ThinKom Solutions reports that it has successfully completed over-the-air tests of a pair of 17-inch active diameter K/Q-band phased-array antennas communicating through an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite. The company states that the tests verified that the antenna, based on ThinKom’s Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) architecture, “meets or exceeds” all performance metrics for operating effectively with the frequency-hopping waveform of the AEHF-protected communications satellite network.
As part of the evaluation, 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. ThinKom says that the VICTS antennas successfully acquired, tracked, logged on and joined downlink and uplink services in all cases at elevation angles from 24 to 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. HE adds that the constellation of six AEHF satellites provides secure, survivable, jam-resistant and near-worldwide satellite communications for sea, ground and air assets in the USA.