The European Space Technology Platform mentioned in its last SRA a need to support non-dependence on critical technologies from outside Europe for future space applications. In particular, one action under bullet to reduce critical ITAR dependence is to secure access to high-performance microwave components used in satellite communication/navigation payloads, and earth observations/science instruments such as radars. Future satellite services will require novel types of microwave components to meet the demands in terms of more flexibility (ultra-wide-band UWB frequency allocation) and mass reduction. Two technologies are now emerging to face these challenges: - Wide Band Gap (WBG) semiconductors such as GaN are expected to play a fundamental role in the development of Intelligent Micro Systems (IMS), yielding unprecedented power performance, efficiency and, along with suitable UWB re-configurable architectures. - RF-MEMS switches as a complementary low-loss switch technology in order to achieve the re-configurability required for future IMS. The route towards re-configurability of high power systems requires the merging of these key technologies and functions but they have not been co-integrated so far. Therefore, the main concept of SATURNE is to realize such novel types of microwave functions (re-configurable front-ends) using WBG MMICs integrated with RF-MEMS. The technological trends for transmit and receive front-end systems for many kinds of applications will be considered like: - Re-configurable and highly power efficient communications satellite payloads with narrow-, multi- or wide-band channel allocation; - Civilian space applications like environmental monitoring and cartography in X-band. The SATURNE consortium is confident that the realization of its ambitious objectives will assist Europe to achieve technological leadership in domains that are targeted by ESA.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)