SWISSto12, a Swiss-based company specializing in additively manufactured antenna and RF systems, is collaborating with French firm Thales to develop Active Electronically Steerable Antennas (AESAs) for various platforms. AESAs, capable of electronically steering beams without physical movement, are pivotal for integrating into maritime, land, and airborne platforms due to their flat array design.
SWISSto12’s approach involves using miniature horn antennas made through additive manufacturing, offering enhanced performance over traditional patch antennas. These include improved efficiency, gain, axial ratio, and bandwidth, vital for maintaining wide-angle scanning in AESAs. Thales contributes its expertise in designing complex microwave amplification layouts and ultra-fine pitch packaging solutions.
The collaboration focuses on producing AESAs with improved size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP), initially targeting Ka band satellite communications and potentially expanding to Ku and Ka bands. Emile de Rijk, CEO of SWISSto12, highlights the breakthrough potential of these AESAs in on-the-move satellite communications. Charles-Antoine Goffin from Thales emphasizes the partnership’s role in enhancing their RF power amplification and beamforming portfolio, aiming for competitive serial production and diverse market applications.
This partnership follows the companies’ January 2023 contract for developing solid-state power amplifiers for SWISSto12’s HummingSat missions. The collaboration signifies a strategic move in advancing satellite communication technologies using additive manufacturing and could influence future developments in airborne, naval, and land-based communications platforms.
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