Anokiwave and Ball Aerospace are collaborating to develop a new generation of SATCOM terminal antennas, with Anokiwave’s second-generation K- and Ka-Band silicon RFICs integrated with Ball’s electronically steerable K- and Ka-Band antennas.

Ball Aerospace has an innovative approach to flat panel, electronically steered antennas, based on flexible, cost-efficient subarrays tiled together to form an antenna customized to the user’s needs. This flexibility enables a SATCOM terminal to be optimized for a mission without designing a totally new antenna. The resulting electronically steered antennas have no moving parts, which assures lower cost manufacturing and long-term reliability.

Anokiwave provides the silicon RFICs for beamforming, simplifying the system design while providing performance, reduced cost, thermal management and unique digital functionality. Now in their second generation, Anokiwave’s ICs are fully released for production and shipping in volume.

Ball has completed over-the-air testing of its subarrays, measuring the transmit and receive performance over scan angles, with switchable polarization and tapering. The test results matched and, in most cases, beat the modeled performance.

“Ball Aerospace has a long history of lowering the cost of phased array systems, and the new Anokiwave ICs allow us to further reduce costs while maintaining our desired system performance,” said Jake Sauer, vice president and general manager of tactical solutions at Ball Aerospace. “Ball has integrated the Anokiwave ICs into our new subarray architecture, a building block approach specifically designed to support both commercial and military end-users. This enables manufacturing economies of scale and promotes design reuse for multiple SATCOM applications — a first for the industry.”

“With our latest generation of SATCOM ICs, Anokiwave has improved the performance and reduced the cost to a point where Ball Aerospace can now deliver flat panel electronically steered antennas that meet cost and performance targets. This is a unique first in the industry,” said Abhishek Kapoor, Anokiwave vice president of sales.