Over-the-air tests have been carried out by ThinKom Solutions using a pair of 17in active diameter K/Q-band phased-array antenna communicating through an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite.
The antennae are based on ThinKom’s patented Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) architecture. The company noted the tests verified that the antennae meet or exceed all performance metrics for operating effectively with the frequency-hopping waveform of the AEHF protected communications satellite network.
A broad range of uplink and downlink communication plans and modes were tested on an operational K/Q-band satellite, exercising full 1GHz and 2GHz ‘hopped’ bandwidths.
The VICTS antennas acquired, tracked, logged on and joined downlink and uplink services in all cases at elevation angles from 24-73°.
“The stabilised beam of the VICTS antenna eliminates the need for ‘de-hopping,’ requiring substantially less processing power than electronically steered antennas, and given that VICTS is the only phased-array technology that can work with very widespread waveforms, it uniquely enables use on new communication waveforms such as the Protected Tactical Waveform,” said Bill Milroy, chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions.
The conformal flat-panel VICTS phased-array antennas can be cavity-mounted on a variety of aero, naval and land-mobile platforms, according to Milroy.
The constellation of six AEHF satellites provides near-worldwide satellite communications for US sea, ground and air assets.