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BAROC – Bandpass RF O/E Converter

Launch of new ESA ARTES project “BAROC”

Albis Optoelectronics announces the launch of BAROC – Bandpass RF O/E Converter, a new R&D project that started in February 2022 and which is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the framework of the ARTES Core Competitiveness Generic Programme Line.

The project focuses on the development of a new packaged RF photodetector with optimized form factor and integration of a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) for broadband matching from 0 to 40 GHz and narrowband matching for frequencies inside 2 to 4 GHz and 22 to 26 GHz.
Target application for the product is RF photonic payloads for very high throughput satellite (VHTS) telecommunication satellites. The detector can be used for space borne RF signal distribution and RF signal generation. Ground based applications are RF signal distribution (RF over fibre, Fibre-to-the-antenna FTTA 5G, satellite base stations, sensing, surveillance, radar), RF signal generation (microwave photonics), test & measurement and scientific instruments.

The main advantage of the new packaged photodetector is better performance due to smaller parasitic effects and simplified manufacturing due to higher level of integration which reduces the number of components. This enables a higher level of automatization which reduces costs, improves quality control and enhances reliability of the component for space applications.

The consortium members are Albis Optoelectronics (Switzerland) and Thales Alenia Space (TAS, France). Albis is responsible for the development of the new packaged RF photodetector while TAS will design the MMICs required for the broadband and narrowband matching, respectively.