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Atlas Space Operations Completes Testing on Phased Array Antenna System

By | December 22, 2020

A prototype of Atlas Space Operations prototype antenna. Photo: Atlas

Atlas Space Operations phased array antenna system has recently completed late-stage testing, solidifying it as a new Multi-Band/Multi-Mission (MBMM) antenna system, the company reported Dec. 17. Atlas has been developing the antenna system under a contract through the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and in partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). 

According to Atlas, its engineers have used coherent beam forming in order to accept signals from multiple satellites on one array, which allows more efficient satellite communications in a smaller package. The team has auto-tracked both Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites using multiple simultaneous contacts. Atlas reports there is no limit to the scale the antenna can achieve because of coherent beam forming, calling this development an industry first.

“With an ever-increasing number of satellites being deployed, the antennas that support the data transfer process need to be modernized,” said Ed McCarty, Atlas Vice President (VP) of Global Sales. “Our team has addressed all of these needs — security, multiple simultaneous contacts, and scalability — in building this new phased array antenna capability.”