C-COM awarded additional funding for array antenna tech

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C-COM Satellite Systems, adesigner and manufacturer of commercial grade, auto-acquire mobile satellite antenna systems, has been awarded a one million dollar non-refundable financial contribution from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) over the next 2 years for the continued development of its phased array antenna technology.

Working in partnership with a renowned research team at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS), C-COM has been developing a next generation Ka-band flat panel antenna based on advanced phased array technology for enabling high-throughput mobility applications over satellite targeting land, airborne and maritime markets.

The CSA funding will be used to continue the research project of the antenna development by focusing on the development of a low-cost, modular, and conformal Ka-band antenna for the next generation mobile satellite communications. A new generation of 4×4 antenna modules will be developed based on a highly improved, power efficient, low noise and reduced cost MMIC’s (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits).

Currently a 32×32 (1024 elements) Transmit and Receive demonstrator phased-array panels, which are based on an earlier generation of MMICs, have been developed and are now under testing in the labs at the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS) at the University of Waterloo. “The development of the new generation of 4×4 modules, which will be based on new gen of MMICs, will give C-COM the required high performancebuilding blocks to extend the existing technology from proof-of-concept prototype level to a fully mobile Electronically Steered Antenna to be used  for real-time satellite tests”, said Bilal Awada, CTO of C-COM Satellite Systems Inc.

The fully electronically steered Phased Array Mobile Satellite Antenna will be able to track multiple satellites simultaneously and operate on the latest LEO, MEO and GEO constellations.

Professor Ali Safavi-Naeini, Director of CIARS, oversees the research team at the University of Waterloo responsible for this project. “Measured lab results using first generation modules have demonstrated the high performance of the modular scalable intelligent Transmit and Receive antenna arrays and validated our simulation models for larger 256 and 1024 panels. This new development project will validate our new generation MMICs modules as well as the deployment of larger scale array panels”, said Prof. Safavi-Naeini.

“We very much appreciate the support and assistance from the Canadian Space Agency. This funding will make it possible for us to continue with the development and advancement of this novel antenna technology. It will take us a step closer towards the completion of the design, testing and manufacturing of an affordable intelligent antenna system capable of supporting the latest constellation of satellites, which will play a significant role in delivering high speed broadband solutions to global mobile satellite communication markets”, said Dr. Leslie Klein, President & CEO of C-COM Satellite Systems Inc.


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