ThinKom Solutions recently completed successful over-the-air (OTA) tests of a pair of 17-inch diameter, K/Q-Band, active phased-array antennas communicating through an advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) satellite.

The tests verified that the antenna, based on ThinKom’s patented variable inclination continuous transverse stub (VICTS) architecture, met all performance metrics for operating with the frequency-hopping waveform of the AEHF protected communications satellite network. The constellation of six AEHF satellites provides secure, survivable, jam-resistant and near-worldwide satellite communications for U.S. sea, ground and air platforms. 

A broad range of uplink and downlink communication plans and modes were tested on an operational K/Q-Band satellite, exercising full 1 and 2 GHz “hopped” bandwidths. The VICTS antennas successfully acquired, tracked, logged on and joined downlink and uplink services in all cases, at elevation angles from 24 to 73 degrees.

“The stabilized beam of the VICTS antenna eliminates the need for ‘de-hopping,’ requiring substantially less processing power than electronically steered antennas, and given that VICTS is the only phased-array technology that can work with very widespread waveforms, it uniquely enables use on new communication waveforms such as the Protected Tactical Waveform,” said Bill Milroy, chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions. 

The conformal flat-panel VICTS phased-array antennas can be cavity mounted on a variety of aero, naval and land-mobile platforms, according to Milroy.