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To demonstrate and investigate the possibilities of active antennas with digital beamforming, a compact breadboard model operating in C-band with planar patches as radiators is fabricated and measured. It was originally designed as a technology demonstrator for navigation purposes, but will be extended for future use in combined navigation and communication systems. Several parameters for beam position, sidelobe reduction, and ing are set and controlled by a suitable user interface. A special calibration and error-correction procedure is developed to compensate for drift of active elements, mutual coupling of the patches, and finite-ground plane effects. The excellent results demonstrate the versatile features of digital beamforming for satellite navigation and communication systems.