With almost a century of heritage in radar and RF technology innovations for the Dutch MoD and for space applications, TNO pushes fundamental research in RF technology for satellite communication.
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Within this ecosystem we like to act as your preferred partner for applied research and technology developments to enable your future business. Our focus is on phased array antenna systems and the building blocks they encompass. Whether you need a break-through step in MMIC design using GaN technology, multipaction-free analogue front-end design, wide steering phased antenna design or RF lens antennas, you can rely on TNO to translate state-of-the art research results into new SatCom technology.
TNO has over 25 years of experience in the design and testing of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) in GaAs, GaN and SiGe technology. MMICs designs have been successful, ranging from L-band to W-band, with the focus on components for phased array radar front-ends and telecommunication. Examples of such components are high-power amplifiers, multi-function chips (beamformers), mixers, and low-noise amplifiers.
For RF and µWave communication systems, Front-End electronics is required ranging from the synthesised RF/µWave signal generation, specific modulation (data/frequency) and power amplification for the transmit signal to low noise amplification, demodulation and high-speed sampling/digitization of the receive signal. TNO has a strong and long heritage in designing such Front-End electronics for all kinds of Radar and Communication systems, optimised for the specific requirements of the application, either for steerable ‘single-beam’ as well as for ‘multi-beam’ array systems.
SatCom terminals on moving platforms need to track the satellite and thus must have the capability to steer the antenna beam. However, to connect to new LEO SatCom constellations, beam steering will also be required for fixed terminals.
Active electronically steerable array (AESA) antennas offer significant benefits when compared to conventional reflector antenna solutions because of the pattern agility, which supports continuous steering of multiple beams. This type of antenna also has a low profile, that makes it easy to integrate on any platform, and especially an attractive solution for flying platforms. TNO has designed and demonstrated many high-performance antenna solutions for SatCom terminals. To extend the field-of-view of array antennas, and/or reduce the aperture sampling, TNO has developed a novel dome antenna concept, where the array antenna is equipped with a dielectric lens. The technology has been demonstrated at Ku-band, but can easily be scaled to higher frequencies.
Contact Niel Truyens