A UK startup is set to launch a phased array antenna system
that allows moving vehicles to communicate with satellites,
or antennas that track satellites, in real time with no moving
Phasor Solutions Ltd. (Ledbury, England) is using
the 155-GHz SiGe process from TowerJazz rather than GaAs for the
transceivers alongside its phase array antenna design. With a launch at
the Farnborough Air Show next month it is targeting the multi-billion
dollar satellite communications and radar market that it says provides
order of magnitude improvement over competing solutions.
The Phasor chips include all the radio frequency functions (amplifiers,
oscillators) and phase shifting circuits, as well as the logic and data
modulation/demodulation required. This approach to phased array
technology aims to reduce costs by over 10x and provide a flat design
less than 1 inch high, conformal to any surface, a modular approach, and
high reliability as there are no moving parts. One of Phasor's initial
targets is the provision of wireless internet access on trains, an estimated available
market of over 500 million users worldwide. However airborne satcoms and
other Comms-On-The-Move (COTM) applications are likely to be larger
"Phasor is carving the way for the next decades of phased arrays by
providing a paradigm shift in satellite communications. It took the
industry over 40 years to develop phased arrays which are typically
expensive to buy and to operate. But now, with the invaluable support of
our partners, and in particular TowerJazz, we have been able to deliver
semiconductors which provide an order of magnitude reduction in costs
compared to current solutions," said David Garrood, Managing Director,
Phasor Solutions. "Phasor has been able to achieve this milestone with
the support of the TowerJazz team and relying on the stability and
performance of its SBC18HX process."
Phasor Solutions was founded by venture capital firm Anglo Scientific
and circuit designer Richard Mayo in 2005 to develop flat and conformal
high gain antennas to fit on the roofs of moving vehicles. This article appears courtesy of EE Times Europe
It would be interesting to know if any FPGAs are being used for some of the complex processing required for this application. The FPGA companies make it sound like this is an ideal application for their DSP blocks. What is under the hood?
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.