ALCAN announces electronic beam steering ground antenna for LEO and MEO satellite service
(15 June 2020 - ALCAN) ALCAN Systems, a smart antenna startup from Germany, announces today the start of its product development program to produce a fixed ground terminal with an electronically steerable flat-panel antenna for Low Earth orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellations that operate on Ka-Band frequencies.
The program is aiming to initiate production in 18 months and make its first antenna deliveries to initial customers by Q4 2021. The antenna is based on ALCAN’s innovative liquid crystal based phased array antenna technology that achieves the lowest unit cost and power consumption performance in the industry:
The antenna will be priced at EUR 1,500 (full terminal price estimated at EUR 2,500) and can achieve throughputs in excess of 400 Mbps.
The antenna will have 2D beam steering and will operate across a wide scan angle of +/-55 degrees.
The antenna will be full-duplex and have slew times less than 20ms, enabling better than 99.5% signal throughput.
The antenna size will be compact at 55cm x 99cm x9cm and have a weight less than 20Kg. The power consumption of the antenna (including LNB and BUC) will be less than 100W.
The antenna design is modular and will allow multiple antennas to be combined to achieve higher gain/throughput based on the needs of the customers.
ALCAN is working with its partners to build a mass-production supply chain and assembly capability for the antenna and is targeting first customer deliveries for Q4 2021.
Burak Olcen (Chief Product Officer) said: “We are excited to offer a product which has the lowest total cost of ownership for a flat panel antenna. After discussions with leading MEO and LEO constellation operators, we noticed the need for a standardized antenna which can meet the cost and power challenge of their customers. We designed this terminal around these needs.”
Onur Karabey (Chief Executive Officer) said: “We think this antenna will help drive significant growth in satellite broad-band connectivity enabling MEO and LEO satellite operators and service providers to reach new markets. We look forward to working with our industry partners and customers to deliver on this promise.”
About ALCAN Systems
ALCAN Systems is a German-based smart antenna technology company which has developed a revolutionary new liquid crystal (LC) based phased array antenna technology. ALCAN’S liquid crystal based platform technology provides the lowest cost and lowest power consuming high-performance phased array technology in the world. This has disruptive implications for the satellite and 5G markets.
For the satellite market, ALCAN is targeting high-performing enterprise antennas that can achieve throughputs of more than 1Gbps for under EUR 10,000 and consumer & IOT broad-band antennas that can achieve throughputs in excess of 100 Mbps for under EUR 1,000.
For the 5G market, ALCAN is targeting 2D beam-steering antennas that can meet the performance requirements of the mmWave frequencies at price points that are 3-5x lower than comparable products. Furthermore, ALCAN is also working to develope transparent UE antennas that can be integrated into the windows of buildings or sun-roof of cars.
The technology is based on the work of ALCAN co-Founder and CEO Dr. Onur Karabey who proved the viability of LC based phased array antennas in 2011. The company initially received seed funding of EUR 850,000 from the EXIST Transfer of Research Program of German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in 2014 to commercialise the research and accelerate the development of a working prototype. ALCAN raised a further EUR 10.5 million Series A investemnt in 2017 from a consortium of leading global companies and is now focused on bringing its first product to market in 2021.