Swissto12 receives support funding from CTI and the European Space Agency

09.03.2016 09:50

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SWISSto12 and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have been awarded CTI grant to develop and test a new product line, the dual Ku & Ka band satellite user antenna. At the same time, SWISSto12 has been contracted by the European Space Agency to design, manufacture, test and ship antenna prototypes in collaboration with Cobham Antenna Systems.

SWISSto12, a technology company specialising in the development and commercialisation of Radio-Frequency (RF) antenna, waveguide and filter products based on additive manufacturing, announced that it has been contracted to develop and test a new product, additive manufactured satellite user terminal front end, by the CTI and the European Space Agency.

The CTI project
Goal of the CTI project is to develop a new additive manufactured satellite user terminal front end (antenna). The product will operate in both Ku and Ka bands and serves for “connectivity on the move” applications using satellite telecommunications. The antenna will be used for high data rate connectivity in aircrafts, ships at sea, trains and land vehicles. This new product aims at becoming the first one allowing users to simultaneously connect to satellites operating in both Ku and Ka bands with one single antenna while being on the move, thus removing the need for separate Ku and Ka band antennas.

This seven-digit worth project is co-financed by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) and will be carried out in collaboration with the Laboratory of Electromagnetics and Acoustics (LEMA) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL) and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

“The CTI Project is an R&D project in which we aim to develop and test a new product line with specifications that are of clear interest for our customers and in the industry”, comments Emile de Rijk, CEO SWISSto12.

The European Space Agency contract
The contract from the European Space Agency’s ARTES program is to design, manufacture, test and ship additive manufactured satellite user antennas (that is user terminal front ends). Cobham Antenna Systems joins the project with in kind contributions and is exploring, with SWISSto12, how additive manufactured antennas could fit into its future product portfolio.

The use of additive manufacturing for satellite user antennas is of particular interest for emerging high data throughput satellite telecommunication services in Ku and Ka bands where traditional user antennas are currently complex and costly to produce. This collaborative project aims at showing significant weight and cost reduction for Ku or Ka band satellite user antennas. This improvement will contribute to larger scale market penetration of high data rate satellite connectivity services.

Swiss startups interested in the ARTES program of ESA can get support from AP Swiss to to target new services, identify Swiss, European and international partners and obtain funding from ESA for awareness, feasibility and demonstration activities, up to market validation.

About SWISSto12
SWISSto12 is an innovative technology company that spun off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2011. The company pioneers the development and commercialisation of radio-frequency (RF) antenna, waveguide and filter products based on additive manufacturing.

The company specialises in product designs, which are then 3D printed in high performance plastics and subsequently metal plated through a proprietary process. This novel approach to manufacturing replaces traditional machining of metallic materials. In this context, SWISSto12 products feature drastic weight reductions, extended design flexibility and reduced production costs.

(RAN)

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