RESKUE - Transportable REflectarray antenna for Satellite Ku-band Emergency Communications

The objective of the ESA-funded RESKUE project is to design and implement a prototype of a novel antenna for a portable satellite user terminal for provision of high data rates via a GEO satellite in Ku-band. The satellite terminal has to be easy to transport without a vehicle and easy to deploy. The antenna design is novel in that it comprises electronic pointing capability, where the antenna's main beam is fine-pointed by electronic phase shifters integrated in a reflect array flat panel antenna. To keep the design cost efficient, electronic pointing capabilities are limited such that manual alignment of the antenna by the user towards the satellite is still required.

TriaGnoSys is responsible for design, testing and optimisation of the manual and the electronic pointing and acquisition procedure.

To ensure simple but at the same time highly accurate alignment of the antenna, TriaGnoSys designs a sensor aided manual pointing procedure and, further, the electronic pointing algorithm which relies on receive signal quality feed-back ("closed-loop pointing").

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Illustration of convergence of the electronic pointing algorithm towards the maximum received satellite signal power.

The performance of the manual and electronic pointing procedures are evaluated in a sophisticated simulator implemented by TriaGnoSys that comprises detailed simulation of the satellite link (signal polarisation, interfering satellites, scintillations, etc.) and user terminal aspects (antenna gain pattern, receiver noise, etc.)

TriaGnoSys’ project partners are RFMicrotech (Italy), Elital (Italy), and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain)

ESA contract No. AO/1-5609/08/NL/ST