With just over a month to go it has been announced that one of the topics that will be addressed at the next ARMMS RF and Microwave Society Conference will be microwave components for use in satellite communications systems. During the two-day event, which will be held on Monday 20 April and Tuesday 21 April at Milton Hill House near Oxford, UK, the conference will also cover a wide range of technologies connected with microwave measurements.

For instance, the concept of a Multiport Amplifiers (MPA) will be discussed by Robert Bridger from Astrium. He will explain how the dramatic rise in the demand for global mobile communications and internet services in recent years has driven communications satellites to higher frequencies of operation. The Ka frequency band of operation, nominally 20 GHz, is becoming of increasing importance to satellite operators and users of downlink applications. Design challenges overcome in the realization of a space-borne MPA will be discussed.

Also, the INTELSAT IESS standards for commercial satellite communications equipment define the frequency accuracy, channel allocations and spectral purity requirements for earth station transmitters. Earth station equipment utilizes a frequency synthesizer providing the final local oscillator, which is tunable in steps of 1 kHz. David Williams of Teledyne Microwave will present a new frequency synthesizer design using a single microwave PLL, which includes a Compound Phase Detector (patent pending).

As usual, the event includes an exhibition and the conference program is arranged to allow delegates time to have useful discussions with the exhibitors. On the Monday evening there is an informal dinner, which has proved to be the high spot of the event over the past 25 years. For more information, and to book a place, go to www.armms.org