Microwave Journal

ALCAN Announces Ultra-low Profile Satellite Broadband Terminal for LEO and MEO Satellites

June 18, 2020

ALCAN Systems says it has developed the market’s lowest cost Ka-Band, flat-panel ground terminal for LEO and MEO satellite constellations. ALCAN is partnering to build a mass-production supply chain and assembly capability for the antenna and expects to ship the first customer orders during the fourth quarter of 2021.

ALCAN’s electronically steerable flat-panel antennas use a patented liquid crystal technology, which optimizes beam steering performance and enables broadband data rates of 400 Mbps from LEO and MEO satellites. The liquid crystal technology, developed at the Technical University of Darmstadt and described in a recent technical article in Microwave Journal, enables the lowest unit cost and power performance compared to other electronically steered antennas, according to ALCAN. Using liquid crystals also enables an ultra-low-profile form factor.

Onur Karabey, CEO at ALCAN Systems, said, “Reducing ownership and running costs of satellite broadband equipment will not only open up new markets for LEO and MEO satellite operators and service providers, but will revolutionize connectivity for the enterprise customers and high-end consumers that will benefit from a cost effective way to access satellite broadband.”

Antenna Performance Summary

  • Full-duplex with slew times less than 30 ms, enabling 99.5 percent maximum signal throughput.
  • 2D beam steering with a scan angle of ±55 degrees from boresight.
  • Modular design, enabling multiple antennas to be combined to achieve higher gain and throughput, based on the needs of customers.
  • 55 cm x 99 cm x 9 cm size, weighing less than 20 kg.
  • Power consumption including the LNB and BUC less than 100 W, which is 5x less than typical phased array antennas using semiconductor front-ends.
  • Priced at €2,500 for the full terminal, offering the lowest total cost of ownership of any product on the market.