Callisto has started a project to develop Ka band LNAs for Earth Observation applications.
This project will cover the development of pre-production units for:
- Conventional ambient temperature LNAs
- Compact cryogenic LNAs with 2 reception channels.
The RF band between 25.5 and 27 GHz has recently been designated for downlink of data from Earth Observation and Scientific Research spacecraft. This frequency band has just been assigned for satellite use and future satellites will operate in the frequency to reach very high data rate. Moreover, there are fewer component options compared to more commonly used frequency bands. The aim of Callisto is to develop 26GHz LNA with state-of-the-market performance and also to provide a European source for this kind of LNA.
This project is supported by ESA under a GSTP funding programme.
The ESA station maintenance team of Deep Space Antenna 3 (Malargüe, Argentine) has received support from Callisto for the preventive maintenance of the X-Band cryogenicUltra Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs).
The cryogenic Ultra Low Noise amplifiers are used to amplify the signal coming from ESA spacecraft and will support the forthcoming Gaia mission (launch planned in December 2013).
In addition to the maintenance support, the DSA3 staff have received a training course from Callisto. The course has been well received by the attendees who enjoyed both detailed theoretical and practical lessons on cryogenic LNA systems for their operations and maintenance.
Callisto attended the 6th ESA Workshop on Tracking, Telemetry and Command Systems for Space Applications at ESOC, Darmstadt, between the 10th - 12th September 2013.
Two papers were presented by Callisto staff:
- "Zero Maintenance X-Band Cryogenic Low Noise Amplifier" presented Callisto's second generation compact X-band LNA that offers 20K noise temperature over 8.0 - 8.5GHz and a very attractive 10 years MTBF.
- "Ka-Band Ground Station Low Noise Amplifier Development for Earth Observation Missions" presented the latest progress in the development of 26GHz LNAs working at room and cryogenic temperatures. The ambient LNA based on commercial MMIC is already commercially available with a noise temperature lower than 160K over the frequency range 25.5 - 27GHz.
In addition Callisto was mentioned in ESA and CNES presentations:
The Callisto Staff at Villefranche Lauragais are pleased to welcome Maxime Sevrin to their engineering team. Maxime is a 23 year old electronic and telecommunications engineering graduate from ISAE (Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace), and CESI ( Ecole d'ingénieurs), Toulouse. Maxime will first focus on software development based on LabView. His first major project after some induction activities will be the design of an automatic redundancy switching unit which will be a complementary unit to be sold with our ambient LNAs. In the longer term Maxime will become involved in FPGA developments to give our team an additional pillar of expertise.
ESA has recently completed the replacement of all X-band cryo LNAs in its Deep Space Antennas with upgraded models. The original cryo LNAs which were all built and delivered by Callisto in the period 2000 to 2009 are being offered for refurbishment and re-sale. The refurbishment activity will be undertaken by Callisto and will include the replacement of the cryogenic components (cold head, compressor and gas lines), renewal of all vacuum seals and completed RF retest. The systems will be supplied with LNA power supplies, data logging unit and monitoring software. The RF circuits include bandpass filters which could be removed for customers requiring extended RF bandwidth e.g. for radio-astronomy or VLBI. Outline technical details of the equipment are provided in the attached data sheet.
The equipment will be supplied with a comprehensive operating manual. The cryogenic systems will be offered with 12 months guarantee. Full after sales services will be available from Callisto, if required, such as installation support, training, help desk, predictive maintenance support and annual preventative maintenance.
Working as a consultant system engineer on the design and implementation of a complex ground segment for one of Europe's flagship space projects for the 21st century. The European Polar System - Second Generation (EPS-SG) will be challenging programme requiring the best engineers Europe can muster. The ground segment system engineering team will handle the complex task of stitching together major functional elements and ensuring end-to-end performance with large volumes of data flow. Working to established standards and procedures (ECSS) and using advanced tools for management of complex systems (DOORS), consultants will be responsible for defining and controlling interfaces between functional elements, verifying that high level system requirements are flowed down and implemented correctly, system design integrity is maintained and optimised throughout the development process.
Several positions are available to experienced system engineers with the correct background and qualifications.
Callisto has started a project in collaboration with Sysméca (Colomiers) to develop Ka band LNAs for Satcom applications. This LNA will operate at 20GHz and will be ruggedized for outdoor use.
The aim of Callisto is to develop this LNA with competitive performance compared to those currently available on the market and also to provide a European source for this kind of LNA.
This project has been awarded a grant by the "Région Midi-Pyrénées" via the European Union FEDER 2007-2013 Program.
- Radio frequency & electromagnetic.
- Software development.