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To cope with the economical and technical demands of the market and to compete with terrestrial networks, satellite operators and manufacturers will need to upgrade their satellites and services. Nowadays, most of commercial satellite payloads are designed for a predetermined service and lack flexibility. Future communication satellites have to become more flexible and shall provide capacity at the lowest cost. The upcoming new needs lead to a major impact on the architecture at satellite payload level. RF and microwave filters are one of the most affected by the derived equipment specifications. The required out-of-band rejection close to the useful bandwidth will become more stringent (better than 40 dBc) while saving size and mass by more than 30% compared to the heavy mechanical cavities used today. Advanced technologies, like ceramic 3D stereolithography or Surface Integrated Waveguide technology presented in this paper are very promising solutions to overcome these requirements. Moreover, tunable filters could be a relevant option to simplify payload architectures by giving more flexibility on the frequency plan and/or bandwidth. Today, agile filters are not available in space equipments but some new technologies presented in this paper, such as MEMS technologies or ceramic based flexible filters, have now the capability to comply with space environment constraints. Finally, new synthesis method techniques could help saving mass (by 30% or more) of future OMUX equipments.
Date of Conference: 28-29 Sept. 2009