Enabling & Support

Septum Couplers for Compact Waveguide Networks

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
702 - Abstract:
In space missions with the requirements of high RF power and low insertion losses, waveguide technology is often used. Its main drawback is that waveguide components and resulting networks are bulky. The European Space Agency proposes a novel family of waveguide couplers based on septums, which can be used in waveguide networks for coupling electromagnetic signals between various ports. The waveguide couplers provide a high performance similar to state-of-the-art branch line couplers while reducing the component’s volume significantly. Licence agreements are sought.


The European Space Agency introduces septum based waveguide couplers, which differ from existing branch line and slotted couplers. The novel family of E-plane couplers bases on septums and combines the benefits of slotted couplers (compactness, compatible with printed technology) and the manufacturing of branch line couplers (compatible with half-shells assembly).

The waveguide coupling device splits the input RF power into two or more output ports by means of the septum, which is often used in polarising components.

The septum coupler can be used as a building block in more complex RF networks, such as beam forming networks and multiport amplifiers. The invention can be adjusted to provide different levels of coupling.

Septum based waveguide couplers
Septum based waveguide couplers

Innovations and advantages:

  • Compatible with other waveguide manufacturing techniques (additive manufacturing, etc.)
  • Reduced dimensions (length, thickness and volume)
  • Suitable for very high power applications, provides excellent power handling performances in comparison to existing solutions
  • High performance, compact and versatile component design

Domain of application:

Possible domains of applications are in space and non-space areas:

  • On-board sub-systems, including passive and active feed systems (Phased array, etc.) and multiport amplifiers (Butler matrice)
  • Application with high compactness requirements (ground terminals, etc.)
  • Applications requiring high power handling (e.g. microwave heating devices, ground stations, etc.)

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