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Dielectric and High Temperature Superconducting Materials for Microwave Communication Systems


Objectives and content

The main industrial objective of the proposed research is to optimize and exploit the microwave properties of single crystal and polycrystalline dielectric materials and high temperature superconductor thin and thick films for specific applications in microwave communication, radar and measurement technology.

As a basic element, a disc of dielectric material arranged in a metallic shielding cavity, known as a dielectric resonator (DR), determines and stabilises the frequency of a microwave oscillator or a microwave filter. They are key components in a range of products from satellite receiver modules, Personal Communications Networks (PCNs), to VSAT (Very Small Aperture Satellite) systems for emerging uses in transportation and automobile sensors in traffic management schemes and anti-collision devices. New systems of satellite TV transmission based on digital encoding and compression of the video signal require improved DR components. The market is predicted to be 8.1 million units in 1998 and 14.6 million units in 2003 for the satellite TV modules alone. The equipment value is projected to be 9.8 billion ECU in 1998 and 14 billion ECU in 2003 with the ceramic component comprising 60 MECU in 2003.

On a medium timescale, the performance requirements defined by the demand for increased channel capacity in ground based cellular and satellite communications, for advanced radar systems and for ultrahigh sensitivity microwave measurement techniques, can only be fulfilled if new superior materials can be developed. At cryogenic temperatures, some species of single crystalline dielectrics exhibit extremely low losses. The use of high temperature superconducting films for the shielding cavities will enhance the performance, enable miniaturisation and to allow greater flexibility in the design of the devices. The development of such functionalized materials can most effectively be performed by a consortium with multidisciplinary research and development activities in material processing, device development, advanced device characterization, and system development.

Besides material provessing and characterisation in the areas: - Low loss single crystals and ceramics.
- Low loss HTS large a rea films
- Thick film shields

The consortium intends to deliver demonstrators in the following application areas:
- High power band-pass filters for satellite communications at 12.4 GHz. - Filter suitable for use at mobile communications frequencies, i.e. 1.8 GHz - Frequency stable oscillators for frequency standards.
- Low phase noise oscillators for radar applications.

These devices are intended to demonstrate the potential of the new materials, to provide a basis for system implementation and modification, and to quantify the increase of the market potential of dielectric resonator components and systems. Successful completion of the project will establish a leading position for Europe in the area of Materials' processing.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Domaine de Corbeville
91404 Orsay

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Participants (7)