PAYLOAD TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE EUROPEAN COMMUNICATION SATELLITES IN THE 90’s
AffiliationEuropean Space Agency
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AbstractNew communication services are developing quite fast in Europe. At long term they will certainly be handled mostly by a terrestrial network with satellite links to complement when it is more cost effective. Future satellite payloads shall thus be designed to meet new demands especially as regards growing and fluctuating traffic patterns. Unfortunately, meaningful forecasts cannot be made, as yet. In this context, a payload technologies assessment exercise is presently being carried out by ESA. The scarcity of data concerning the expected traffic has been compensated for by the introduction of “pilot missions”. Although hypothetical they correspond to various scenarios and provide the required system background. This paper outlines the pilot missions characteristics and reviews the critical payload technologies which are concerned and ought to be developed in order to meet the next decades challenges. The “pilot missions” include: an extensive provision of specialised services in the 11/14 GHz frequency range, a very high capacity service at 20/30 GHz for a videocommunication application and a global service at L-Band for aeronautical, land and maritime mobiles. The associated technologies focus essentially on antennas and signal processors. The antenna sub-system must generate high gain spot beams. Low sidelobes requirements are also an essential characteristic in view of an efficient frequency re-use. Large reflectors will be necessary, with possibly a deployment in orbit. Complex and active feed networks will be implemented. On board signal processing represents another major break-through in payload technologies. RF switching matrices could be the baseline for the specialized services at 11/14 GHz. Regeneration with routing performed at baseband will be an essential feature of the 20/30 GHz application. At L-Band a data bus concept is an attractive approach.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering