German Company Develops Innovative Flat Panel Antennas for Satellite Communications Systems

ALCAN Systems, a German-based smart antenna technology start-up, announced that it has reached an important milestone in the development of a new Flat Panel antenna for the Customer Edge Terminals (CET) used in satellite-based communications system.

In August 2017, ALCAN raised EUR 7.5 million in Series A funding from a consortium of investors (including SES) to bring its next-generation low-cost, ultra-thin flat smart antennas to market.

ALCAN has been working with SES Networks to develop a new generation of low-power flat smart antennas called  O3b mPOWER to be used over the O3b MEO constellation. Significant progress has been made towards a 2D-electronically steerable flat antenna operating at Ka band.

Their smart antenna design is based on a revolutionary new technology for liquid crystal (LC) - enabled phased array antennas, which provides state-of-the-art performance at low power and low cost. ALCAN’s flat smart antennas are electronically steerable, and can be easily mounted on moving vehicles such as airplanes, ships, trains, trucks, buses, caravans and self-driving cars. They can also be mounted on the ground as fixed antennas to support the roll-out of mobile backhaul and enterprise networks. The antennas are designed to be compatible with existing geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) and upcoming low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The antennas will also be compatible with future 5G mmWave technology.

ALCAN has developed a revolutionary Liquid Crystal (LC) enabled phased array technology. The technology is based on the work of ALCAN co-Founder and CEO Dr. Onur Karabey who proved the viability of LC based phased array antennas in 2011. The beam steering feature is implemented using a liquid crystal (LC) layer inside a phased-array antenna. The LC is controlled by means of electromagnetic field, which changes the direction of the received or transmitted beam without physically turning the antenna. For more information on ALCAN, click here.