Antenna and front-end modules for public regulated service applications
Background & Objectives
ARMOURS is targeted at LE and ME PRS receivers, with the widest potential market in the PRS application domain. Developments aim to give a tangible response to the problem of low-cost implementation of multi-frequency radios for professional applications. The fundamental idea behind ARMOURS is to support the deployment of GNSS PRS services on a larger scale and provide the PRS user communities with RF FE modules and antenna developments which will enable PRS terminal implementation at a reduced cost.
Why this project is important for EGNOS/GSA/SatNav?
ARMOURS will develop novel technologies for implementing multi-frequency PRS receivers, filling some of the technological gaps to enable affordable and robust solutions for applications using PRS.
The main objective of the project is to fill the following gaps, important for the development of PRS:
- No economic and compact solution for multi-frequency RF front ends tailoring broadband applications;
- No existing low cost, compact and low profile antennas covering GNSS frequencies different from L1, and specifically the ones used for PRS;
- No availability of compact and low cost filters for multi-frequency PRS RF modules.
This can be translated into the following specific technical goals:
- Design and develop a high performance RF FE custom ASIC, addressing the need for muti-frequency capability for future PRS receivers with reduced cost and optimum performance;
- The design and development of high performance RF filters exploiting MEMS technology;
- Study and implementation on smart and low sized antenna solutions at the different GNSS frequencies of interest in order to respond to multiple antenna needs (namely multi-frequency availability at reduced cost and size and integration in professionals suits through the exploitation of the wearable antenna concept) for future PRS applications;
- The integration of all the above mentioned core technologies in robust multi-frequency PRS antenna and front-end modules to pave the way to the on-time commercialisation of reduced cost LE PRS receivers but also to serve as a basis for advanced implementation in HE and ME receivers.
How does it work?
The project has been divided into 6 WP, 4 of them technology related, one for dissemination and exploitation, and one for project management. Five main steps can be identified:
- User and system requirements, including technology gap analysis;
- Building blocks design;
- Prototyping and testing of the previous designed blocks;
- Integration and verification, checking the success of activities thorough integration in a real system prototype;
- Evaluation and dissemination.
PRS is becoming a reality at the same time that ARMOURS is running. The next steps include testing with real PRS signals and integration of available antenna and the FE prototype with a PRS capable baseband.
Work performed & results
The consortium is focused on producing functional prototypes of PRS antennas and front-end modules and their components, enabling practical testing and demonstration at the completion of the project. ARMOURS will design, develop and integrate compact multi-frequency antenna and FE modules for PRS applications relying on advances beyond the state-of-the-art in the fields of broadband multi-frequency GNSS FE ASIC, MEMS RF filtering for GNSS applications, and smart, wearable as well as miniaturized antennas at multiple GNSS frequencies. These advances have been deemed necessary to allow the implementation of LE PRS receivers (with the widest potential application domain) within the cost constraints imposed by the market, as receiver cost will likely represent one of the highest entry barriers for PRS services.