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Satellite Communications Technology

Optisys completes key milestone in development and testing of first metal 3D printed hybrid phased-array antenna

(2 May 2019 - Optisys) Optisys has announced the completion of the design, manufacturing, and testing of the NAPA (Novel Active Phased Array); an aluminum 3D printed hybrid phased-array antenna that balances the high performance and thin profile of a phased array, with the reduced cost and low loss of a passive aperture.

Optisys’ revolutionary design and manufacturing approach will finally provide a high-performance antenna solution for a single aperture transmit and receive broadband terminal.

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NAPA (courtesy: Optisys)

“Optisys is excited about the impact NAPA will have on the satellite, aerospace, and ground SATCOM industries,” stated Clinton Cathey, CEO. “We anticipate that our technology will finally provide the right mix of high performance, lightweight, robustness, low power and cost effectiveness the customer has not been able to obtain to date.”

This highly customizable, high-bandwidth phased array also incorporates filtering, diplexers, polarizers, combiners as well as thermal management and structural mounting features, into one single part. All performance aspects of the array can be customized to customer specifications, using modular and scalable design approach only enabled using 3D printing. Optisys currently has options for C, X, Ku, K and Ka band, allowing for customer specific customization. For example, frequency, gain, heat management, and filtering requirements can easily be configured and manufactured.

“The NAPA was designed to have features and specifications that balance the needs of a low-profile antenna terminal with the complexity of a phased array antenna.” commented Mike Hollenbeck, CTO. “By balancing the technical approach and leveraging metal 3D printing to produce a single aperture to address the full Ka SATCOM frequency bands, Optisys is able to exceed current specifications at a reduced price. This single-aperture solution for both transmit and receive at Ka-band allows for a custom antenna solution on every platform without the price tag associated with custom design. Hybrid electronic scanning of a metal waveguide aperture produces the highest performance and greatest flexibility of any electronically scanned array approach.”

Optisys’ focus is on the design, manufacturing and testing of antennas and antenna systems for satellite, UAV, commercial aircraft, tactical, and consumer telecommunication applications.

About Optisys

Optisys combines RF design and additive manufacturing techniques to create high frequency, highperformance antennas in compact, lightweight structures. The Company designs, manufactures, and tests highly integrated antenna structures that achieve the lightest weight and smallest volume physically possibly. Optisys’ designs include single-band parabolic antennas, passive or active lowprofile arrays, and multi-band solutions –including filters, switches, and tracking networks.