Satellite communications play an important role in the development of new communication applications in Saudi Arabia and around the world. The most important elements for satellite communication are antennas.
The multi-array antenna technology has the ability to create and electronically beam radiation waves in different directions without moving the antennas. The technology of phased array antennas is still in its infancy stage. There are several methods to take advantage of recent developments in phased array antenna technology and how it affects the performance, energy consumption cost, and how easy it is to connect to satellites.
The project aims to transfer and localize the Ka-band electronic self-guided phased array antenna technology in collaboration with the best research groups at the University of California, San Diego, specializing in Phased-Array Antenna technologies. The project also aims to strengthen the skills of KACST’s researchers in the design and construction of similar devices. One of the applications of this project is to enable and facilitate satellite communication where the final product is characterized by high speed radiation guidance and a scanning angle of radiation ranging from ± 45 cm. The project consists of two main parts:
1. Design and simulation of the 8-channel integrated circuits responsible for directing and receiving electromagnetic waves. These circuits include the wave amplifier electronic chips, the Receive Equalizer, the Phase Shifter, and the Electronic Control Module. All designs and simulations have been completed and the chips will be manufactured for this part of the project for laboratory testing.
2. Design and construction of multi-layer (10 layers) high-bandwidth (10 GHz) radio frequency reception. This part of the project also contains the design of the Wilkinson power divider to distribute power evenly over radio reception units. Most of the designs for radio receivers, including the Wilkinson power divider, have been completed in preparation for the manufacturing and testing of the phased array antennas.
The two parts of the system will be integrated once the design and test phases are performed, creating the final prototype. This prototype will then be tested to measure all system variables such as rate gain, scanning angle, beamforming, and other characteristics.