EU Research

ESA ARTES - Ka-Band Fly-Away terminal design and development


This project addresses the design, development and industrialization of a novel Ka band bidirectional Fly-Away terminal. The terminal is intended for basic broadcasting users and for more demanding performance applications as well. The demand for Ka band services and therefore products has emerged as a way to satisfy the ever increasing data rate requirements. In many cases, this connectivity is required for nomadic users, and therefore, there is a growing demand for quick deploys terminals, for applications such as fast news gathering transmission (FNG). It will be light weight, allowing the user to stow it for transportation and deploy at the desired site in a fast and easy way. The system will be IATA compliant airline checkable. The size constraint will be a key factor for the terminal design. In order to ease the system’s operation, a motorized terminal is proposed

The ACFLY-Ka-MOTORIZED is a fully automatic pointing Ka band fly-away terminal, with excellent radioelectrical performance, compact design (IATA compliant airline checkable) for fast and easy transportation & deployment, flexible configuration upon user’s needs and robust design to work under hard environmental conditions. It integrates a segmented Ka band antenna, RF chain, ACU (antenna control unit), M&C (monitoring and control), beacon receiver and modem (the terminal is modem agnostic, and any modem can be integrated). Antenna size is initially set to 0.6m, although the design modularity permits the adaptation of different antenna sizes (0.45m, 1m,…). The same applies to the SSPA, as different output power SSPAs can be integrated (4W, 10W, 20W) upon user requests. With one button fully automatic pointing, it is extremely accurate to fulfil with Ka band pointing demands. Its M&C module permits the user to monitor and control a full range of the terminal’s parameters, including those related to RF, pointing and motorization, and modem status. Its environmental specifications make the terminal appropriate for operation in harsh environments and optimal for usage in civilian or governmental applications.