Reference antenna for the main testing laboratories in Europe
The (sub)mmVAST reference antenna will be used in the main testing laboratories in Europa for the characterization of the measurement setups, from 86 GHz to 1.2THz.
Measurement uncertainty assessment would greatly facilitate the laboratories to quantify possible errors during measurement process, which could significantly affect the test results. This would allow them to take the necessary corrective actions to increase the reliability of future tests, which are increasingly demanding in terms of alignment precision, repeatability, etc. This will be key, for example, to guarantee the precise characterization of antennas that will be used in future earth observation or space exploration missions.
With the dimensions of 900 x 250 x 400 mm and almost 50 kg height, the designed (sub)mmVAST is characterized by high mechanical and thermal stability. Its stiffness ensures the RF performance for the antenna arrangement in all the orientations. Besides, the proposed invar-based design ensures its desirable performance from room temperature down to cryogenics at 4 kelvin. The antenna is based on a Cross Dragone type architecture, fed by a feed cluster of horns. The antenna includes mirror cubes to facilitate its alignment in the measurement setups and a customizable support structure for different frequency extenders for each channel.
The project has entered its manufacturing phase, with certain components manufactured in Germany and others in Spain. In the following weeks the required heat and surface treatments will be done on the different parts of the antenna, as well as the related characterization. The complete assembly of the antenna will be done in the facilities of EOSOSL GROUP in Mutilva, Navarra.
Finally, the antenna will be transferred to ESA’s facilities in the Netherlands (ESTEC), where for several weeks the team of engineers will participate in its characterization both at room temperature and in cryogenics. Final delivery of the (sub)mmVAST antenna is scheduled for April 2023.
📍👉For more information, we share the note made by Navarra Capital:
This activity is funded by the European Space Agency under contract: 4000133733/21/NL/CT