RF circuit building blocks that help compensate Satcom technology have undergone numerous changes to fit the newest industry breakthroughs, such as downsizing, better dependability, and the capacity to send even more complex data more quickly.
FREMONT, CA: The number and value of data carried by satellite communication (Satcom) has expanded dramatically during the last four decades. Simultaneously, mission-critical systems such as aeronautical, marine, and military navigation are becoming more dependent upon those connections. As a result, RF circuit building blocks that help compensate Satcom technology have undergone numerous changes to fit the newest industry breakthroughs, such as downsizing, better dependability, and the capacity to send even more complex data more quickly.
- A Shifting Active Electronically Scanned Array Construction
Active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) are used in Satcom applications nowadays, and several transmit/receive modules (TRMs) are used to steer beams separately electronically. AESAs used to be huge since they used a 3D brick configuration consisting of boards stacked on top of the other and connected by several interfaces and cables.
Instead of this heavy structure, designers are increasingly adopting 2D planar arrays, created like a PCB with components attached through surface-mount (SM). Most connectors and cables get eliminated in a planar arrangement, which further enhances SWaP-C, boosts dependability, and streamlines manufacturing.
- Operating at Increasingly High Frequencies
The entire globe is migrating to higher frequencies, and satellite communications applications are everywhere. Satcom designers continue advancing beyond the X and Ku bands to the Ka and V bands in response to the demands for satellite communications. The shift is perfect for high-throughput satellites because the Ka-band provides up to 3.5 GHz of bandwidth, which is four times greater than some other regularly used bands.
- A Shift to Build Smaller, More Efficient Radio Architectures
Satcom devices, as most communications systems, are continuing the general pattern of doing more with less. As a result, there's a trend toward moving away from classic heterodyne structures and toward direct RF sampling. Because a straightforward sampling technique digitizes an RF signal without converting it to an IF signal, components like mixers and local oscillators (LOs) can all be removed.
Though eliminating parts lowers size and cost, direct sampling still necessitates filtering, which presents new issues. At higher frequencies, such emerging filtration issues are very different from those at lower frequencies.
- Improving SWaP-C Using a Surface Mount Device Assembly
As formerly established, all Satcom designers attempt to make SWaP-C better. As a result, there's a drive to shift away beyond chip-and-wire or hybrid assembly and toward complete surface mount device (SMD) assembly. SMD solutions can assist decrease the complexity of a circuit substantially, in addition to increasing profitability. By adopting microstrip filtering, for example, engineers can reduce the amount of space required for such filtration yet retaining high levels of bandwidth, rejections, and attenuation.
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