Reconfigurable beam forming network architecture
|547 - Abstract:|
|The European Space Agency offers an innovative, fully reconfigurable Beam Forming Network (BFN), able to support any type of antenna also in multi beam configuration to licencing. It can be used for the development of broadcasting /multicasting services and for point-to-point services soothing user terminals requirements. Such BFN, originally developed for satellite navigation systems, finds application in different areas: communication, RF instruments, Air Traffic Management and geo location.|
Description of the offer
The proposed Beam Forming Network (BFN) system is highly innovative with respect to current similar solutions as it is fully reconfigurable and is able to support multi-beam configurations. Such multi beam array antenna finds application in different areas:
- Remote sensing (real and synthetic RF instruments such as radars, radiometers, altimeters, bi-static reflectometry and radio occultation receivers for signals of opportunity missions, etc);
- Electronic surveillance and defence systems (e.g.: air Traffic Management and generally moving target indicator radars, RF instruments for interference analysis and geo location );
- Science (multi-beam radio telescopes);
- Satellite navigation systems for which the proposed innovative BFN was originally developed.
In satellite communication systems, this array antenna was mainly used for two major classes of coverage:
- For the development of broadcasting and multicasting services (Multiple Contoured Beams) based on linguistic zones consisting of differently sized and shaped geographical regions For point-to-point services (Multiple Spots with cellular like configuration) allowing for higher gains and relaxing user terminals requirements.
Innovations and advantages of the offer:
The main advantages of the proposed innovative BFN are the following:
- Fully reconfigurable but not complex BFN: it can be used both in transmission and in reception, also in the case of digital implementation.
- It is not dependant on a specific antenna architecture as it is nowadays (e.g. : direct-radiating vs. focus): it allows for a modular, scalable and efficient design solution for reconfigurable BFNs capable of supporting various multi-beam configurations
- It includes a plurality of input and output ports, and includes a plurality of signal dividers, phase and amplitude weighting units, switches and signal combiners to associate each input port to its output port through respective weighting units.
The electronic circuit, in the form of an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) implements the Beam Forming Network.
Domain of Application:
Even if the original Beam Forming Network has been developed for satellite navigation systems, such system has wide potential application in mobile and communication systems with strict requirements on reliability, quality of the signal and flexibility of the performance.
Last update: 6 March 2012