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Quasi-optical beam formers for space communication systems

Mauro EttorreMauro Ettorre received a Laurea degree “summa cum laude” in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electromagnetics from the University of Siena, Italy, in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Part of his Ph.D. work was developed at TNO, The Netherlands, where he later worked as an Antenna Researcher. From 2008 to 2010, Dr. Ettorre was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the IETR, Université de Rennes 1, France. In 2010 and 2016, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Radiation Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan. Since October 2010, he is a Research Scientist at CNRS, within the IETR. In 2014, he assumed responsibilities for the multi-beam antenna activity in the joint laboratory between IETR and Thales Alenia Space, France. In 2015, he was an invited professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

Dr. Ettorre’s research interests include the analysis and design of quasi-optical systems, millimeter-wave antennas, non-diffractive radiation, and space antennas.

He has authored over 47 journal papers, 100 conference communications and has 5 international patents on millimeter-wave antenna technology. Dr. Ettorre received the Young Antenna Engineer Prize at the 2008 European Space Agency Antenna Workshop, NL, and the 2012 Starting Grant Award from the city of Rennes, France.


Hervé LegayHervé Legay was born in 1965. He received the D.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), Rennes, France, in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

For two years, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, where he developed innovating planar antennas. He joined Alcatel Space, Toulouse, France, in 1994, which is now Thales Alenia Space. He initially conducted studies in the areas of military telecommunication satellite antennas and antenna processing. He designed the architecture and the anti-jamming process of the Syracuse 3 active antenna.

He is the author of 25 patents. He is currently responsible for the advanced studies on space antennas and coordinates the collaborations with academic and research partners. He was appointed Antenna Expert in Thales. Dr. Legay is a co-prize-winner of the 2007 Schelkunoff prize paper award.

He received the Gold Thales Awards in 2008, a reward for the best innovations in the group Thales.


Course Outline

The short course is organized into four sections covering the following sub-topics.

1. Multibeam antenna architectures and requirements : An overview of architectures based on quasi-optical beam formers and optical systems is presented, as well as the current state-of-art of the antenna technologies for space. Special attention is devoted to the antenna requirements for future space missions. A focus is made on the technological challenges for on-board systems due to the harsh environment. Multi-beam antennas are introduced and their needs in terms of field of view, performance (gain, polarization, C/I, etc.), accommodation constraints provided.

2. Quasi-optical beam former basics: classical quasi-optical beam formers based on pillbox, Rotman and bootlace lenses, corporate array of beam formers, etc. are presented with their benefits and limitations. Novel quasi-optical beamformers in parallel plate waveguide technology are analysed in details. Geometrical optics and physical optics methods are presented for their design and the derivation of their performance (field of view, losses, phase aberration, etc.). Information about the weight and final size of the beam formers are also provided.

3. Experimental quasi-optical beam formers: several prototypes in Ku and Ka bands are used to validate the theoretical framework of the course. The prototypes are based on low-cost printed circuit board technology, milling and plastic injection. The effectiveness of such technologies for space is discussed.

4. Future directions: the course is focused on quasi-optical beam formers scanning in one plane. The possibility to have a 2D full coverage is discussed and several solutions proposed. A special attention is given to the cost, weight, and power budget of the proposed solutions with respect to the current state-of-the-art especially for on-board systems. The possibility to have active and reconfigurable quasi-optical systems is explored and several directions outlined.

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Important Deadlines
12 February 2018
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