SatixFy UK Ltd. introduced the world’s first Ku-Band, 256 element, electronically steered multi-beam array (ESMA) antenna at this week’s SmallSat Symposium 2019 in Mountain View, California. The new antenna array was demonstrated working in a micro antenna test range, showing its multi-beam capabilities, antenna patterns and other performance parameters.
The ESMA antenna can serve both as a stand-alone IoT terminal or a building block for a larger sized antenna. Using Satixfy's fully digital beamforming technology, the ESMA is currently available in 11 to 12 GHz receive and 13.75 to 14.5 GHz transmit frequencies. SatixFy is in the final stages of developing a complete terminal, including an integrated SatixFy modem enabling complete acquisition and tracking. The terminal will be important in the evolving small satellites ecosystem, which requires tracking multiple non-geostationary satellites in a constellation and transferring high data throughput for imaging and communications.
SatixFy's antenna uses in-house developed ICs, named Prime and Beat. Prime is a digital beamformer ASIC that employs true time delay for 32 antenna elements and is capable of processing over 2 Tbps of data. Beat is a Ku-Band RFIC integrating separate up- and down-converters with low noise and power amplifiers for any polarization and four antenna elements.
The antenna is capable of simultaneously pointing, tracking and managing multiple beams at multiple polarizations. Using digital beamforming enables the antenna to handle wide bandwidth using a large number of antenna elements and without beam squint. Due to its unique digital features, nulls can be directed towards specific interferers.
"We are proud to bring this unique and powerful antenna to the market in such a short time. We have developed a 256 element building block that can scale to very large arrays with large bandwidth without significant degradation. This antenna is a part of our complete terminal supporting multi-beams with our own modems and control of hardware and software. We are currently demonstrating our antennas to interested customers and a demo on a moving car is just weeks away.“ — Yoel Gat, CEO of the SatixFy group