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SMi Global MilSatCom 2019

Mobile satellite broadband connectivity challenge solved with new power architecture enabling Phasor’s ESA technology

(10 September 2019 - Phasor) Phasor, the leading developer of enterprise-grade electronically-steered antenna (ESA) systems for satellite-based mobile broadband applications, has worked with Vicor to develop a power solution for its new system that provides connectivity speeds and bandwidth previously unachievable while on the move.

While the technology represents a major breakthrough in delivering reliable satellite connectivity in aeronautical, maritime, land mobile and defense applications, it will also enable the end user travelling on any mode of transportation to enjoy true mobile broadband connectivity, and all the applications that this will enable.

Phasor’s modular, flat or conformal, solid-state electronically steered antenna systems are less than 1.5 inches thick, presenting an extremely low profile, and matching the performance of traditional parabolic dish antennas from 40cm to 1m or larger. Using low-profile components operating at high power density, Phasor’s mobile communications systems rely on Vicor’s FPA to provide extremely high current at very low voltage.

“Vicor is a valued partner in supporting the technical innovation helping to differentiate Phasor’s products,” said Mike Warren, Senior Vice President, Operations at Phasor. “The FPA technology plays an integral role in our ESAs and we look forward to continuing our work with Vicor as we start to roll out our products commercially.”

Vicor’s FPA package consists of a Pre-Regulator Module (PRM) and a Voltage Transformation Module (VTM)/Current Multiplier which together deliver the full, regulated, isolated DC-DC converter function. The Voltage Transformation Module (VTM) is a resonant converter and therefore also has very low noise when compared to a hard switched converter.

Vital to realizing performance targets in small and large aperture Phasor ESAs is the ability of Vicor’s systems to transform a 48V supply into a 1.5V supply (1V in the next generation of antenna with even higher current).

Phasor’s desire to make this transformation at 65A (or even 80A) represented a major design challenge for powering their application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Offering far superior power delivery and efficiency than traditional DC/DC converters, Vicor’s approach to transforming voltage eliminates the need for multiple hard-switching converters with several different phases to attain 65A.