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Global MilSatCom 2018

RUAG Space and SWISSto12 partner to supply advanced active antenna solutions for high throughput satellites

(14 September 2018 - RUAG Space) RUAG Space and SWISSto12 have signed a partnership agreement at the World Satellite Business Week in Paris, France.

Both partners are committed to supply future satellites missions, including constellations of telecommunication satellites with crucial antenna solutions. The collaboration will focus on the development, design and manufacturing of phased array antenna products that leverage the unique and complimentary offerings of both companies.

Critical sub-systems for next generation telecommunication satellites

Active phased array antennas are a critical element of advanced telecommunication satellites, also known as high throughput satellites. Their increased performance is provided through electronically steered multiple beams (allowing for an optimal adjustable allocation of the satellite bandwidth to multiple users). This functionality requires a new type of antenna to provide the necessary earth coverage. Instead of the conventional fixed beam antennas, the active phased array antennas allow for wide area coverage with multiple simultaneous beams. These active antennas have the ability to change coverage in orbit with beam scanning capabilities within microseconds.

High performance at minimal cost and lead time

As part of this Partnership, RUAG will contribute their expertise in active microwave modules, which the company develops and manufactures in the United States and Europe. SWISSto12, with their patented 3D printing technology, will provide innovative antenna system designs along with a manufacturing solution to 3D print the antenna in one highly integrated part combining, RF, mechanical and thermal functions. This approach allows for a high performance – at minimal cost and lead time for manufacturing and integration.

Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space, said: “We will offer upcoming constellation programs an antenna solution that is state-of-art, both in performance and price. We are excited to partner with SWISSto12 - and incubate this progress in our industry.”

Emile de Rijk, CEO SWISSto12, adds: “SWISSto12 is very happy to collaborate with RUAG Space on bringing this disruptive active antenna product to the market. Both companies combining their expertise to offer a joint integrated product solution shows a perfect example of valuable collaboration in the satellite manufacturing value chain.”

The first engineering model of the antenna for 20 GHz applications will be built this year.