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Feasibility demonstration of 3D printing for a new efficient production method of mm-wave waveGUIDE antenna

Project description

A cost-effective method for air transport safety

Flight delays result in considerable losses for the air transportation industry. Since the problem is due mainly to low visibility, enhanced flight visibility systems are progressively being installed in civil aircraft to assist pilots to land under any visibility circumstances. The EU-funded 3DGUIDE project will bring together an interdisciplinary group of world-class experts in radio frequency and antennas to demonstrate a cost-effective production method for high-precision mm-wave waveguide antennas with additive manufacturing. This is a promising process for the production of antennas with complex 3D shapes that reduces assembly procedures and overall production costs.


Flight delays are costing billions of Euros yearly to the air transportation industry yearly. A large part of delays being linked to low visibility, Enhanced Flight Vision Systems are slowly coming to civil aircrafts and will eventually support pilots to land in any visibility condition. The Systems ITD of Clean Sky 2 aims to accelerate the development of new functions in cockpit systems for flight optimization in all conditions, increased crew awareness and efficiency. These new solution must however remain competitive in an industry under increasing cost pressure.

To address these challenges, the 3DGUIDE project intends to demonstrate an affordable production method for high precision mm-wave waveguide antennas with Additive manufacturing (AM). AM is a promising candidate to produce antennas with complex 3D shapes, reduce assembly steps and decrease overall production costs. The selected process, Laser Powder bed fusion (L-PBF), a metal AM technology, is optimized by CSEM for high printing resolutions and will be benchmarked against traditional manufacturing processes through the manufacturing, testing and performances comparison of printed mm-wave slotted antenna array elements (e.g. WG, single slotted WG array). An inductive iris waveguide bandpass filter operating at 94 GHz is suggested as 3D printed phase shifter and dummy MEMS will be integrated into the phase shifter element structure for the project. Furthermore, a later integration of MEMS biasing lines printed in the WG structure will be tested. The project will target a TRL4.

To reach these objectives, 3DGUIDE brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts including world-class researchers on radiofrequency and antennas (UPM), an industry expert in development and deployment of high frequency antennas in challenging environments (TTI), and finally an industry oriented research and technology organization well versed in leading and managing interdisciplinary international projects (CSEM).


Net EU contribution
€ 331 700,00
2000 Neuchatel

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Espace Mittelland Neuchâtel
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 331 700,00

Participants (2)