Need More Bandwidth for the Ka-Band? Here Are Three Options

Need More Bandwidth for the Ka-Band? Here Are Three Options

May 2, 2022


As the demand for global connectedness increases, many satellite communications (satcom) systems are pushing toward higher data rates with an increased presence in the Ka-band spectrum. With high performance signal chains now able to support multiple GHz of instantaneous bandwidth and with potentially hundreds of transceivers in a system, the potential for very high throughput data rates is now a reality.

In addition, there is a trend in many systems to move away from static mechanically steered parabolic antennas toward active phased array antennas. This is driven by the enhanced technology and increased integration available to drive element spacing down to what is required at the Ka-band. Phased array technology also allows for improved interference mitigation by creating nulls in the antenna pattern in the direction of interfering signals.

The following overview describes some of the trade-offs that exist within the transceiver architectures available, and what types of architectures may be appropriate for different types of systems. Included in this analysis is a breakdown of some of the key specifications for a satellite system and how these system-level specifications translate to transceiver signal chain level components.

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