RF and mm-Wave specialist, Filtronic, has announced the successful contract win from the European Space Agency (“ESA”), supported by the UK Space Agency, as a result of a recent funding call in the area of Space for 5G/6G and Sustainable Connectivity. The €3.7M contract falls under ESA’s Advanced Research and Telecommunications Systems (“ARTES”) programme, which capitalises on a company’s innovative idea and develops it into a successful commercial deployment, keeping Europe at the leading edge of the fiercely competitive global satellite communications market.
This win will enable Filtronic to develop advanced mmWave products for satellite payloads and gateway links from satellite to ground stations, providing ubiquitous broadband connectivity as a critical component in future telecom networks. With over 40 years of RF history, Filtronic is well placed to exploit the opportunities in the highly disrupted ‘New Space’ market, where price and ability to manufacture, with high precision, at volume have become as critical as performance.
“Filtronic has already developed a range of technologies and products for mmWave bands up to 114.5GHz,” for the terrestrial telecommunications market explained Tudor Williams, Director of Technology at Filtronic. “This contract win allows us to further develop our core IP in a suite of solutions targeted at the Low Earth Orbit market. Satellite operators are increasingly turning to Ka, Q/V, W-band frequencies to deliver the ultra-high bandwidth data links and Filtronic is uniquely positioned to adapt existing product, manufactured in commercial volumes, for the specific requirements of space.
“Building upon recent successes in LEO ground systems, this project provides Filtronic with the opportunity to supply low-cost payload solutions to other customers that require high-bandwidth feeder link solutions in future satellite constellations. This contract will act as a real launchpad for our space ambitions” concluded Williams.
Dr Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency, said: “As we rely increasingly on satellite communications across all aspects of our daily lives, innovations that improve and expand the scope of these services have become an economic engine for the global space sector.
“Filtronics products, which aim to tackle major challenges, such as bandwidth requirements for emerging telecoms, provide a brilliant example of how the UK is excelling in this area; exploiting opportunities to enhance services that make our lives better and contribute to the growth of our thriving satellite communications and wider space sector.”
“Filtronic is in a great position to deliver this project,” commented Fabrizio De Paolis, 5G/6G Implementation Manager of ESA. “Its in-house design and manufacturing capability is one-of-a-kind in the UK and, through its ARTES programme, ESA is delighted to partner with Filtronic to establish a leading position in this exciting and growing sector.
The ARTES contract win has led to Filtronic advertising for several roles at its headquarters in Sedgefield County Durham, with opportunities for significant future growth and career development. “It’s always great to see new jobs being created in the North-East, even more so when they’re linked to innovative high growth sectors like space,” commented Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield.
For more information about Filtronic and its existing product range, visit filtronic.com.