ALMA Sistemi in project STARLET
ALMA Sistemi has been recently awarded the project STARLET as subcontractor to ELITAL Srl, L’Aquila, in the frame of the innovation program for Small and Medium Size companies co-funded by Italian Space Agency. The team include other 2 SMEs (Technology For Innovation Srl, Padova and Space Boy Station Srl, Rome) and it is focused to the development of an innovative navigation plasma antenna resistant to natural and man-made interferences.
STARLET main goal is to design, develop and test a new satellite navigation antenna based on plasma gas.
The multi-beam antenna has the capability to point every beam to track a single satellite. This reduces both multipath and jamming signals affecting the receivers.
The gas plasma antenna is a plasma shock (included into a dielectric tube) where the plasma becomes a conductor when the tube is being excited: this allows the tube to transmit and receive signals.
Tubes are dynamically reconfiguring to follow the satellites according the constellation ephemeris and the current position in terms of direction diagrams, frequency, gain, and beam aperture.
The electronic reconfiguration runs on microsecond basis and have low thermal noise.
The Smart Plasma Antenna can (i) identify the input signal direction, (ii) point the antenna beam on a mobile target and (iii) move the beam in any direction reducing interference.
The project has the objective to design, develop and test a dual-use navigation antenna systems prototype; to design and develop a simulation and validation software, having also capabilities to measure the performances; to validate the prototype both in laboratory and on field.
ALMA Sistemi contribution focus on software development, data analysis, quality assurance and business plan.