Anokiwave and Ball Aerospace to Develop Flat-Panel Phased Array AntennasRFecho
Anokiwave and Ball Aerospace are working together to develop and enable the next generation of SATCOM terminal solutions. As part of this collaboration Anokiwave’s advanced, low-cost silicon 2nd generation SATCOM K/Ka-band ICs power the Ball Aerospace fully electronically steerable K/Ka-band antennas that feature no moving parts, providing long-term reliability with low-cost manufacturing.
Ball Aerospace brings an innovative approach to flat panel electronically steered antennas with flexible, cost-efficient subarrays that can be tiled together to form an antenna that is customized to meet the end user’s needs. This approach allows the flexibility to optimize a terminal to the mission needs of the customer without the cost of antenna re-design. Anokiwave provides Silicon SATCOM beamforming ICs that improve performance, reduce cost, simplify thermal management, and provide a host of unique digital functionality to simplify overall system design. Compared to multiple other companies that are just beginning to promise their early-stage ICs, Anokiwave ICs are fully released and are shipping in volume.
With their latest generation of SATCOM ICs, Anokiwave has improved the performance and reduced the cost to a point where Ball Aerospace can now deliver flat panel electronically steered antennas that meet cost and performance targets. This is a unique first in the industry as many companies have been working on solutions with promises made and broken, expectations set and not fulfilled. In the past, managing the delicate balance of cost and performance of the ICs has been a key challenge to the mass adoption of active antennas for satellite communications.
Ball Aerospace has a long history of lowering the cost of phased array systems, and the new Anokiwave IC’s allow them to further reduce costs while maintaining their desired system performance. Ball has integrated the Anokiwave IC’s into their new subarray architecture, a building block approach specifically designed to support both commercial and military end-users. This enables manufacturing economies of scale and promotes design reuse for multiple SATCOM applications – a first for the industry.
Ball Aerospace has completed over-the-air testing of its Anokiwave IC enabled subarrays and has measured results showing transmit and receive performance overscan, switchable polarization, and tapering. These test results matched, and in most cases beat, modelled estimates.