ALCAN Announces Inexpensive Ka-Band Ground Antenna for LEO and MEO Constellations

ALCAN Systems, a smart antenna start-up from Germany, announced that it has started development to produce a fixed ground terminal with an electronically steerable flat-panel antenna for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellations that operate on Ka-Band frequencies.

The program is aiming to initiate production in 18 months and make its first antenna deliveries to initial customers by Q4 2021. The antenna is based on ALCAN’s innovative liquid crystal based phased array antenna technology that achieves the lowest unit cost and power consumption performance in the industry:

  • The antenna will be priced at EUR 1,500 (full terminal price estimated at EUR 2,500) and can achieve throughputs in excess of 400 Mbps.
  • The antenna will have 2D beam steering and will operate across a wide scan angle of +/-55 degrees.
  • The antenna will be full-duplex and have slew times less than 20ms, enabling better than 99.5% signal throughput.
  • The antenna size will be compact at 55cm x 99cm x9cm and have a weight less than 20Kg. The power consumption of the antenna (including LNB and BUC) will be less than 100W.
  • The antenna design is modular and will allow multiple antennas to be combined to achieve higher gain/throughput based on the needs of the customers.

ALCAN is working with its partners to build a mass-production supply chain and assembly capability for the antenna and is targeting first customer deliveries for Q4 2021.

This antenna will help drive significant growth in satellite broadband connectivity enabling MEO and LEO satellite operators and service providers to reach new markets.

Burak Olcen, Chief Product Officer of ALCAN, stated that they are excited to offer a product which has the lowest total cost of ownership for a flat panel antenna. After discussions with leading MEO and LEO constellation operators, they noticed the need for a standardized antenna which can meet the cost and power challenge of the customers. They designed this terminal around these needs.

Click here for more about the antenna.