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on 21 September 2022

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11148
Open Date: 12/09/2022 15:32 CEST
Closing Date: 23/11/2022 13:00 CEST

The objective of the activity is to design a robust and securely deployable multiband antenna, combining RF signals of EPIRB and AIS, for maritime distress signalling via satellite, location identification and tracking. A full scale breadboard shall be built and tested in a relevant environment to verify its RF performance. Targeted Improvements:3dB improvement of the RF satellite link, multiband capability (121, 162, 406 MHz), more compact and robust design compared to State of the Art (half size), enabling a fully integrated design and hands-off operations. Description: EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) is a fast and effective mean of distress alerting maritime SAR (Search and Rescue) authorities via satellite. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recently updated the SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) requirements for EPIRB. The new regulations will apply from the 1st of July 2022 and require EPIRB devices to include an internal AIS transmitter (162 MHz) alongside the Cospas-Sarsat transmitter (406 MHz) and the EPIRB homing beacon transmitter (121 MHz) in addition to GNSS signal reception requirements. Manufacturers of personal locator beacon devices are looking therefore into the integration of all above functions into a single handheld device. Current antenna solutions are based on a tape measure antenna with several limitations, such as intermittent satellite link performance due to the linear polarised antenna and mechanical deficiencies in the manual antenna deployment, dimensions and handling. However in a maritime distress situation, the performance and reliability of a personal locator and emergency beacon is critical. This activity specifically aims at improvements of the antenna subsystem. The objective is to design a full scale breadboard of a deployable antenna operating at the following frequencies: 406 MHz (EPIRB / Cospas-Sarsat), 162 MHz (AIS) and 121.5 MHz (EPIRB homing beacon). Optionally the antenna may incorporate the frequency bands for GNSS functions, including the Galileo return link signals for detection confirmation. The developed prototype shall be field-tested.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Nathalie Dorval
Initiating Service: TIA-TI
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0534-04A - 4S-Other Act. Prod&T
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 6-E-III-RF Devices / 7-A-III-Array Antennas and Standalone Radiators
Products Keywords: 4-B-1-a-Structure & Thermal, Servo / Mechanics, Reflectors, feeds and diplexers, Antenna Control Units (ACUs), Drive Systems / 4-B-2-a-Transmitter and Receiver assemblies, Frequency converters

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