External collaborator: European Space Agency
Funding body and estimated budget: ESA - 1.5 million Euros
Project website: DORADA
To meet the ever increasing demand, future systems must exploit higher carrier frequencies and reconfigurable radio techniques. These systems are particularly demanding on the performance of RF frontends, which are increasingly required to combine agility and adaptability with superior performance at ever higher frequencies, setting an extremely challenging landscape for the existing RF technology base while offering major prospects for high-end technology supply in both home and global markets. DORADA has the aim of fostering a strategic intersectorial alliance capable to deliver the technological leadership and innovation in future mm-wave satcom developments that will underpin new services to the consumer and strengthen the position of the EU space industry globally. Bringing together Space Engineering - a European pioneer in satcom RTD – with world leading expertise in the areas of Microsystems manufacturing and microwave engineering available in the institute of sensors, signals and systems of Heriot-Watt University, DORADA nurtures an environment suitable to deliver transformative research exploiting complementarities and knowledge transfer. The main S&T goal of DORADA is to develop and implement novel antenna architectures and innovative passive and active mm-wave circuitry which will overcome present technological bottlenecks related to the development of future mm-wave very small aperture terminals (VSATs).
Significantly, DORADA will benefit from and be linked to Europe’s and the World’s most recent experimental mm-wave civil communication payload, the Technology Demonstrator Payload 5 on board the ALPHASAT satellite. A key deliverable of DORADA will be a test bed demonstrator that will enable on-the-air verification of the developed technology exploiting this infrastructure.