Combined Tx & Rx X-band Active Antennas

  • Status
  • Status date
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The objective of the proposed activity is to qualify a combined Transmit and Receive X-band Active Antenna configuration. Such configurations have been limited in their implementation due to payload constraints, however the benefits can be significant and of particular interest when considering large multi-mission satellites or indeed implementing efficient hosted payloads. In combining the two functionalities, the design improves mass and facilitates accommodation whilst maintaining optimised performance and key functionalities. The Product shall consider the benefit of recent advancements in commercial active antennas applying them to the specific requirements at lower frequency bands and the particular application environment. The architecture shall consider state of the art manufacturing techniques that have been developed with UK/EU manufacturers. 

"Combined Tx-Rx X-band Active Antenna objectives"


The key challenges are foreseen to be to overcome the traditional “show stoppers” associated with combined receive and transmit arrays, particularly at SHF frequencies which have differing constraints than configurations at higher frequencies. These are thermal dissipation of the power amplifiers degrading the receive G/T via high temperatures induced from the power amplifier dissipation and feedback / NPR from the transmitter coupling to receive and degrading G/T. The key enablers are:

  • Frequency plan consideration

  • Accommodation of amplifiers and output section. 


There are a number of benefits of the proposed product including: Single passive section aperture, mass & AIT efficiency. Dual Use product maximising target application and maintaining as much heritage synergies as possible. 


Combined Tx and Rx feed chain, including horn, filtering and polariser, maximising Receive performance which is strategic for the target applications whilst optimising Transmit. Supporting Interference Mitigation functionalities, frequency reuse and isolation performances and consolidation of grating lobe performance. 

System Architecture

The overall system architecture includes passive and active antenna sections, beamforming functionalities and interfaces with the processing technology. The qualification in the development activity shall focus on the delta to heritage solutions such that the evolution maximises customer critical performances.


The project will include KO, PDR, CDR, TRB and FR. 

Current status

PDR 8th November 2023.

Prime Contractor