The ThinKom antenna design provides versatile set up choices for particular plane

ThinKom Solutions, Inc. has developed a new variant of its VICTS Aero satellite communications antenna that enables more flexible installation options and smaller distributed and embedded phased array applications.

Targeting BLOS (Government and Military Beyond-Line-of-Sight) satellite communications markets, the new product variant integrates the VICTS antenna, antenna control unit (ACU) and power supply electronics (PS) into a single small, low-profile device – Footprint package.

This eliminates the need for a separate line-exchangeable unit (LRU) for the ACU / PS. In addition, the unique high efficiency and power saving properties of the VICTS phased array completely eliminate the need for other bulky and power consuming LRUs such as power conditioning units, heat exchanger units and external RF / power / cooling manifolds.

“This new design is part of our strategy to become the preferred choice for satellite antennas for smaller volume, low power platforms,” ​​said Bill Milroy, chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions.

Incorporation of the ACU into the base of the antenna does not add to the mounting requirements and retains the highly preferred properties of the low profile antenna. The antenna measures less than 9 cm in total height while maintaining the flight-proven, highly reliable design and product features for which the VICTS antennas are known.

An additional advantage of the new product variant is that the transmitting and receiving antennas can be arranged next to each other or, alternatively, can be mounted at separate platform locations. This maximizes application flexibility in terms of packaging, weight balance, and other airframe and operational considerations.

“The integrated antenna unit offers our government customers enhanced functionality by eliminating the separate ACU / PS-LRU,” said Milroy.

“In some cases this will facilitate fully embedded installations and completely eliminate the external radome. The absence of a visible radome uniquely enables highly reliable, high-bandwidth BLOS connectivity on sensitive and survivable special purpose aircraft and platforms. The system fully supports the emission features with low probability of detection and low probability of interception and has proven compatibility over the air with the latest waveforms with hop and spread spectrum. “

ThinKom has started limited, low-rate production of the new VICTS antenna product for a US government customer. The first units are currently being integrated. The formal qualification is scheduled to begin later in 2021.

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