• A Tri-Band L, S, C Prime Focus Feed: Concept, Design and Performance

      Melle, Christophe; Chaimbault, David; Peleau, Fabien; Karas, Alain; Zodiac Data Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2013-10)
      The flight test mission services need higher data rates due to increased system complexity and the need for more accurate, higher rate, and better data acquisition. The existing L or S band frequency spectrum allocation was a limiting factor to meet this increased data rate requirement. The World Radio-communication Conference (WRC 2007) attributed new additional frequency spectrum allocations in the C band for Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry (AMT). The international flight test community has taken this opportunity to immediately take advantage of the new C-band range 5091-5250MHz. This paper presents the multi-band feed product designed by the RF & Antenna Laboratory of ZODIAC DATA SYSTEMS company. This feed is foreseen to be used in prime focus configuration on any diameter parabola dish providing telemetry and tracking channels in three L, S, and C bands. Here, are described the concept and the technology achieved taking into consideration the performance and industrial constraints. Moreover, this contribution focuses on the electromagnetic simulations of radiating elements, the feed network and RF system integration. This paper is structured as follows: firstly, the objectives and the motivation for developing a prime focus feed which works in L, S, C bands are presented. In particular, the market constraints and approach to find the best solution satisfying the feed RF requirements, and mechanical constraints, such as weight, size and cost, are discussed. The second section describes the 5 step development cycle: principle and technology, design of the telemetry channels and tracking function, cohabitation of the different radiating elements, and problems of the channels isolations. The third section discusses the performance achieved using electromagnetic simulations. The fourth section talks about the integration of RF system feed. The paper concludes by discussing future work using the same concept that is applied to other telecommunication or telemetry frequency bands.