Lockheed Martin unveiled a new type of satellite dish technology on Aug. 23 that the company says is applicable for a wide range of use cases on satellites and ground terminals, including space-based 5G. The new dish, called a Wide Angle ESA Fed Reflector (WAEFR) antenna, is a hybrid of a phased array Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) and a parabolic dish.
Lockheed Martin said this technology increases coverage area by 190% compared to traditional phased array antennas at a much lower cost. It claims the WAEFR offers the performance gain of a dish with the beam agility of an ESA, and can accommodate any orbital altitude or ground terminal application.
“The primary benefit of the WAEFR approach is accomplishing more mission with fewer resources,” said Thomas Hand, Ph.D., associate technical fellow at Lockheed Martin Space. “While state of the art ESA solutions can address more demanding link performance, capacity, and data rates using multiple agile analog beams, they do so at a premium.”
It was developed as part of a larger research and development investment in 5G.MIL technologies as part of the U.S. Department of Defense‘s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative.
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