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C-COM Announces Successful Test of Ka-band Phased Array Mobile Satellite Antenna

June 21, 2018

C-COM Satellite Systems Inc., has successfully tested its 16x16 subarray phased array antenna using 4x4 Transmit and Receive building blockmodules. The panels were developed and tested at the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS) at the University of Waterloo.

The primary goal of the research project is to focus on the development of a new modular, low-cost, intelligent and conformal Ka-band antenna for the next generation mobile satellite communications. The now proven modular approach allows antenna designers to develop any size and shape of phased array panels using the smallest intelligent active 4x4 subarray.

“We are pleased to have reached this important milestone in our development of a fully electronically steered Phased Array Mobile Satellite Antenna operating in Ka-band,” said Bilal Awada, CTO of C-COM Satellite Systems Inc. “The antenna will be able to track multiple satellites simultaneously and operate on the latest LEO, MEO and GEO constellations,” added Awada.

Professor Ali Safavi-Naeini, Director of CIARS, is in charge of the research team at the University of Waterloo responsible for this project. “Measured lab results have demonstrated the high performance of the small modular scalable intelligent Transmit and Receive antenna modules and validated our simulation model for larger panels,” said Safavi-Naeini. “We also achieved good beam steering up to 70 degrees from boresight, a significant achievement,” Safavi-Naeini continued.

The developed antenna system uses a unique technique to adaptively control the antenna polarization in such a way that a prescribed quality of polarization can be guaranteed over the entire scan range. Furthermore, the beam-processing unit and the antenna intelligent module can generate more than one radiation beam simultaneously and support multi-beam-tracking, a highly desired functionality in emerging LEO mobile networks.

By utilizing a unique blend of low-cost but flexible/reconfigurable hardware and highly intelligent software, the modular technology platform developed at CIARS provides the most cost-effective evolution path towards any antenna system configuration with prescribed performance for a wide range of low-end to high-end applications. The developed technology platform can be easily extended to the rapidly emerging millimeter-wave 5G and complex radar systems.

“Today we are a step closer to achieving our objective of developing and manufacturing an affordable intelligent antenna system capable of supporting the latest constellation of satellites, which will play a significant role in delivering high speed broadband solutions to mobile satellite communication markets,” said Dr. Leslie Klein, President & CEO of C-COM Satellite Systems Inc.