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QEST Ku-band antenna shines in the chamber

12th December 2008 - 19:11 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


German Ku-band antenna provider QEST says that the system it is developing in co-operation with Tecom Industries of California has performed exceptionally well in ground tests, meeting and exceeding all US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements.

The prototype antenna’s bi-directional horn array last week completed six days of tests in an anechoic chamber at the University of Stuttgart, close to QEST’s premises in Holzgerlingen, southern Germany. “Measured performance was in the 92-100 per cent range compared with theoretical optimum values,” says QEST chief technology officer Dr Jörg Oppenländer.

“The antenna fully meets all relevant FCC criteria for airborne Ku-band antennas in transmit mode, for both the horizontal and the vertical polarizations,” he continues. “Its receive performance is also excellent. For an array measuring just 24.6in by 6.2in, these results are outstanding.”

Capable of operating in the total international Ku receive band of 10.7-12.75GHz and the extended transmit band of 13.75-14.5 GHz, the antenna also meets European ETSI and global ITU standards, according to QEST.

“We are particularly proud of the fact that our antenna meets and even exceeds market expectations,” says Oppenländer. “We recently won a Frost & Sullivan innovation award for our design concepts. Now we have shown we can translate concepts into real hardware on the way to launch of series production in the middle of next year.”

The next step for QEST and its partner is to present their performance figures to the system integrators and service providers contesting the Ku-band passenger connectivity market. This is a crowded space.

Starling of Israel and US-based EMS Technologies are teamed to supply Panasonic with antennas to support its emerging eXconnect service. US companies AeroSat and ViaSat are respectively associated with Row 44 and ARINC/Rockwell Collins SKYLink/eXchange. Unless QEST/Tecom displaces one of these vendors, the only other evident prospect is the VT Miltope team that has been seeking for some time to meet Lufthansa’s requirement for a Connexion by Boeing successor.

The Shephard News Team


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