Ku-Band is the most widely used frequency band in the increasing field of satellite communications. In every satellite transponder, the input multiplexer (IMUX) is a crucial component. Therefore there is a well justified demand for the development of IMUXes beyond the present state of the art. The technology of choice is dielectric technology due to its small size, low losses and temperature compensation.
The objective of the project is to develop, build and qualify a Ku-band input multiplexer in dielectric technology with:
- reduced footprint area
- reduced mass
- improved reliability
- improved electrical performance without external equalisation (including slope equalisation)
- Straightforward adaptation to varying number of channels
Key issues are:
- mechanical design
- electrical optimisation
Expected benefits brought by the project are:
- reduced mass
- reduced footprint
- improved reliability by advanced design
Input multiplexers constitute a basic element in the payload of a telecommunication satellite. They connect a receive antenna to the channel amplifiers.
The project has 4 main phases:
- design trade-offs
- EQM development and manufacturing
- qualification testing
The project has successfully been finished in April 2006. The equipment with the advantages envisaged has been successfully developed, built and qualified for space applications. A mass of less than 800g and a footprint of 104 x 141 mm^2 has been achieved for a 4-channel multiplexer including baseplate and input section.