Enabling & Support

Improved altimetry apparatus based on steerable antennas

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
545 - Abstract of the offer:
The european Space Agency (ESA) has developed an improved PARIS altimetry apparatus. The apparatus offers a compact architecture with two steerable antennas and a signal processing method which reduces possible accuracy errors. This apparatus can be used in ocean altimetry, tsunami detection, meteorology (wind over ocean), maritime navigation and safety industries. A license agreement collaboration is sought.

Description of the offer:

The “PARIS" (Passive Reflectometry and Interferometry System) altimetry apparatus is composed of two steerable antennas and a tailor-made signal processing method. The first antenna is pointing to outer space and receives at least one signal emitted by a remote satellite via a direct path. The second antenna is pointing towards the Earth, and it receives replicas of the same signal reflected by the surface of the Earth. The signal processing system computes the distance of the apparatus from a specular reflection point of the signal on the Earth’s surface by cross-correlating the signals received by the two antennas pointing upwards and downwards.

In order to benefit from the full power spectral density of the opportunity signals provided by the remote satellites, even if they include restricted access codes, the invention uses a PARIS altimetry system wherein both antennas are high-gain directive and steerable (phased array antennas). By ‘high gain’, a directivity of at least 10 dB, preferably of at least 27 dB, is meant.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the antennas are identical to each other, except for polarization, and mounted back-to-back on a common supporting structure, front-end electronic circuitry being disposed between both receiving antennas.

Innovations and advantages:

This new PARIS altimeter architecture is particularly advantageous because it is compact, symmetric, and it allows easy calibration of differences in delay and/or gain between the two signal paths, which could negatively affect altimetry accuracy.

Domain of Application:

This technology could be used in meteorology, maritime navigation and safety industries.

  • Defence communications
  • Microwave and satellite components (including antennae and amplifiers)
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products

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