What services does the RF Payload Systems Laboratories offer?
Although tasks requested for ESA projects are generally given priority the RF Payload Systems Laboratories do provide services for other European space programmes and companies, including SMEs (although not in competition with commercial laboratories) that meet the criteria described below.
A candidate customer can request a quotation to perform a test by contacting Laboratories manager Armen Derdenian (contact details below). To qualify, the candidate customer (or end customer they are acting for) must be a person or body under the jurisdiction of an ESA Member State. The project in question must correspond to standard ESA Directorate of Technical and Quality Management research and development – space oriented work such as equipment testing –and must have a peaceful purpose.
The Laboratories are made up of:
- RF Laboratory,
- Radio Navigation Laboratory,
- RF Remote Sensing Laboratory and
- ESA Telecom Laboratory.
The RF Laboratory :
performs evaluation and testing of radio frequency devices and systems, from few tens of MHz to few hundreds GHz. The services include:
Characterising high power RF effects - such as multipaction, RF corona and PIM testing, CW and pulsed.
MMIC evaluation and life testing - including small signal RF characterisation (S-parameters, Noise Figures); Non-linear vector signal analysis (Telecom, Navigation and Chirped Signals); SSPA Life testing; MMIC on wafer device characterisation - GaN, GaAs (Assembly Integration and Testing).
Timing and frequency – Distribution of ultra-stable reference signal (Active Maser) to other users; Atomic clocks, ultra stable oscillators and timing sub-system characterisation.
The Radio Navigation Laboratory:
provides support to core navigation activities such as Galileo and EGNOS, as well as supporting European companies developing satellite navigation systems and equipment. Its services include:
Receiver performance evaluation – with regard to new types of signal in space such as Galileo and GPS L5.
System monitoring and evaluation – including EGNOS performance monitoring and reporting to users.
Independent certification of EGNOS compatible receivers.
Galileo Processing Facility – investigating Galileo ground segment performance.
R&D support including research into interference and multipath techniques; indoor location-based techniques.
The Laboratory is equipped with a suite of simulators and software tools as well as evaluation hardware.
The RF Remote Sensing Laboratory:
researches radio frequency systems for remote sensing. Its services include:
Evaluation, simulation and trade-off of active and passive RF Earth Observation sensors, such as advanced SAR, Radar Altimeters, Radiometers, GNSS reflectivity.
Testing activities of SAR/Radar related hardware, including T/R modules, antenna panels and sub-panels, central electronics.
R&D activities in the domain of RF remote sensing instruments.
The ESA Telecom Laboratory:
performs research in the field of telecommunications and in support of ESA's Telecom Directorate. Its services include:
Performance assessment and system modelling – for a variety of R&D activities including mobile and fixed satellite telecommunication; interference mitigation and space-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) identification for marine security.
Technology and standards development – Reference lab for ESA Telecom technologies and applications; Support to DVB standards - including DVB-SH (mobile TV), DVB-RCS2, DVB-RCS Mobile, ETSI S-UMITS standards development, verification, measurement campaigns and early demonstration.
Promotion of Satcom applications – Quick deployment of satcom-based pilots and demonstrations; involvement in pilot projects supporting integrated applications.
Feasibility assessments of satcom solutions to ESA incubator units as well as governments in the Civil Protection context.
High speed data link testbeds – Supporting development of ESA Telecom feeder links and Earth Observation telemetry.
Armen Derdenian, Armen.Derdenian @ esa.int
Last update: 19 September 2012