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Antenna Permits Superior Satellite tv for pc Communications Testing

The reconfigurable antenna can transmit and obtain indicators over a number of radio-frequency bands related to navy and industrial purposes.

The Multi-Band Take a look at Terminal (MBTT), a satellite tv for pc communication(SATCOM) antenna at MIT Lincoln Laboratory can detect and observe satellites in medium and low Earth orbit. The Laboratory relied on quite a lot of smaller antennas for SATCOM testing which embody Over-The Air-Ka Band-Take a look at Terminal(OTAKaTT). The MBTT is designed to be simply reconfigured to assist a number of radio frequency (RF) bands used for navy and industrial satellite tv for pc SATCOM techniques.

The radome defending the Multi-Band Take a look at Terminal — a big antenna on an MIT Lincoln Laboratory constructing rooftop — illuminates at evening. | Courtesy of MIT Lincoln Lab

“U.S. Area Pressure’s Protected Anti-Jam Tactical SATCOM (PATS) is creating the potential to ship protected tactical waveform, or PTW, companies over WGS, in addition to over industrial transponder satellites and new DoD satellites with devoted onboard PTW processing,” says Brian Wolf, a technical workers member in Lincoln Laboratory’s Superior Satcom Methods and Operations Group.

PTW was meant to function in a variety of RF bands related to satellite tv for pc communications. The MBTT was designed to assist 4 generally used bands for SATCOM ranging in frequencies from 7 GHz to 46 GHz: X, Ku, Ka, and Q.

To modify between completely different supported RF bands, the MBTT is to be reconfigured with a brand new antenna feed, which emits indicators onto and collects indicators from the antenna dish, and RF processing elements. This takes 4 to 6 hours to be accomplished by a staff of expert technicians earlier than scientists can run any exams on the antenna. The MBTT antenna has supported a variety of exams and experiments together with PTW. It has additionally been part of take a look at over a number of satellites just like the EchoStar 9 industrial satellite tv for pc, DoD-operated WGS satellites, and Inmarsat-5.

The MBTT and PATS growth staff gathers contained in the radome. Courtesy of MIT Lincoln Lab

“Inmarsat-5 gives a navy Ka-band transponded service appropriate for PTW, in addition to a industrial Ka-band service known as International Xpress,” explains Wolf. “By way of the flight exams, we had been in a position to reveal resilient end-to-end community connections throughout a number of SATCOM paths, together with PTW on navy Ka-band and a industrial SATCOM service. This manner, if one satellite tv for pc communications hyperlink just isn’t working effectively — perhaps it’s congested with too many customers and bandwidth isn’t adequate, or somebody is attempting to intervene with it — you’ll be able to swap to the backup secondary hyperlink.”

The Laboratory appears to be like ahead to performing extra testing with extra person communities within the DoD. As PTW reaches operational maturity, the MBTT, as a reference terminal, may assist testing of distributors’ techniques. And as PTS satellites with onboard PTW processing attain orbit, the MBTT may contribute to early on-orbit checkout, measurement, and characterization.



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