By Hau Ho, Ronald Squires, and Christopher Brown, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Owners of high throughput satellites are increasingly looking for new ways to increase throughput while maintaining or improving the cost per bit. A key limitation of current Ka-band systems is the simultaneous use of Ka-band for both revenue generating user links and backhaul feeder links. The 40 and 50 GHz bands provide opportunity to move commercial high throughput satellite feeder links out of Ka band, enabling full use of the Ka-band for users. Today broadband 44 GHz links are on-orbit and performing well. Core to this success are existing high performance and high reliability antennas, front-end electronics, transmitters and monolithic microware integrated circuits. These proven capabilities are easily implemented at 40 and 50 GHz with low risk on the next generation of high throughput satellites. In this paper, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS) presents the advantages of using the Q/V bands for the feeder links of the high capacity Ka-band satellites. In addition, the NGAS payload components, such as high gain AstroMesh® reflectors, LNAs, Up/Down converters, SSPAs in the Ka and Q/V band and supporting technologies are also presented.