving world of Satellite Communication, Flat Panel Antennas have emerged as a compact versatile solution. Among these, the K and Ka-band Phased Array Flat Panel Antennas have garnered significant attention due to their impressive performance and adaptability. The following will go into the features, applications, and specifications of both the K-band Fixed Beam Flat Panel Antenna and the Ka-band Flat Panel Array Antenna.

K-band Fixed Beam Flat Panel Antenna

The K band fixed beam flat panel antenna operates within the frequency range of 17-21 GHz, with a center frequency of 19 GHz. This Antenna offers the convenience of pre-configurable Left-Hand Circular Polarization (LHCP) or Right-Hand Circular Polarization (RHCP), making it highly adaptable to various scenarios. Its compact size enables it to fit perfectly into CubeSats, revolutionizing communication in small satellite missions.

Applications:
  • Satellite Communications: The K-band fixed beam flat panel antenna facilitates high-speed data transmission and reception for satellites, enhancing connectivity and enabling critical communication in space.
  • 5G.
  • High data rate.
Specifications:
  • VSWR <1.65 – This ensures efficient power transfer and minimal signal loss.
  • Peak Gain >20 dB – Provides strong Signal amplification for improved reception.
  • HPBW 9-11 degrees – Offers a focused beam for precise communication.
  • Axial Ratio <3 dB – Maintains signal integrity by minimizing polarization distortion.
  • Power handling 5W – Allows for the transmission of high-power signals without damage.
  • K connector (vertical land/or horizontal) – Enables easy integration and connectivity.
  • Mass <50g – Lightweight design ideal for space-constrained environments.
  • Dimensions (excl. connector) 84 x 98 mm – Compact form factor for seamless integration.

Ka-band Flat Panel Array Antenna

The Ka-band flat panel array antenna operates within the frequency range of 27-31 GHz, with a center frequency of 29.25 GHz Similar to the K-band antenna, it offers the flexibility of LHCP or RHCP polarization. Its compact dimensions and compatibility with CubeSats make it an excellent choice for small satellite missions.

Applications:
  • Earth Observation: The ka-band flat panel array antenna enables high-resolution imaging and data transmission for Earth observation satellites, facilitating environmental monitoring, disaster management, and urban planning. Take a look at how the European Space Agency are observing the Earth.
  • Remote sensing: This antenna supports remote sensing applications, such as weather forecasting, agriculture monitoring, and climate research, by providing accurate and timely data acquisition.
  • Communication: The Ka-band flat panel array antenna excels in long-distance communication, thanks to its impressive 20 dBi gain, ensuring reliable signal amplification. With a moderately focused beam of 13 degrees, it offers effective coverage and seamless connectivity through its K connector (rear-mounted) and impedance of 50 Ohm, which matches standard requirements for system integration.
Specifications:
  • 3dB Axial Ratio Bandwidth: Covers a wide frequency range of 1.5 GHz, ensuring reliable polarization performance.
  • Gain 20 dBi – Provides significant signal amplification for long-distance communication.
  • 3dB beamwidth 13 degrees – Offers a moderately focused beam for effective coverage.
  • K connector (rear-mounted) – Simplifies integration and connectivity.
  • Impedance 50 Ohm – Matches standard impedance requirements for seamless system integration.
  • Dimensions 51 x 51 mm – Compact size facilitates easy installation and integration.
  • Space-Qualified Materials: The Ka-band flat panel array antenna utilizes space-qualified materials, ensuring its durability and reliability in the harsh space environment, safeguarding its performance over extended periods.
  • Scalable Design: The antenna’s design is scalable, offering flexibility in adjusting gain and beamwidth. Higher gain configurations result in narrower beamwidth, allowing for customized adaptation to different communication requirements and coverage areas.

K and ka-band phased array flat panel antennas are revolutionizing satellite communication in CubeSats and small satellite missions. Their compact size, versatile polarization options, and impressive specifications make them ideal for a range of applications. As technology continues to advance, these antennas hold great promise for the future of space-based communication and remote sensing.

See our full range of antennas here

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