Continuing their collaboration developing next-generation SATCOM terminals, Anokiwave and Ball Aerospace are adding a Ku-Band option to Ball’s portfolio of flat panel phased array antennas, now offering both Ku- and K/Ka-Band antennas.

Ball’s innovative design approach enables each antenna to be designed with the same footprint, for a consistent terminal baseplate, chasses and interfaces that can be swapped to meet the user’s service needs. The modular subarrays can be tiled to create an antenna optimized for the mission without having to create a new design. Using the same architecture for both Ku- and K/Ka-Band yields development efficiency and cost advantages by leveraging the same manufacturing, test and qualification infrastructure.

For the new Ku-Band phased array antenna, Anokiwave provides the silicon beamforming RFICs, which improve performance, reduce cost, simplify thermal management and have unique digital functionality that simplifies the overall system design.

Ball Aerospace has completed over-the-air testing of both the Ku- and K/Ka-Band subarrays, measuring transmit and receive performance over scan, switchable polarization and tapering. The test results matched — in most cases beat — the modeled estimates.

Jake Sauer, vice president and general manager of the Tactical Solutions segment at Ball Aerospace, said, “The industry is starting to move to a model where SATCOM communications equipment is disaggregated from satellite operators and service providers. Ball has developed an antenna architecture with the Anokiwave ICs that gives customers the choice to target either Ku- or K/Ka-Band broadband service for LEO, MEO and GEO satellites and allows the end user the flexibility to meet both their short- and long-term service needs.”

Abhishek Kapoor, Anokiwave’s vice president for sales, said, “This is a unique first in the industry, as Ball Aerospace can now deliver flat panel electronically steered antennas that meet performance, operating band and total cost of ownership targets. Driving the delicate balance of cost and performance of the ICs has been a key challenge to the mass adoption of active antennas for satellite communications. The Anokiwave SATCOM IC portfolio offers Ball Aerospace options for both Ku- and K/Ka-Band ICs with unmatched performance and features.”