Active antenna arrays with beamforming capabilities are a key technology for establishing links between satellite terminals and end devices on the ground. At the European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2023 in Berlin, Rohde & Schwarz and IMST will showcase a solution for over-the-air (OTA) measurements of electrically large beamforming antenna arrays for various SATCOM applications.
New satellite constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO) or geostationary orbit (GEO) allow uninterrupted connectivity on land, at sea and in the air. Besides classic A&D satellite applications, the new orbits will enable new services such as global tracking, internet of things (IoT), remote sensing or nonterrestrial networks (NTN), which will drive demand for SATCOM infrastructure testing in the coming years.
Rohde & Schwarz has joined forces with IMST to demonstrate a powerful solution for SATCOM terminal testing at the EuMW in Berlin. Testing the performance of satellite terminal systems and components with appropriate signals under realistic over-the-air conditions is crucial. SATCOM infrastructure size, formfactor, weight and performance are all challenging for SATCOM terminal manufacturers.
At the EuMW, Rohde & Schwarz and IMST will showcase a test solution that uses the compact R&S ATS1800C CATR based test chamber from Rohde & Schwarz for OTA measurements to characterize a SANTANA IV antenna array module from IMST. The R&S ATS1800C has a high-quality CATR reflector that creates a large quiet zone (QZ) for much higher measurement certainty relative to other solutions. The R&S ZNA vector network analyzer can comprehensively test and reliably characterize DUTs. R&S AMS32 software measures technical parameters such as magnitude and phase of far field and near fielddistributions, as well as metrics such as error vector magnitude (EVM) to characterize the digitally-modulated transceiver performance.
The SANTANA IV module (FKZ 50RK1925) is a smart antenna terminal designed by IMST. It is equipped with electronically controlled antenna beam steering that allows the beam shape and pointing direction to be electronically adjusted without any moving mechanical parts. The TX antenna array has 64 elements that support dual linear or circular polarization. The array was designed for an operating frequency range from 29.5 GHz to 30 GHz, which can be used for applications such as SATCOM-on-the-move (SOTM). The single64-element module can be used as a base module for larger arrays.