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On-Orbit-Verifikation of an LTCC-technology for ceramic microwave circuits
a German BMWI/DLR Project (FKZ 50 YB 1224)

LEO Satellite TET-1
Partners References

A German BMWI/DLR project (Aug. 12 - Dec. 13): OK-Tech stands for the verification of the KERAMIS technology in space:

Over the last years an innovative packaging technology for space applications based on Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics (LTCC) has been developed under the patronage of the German Space Agency (DLR). This technology is characterized by small hermetically sealed modules that hold elementary (sub-) functions of RF-systems. This design philosophy ensures a high reusability and thus an efficient product development. The modular circuit concept facilitates lower costs and reduced weight for satellite communication applications compared to standard technology. The KERAMIS technology has been developed in a series of funded research projects resulting in specific experiments for verification in space. Each experimental board consists of a multilayer PFTE substrate with mounted LTCC modules on top and combining RF-, DC- and digital functionality. As these experiments consist of several to dozens of LTCC modules the second level interconnections between ceramic substrate and PTFE form a very important part of the package. Here, interconnects using LGA and wirebond processes have been developed that both provide operation up to Ka-band frequencies. In order to verify the technology a demonstrator system incorporating multiple synthesizers and amplifiers has been developed, qualified and launched into space as part of the German TET-1 On-Orbit Verification (OOV) mission. The mission started in July 2012 followed by a verification until November 2013.

  • 14 months of verification in space
    • 1 verification cycle per month
      • 6 hours per cycle
        • 3 hours for each of the 2 experimental synthesizer boards (SN09+SN10)
        • 188 measurement data sets per board
        • 1 data set includes:
          • House-keeping data: time, sat. temperature, orbit
          • 16 measurement points per board: voltages, currents, RF power, synthesizer settings

In total 5264 data sets have been recorded and evaluated.

For further information about the results of the On-Orbit-Verification of the "Synthesizer Experiment" a down-load of the Final Report (in German language) and a Publication from the EMPC 2013 in Grenoble is available. Scientists who are interested in the data sets should contact IMST for further assistens.

TET-1: Courtesy of Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH, Berlin

Total Mass
All Experimental Payloads
Number of Payloads
Payload Power Consumption
0,55m x 0,88m x 0,65m (W x H x D)
120 kg
50 kg
max. 20 W continuous


Synthesizer experimental board (PFM = Protoflight Model)


Exerimental Circuits on Synthesizer Board
Measurement Parameters

Sub-experiment 2.1

Index Measurement
Number of Parameter
IN1 U_TEST(V) constant Value
IN2 PD_RF(V) 4: Power Detector, UMS
IN3 PD_MPA_IN(V) 2: Power Detector, IMST
IN4 ID_MPA(A) 5: Drain Current
IN5 PD_MPA_OUT(V) 6: Power Detector, UMS
IN6 PD_IF(V) 7: Power Detector, UMS
IN7 VT_SYN2(V) 3: Tune Voltage
IN8 VT_SYN1(V) 1: Tune Voltage

Sub-experiment 2.2

Index Measurement
Number of Parameter
IN1 U_TEST(V) constant Value
IN2 PD_LNA_OUT(A) 10: Power Detector, UMS
IN3 PD_LNA_IN(A) 9: Power Detector, UMS
IN4 VT_SYN1(V) 8: Tune Voltage
IN5 ID_LNA(A) 11: Drain Current
IN6 PD_SPDT_IN(V) 12: Power Detector, IMST
IN7 PD_SPDT_OUT3(V) off 14: Power Detector, UMS
IN8 PD_SPDT_OUT2(V) on 13: Power Detector, UMS
IN6 PD_SPDT_IN(V) 12: Power Detector, IMST
IN7 PD_SPDT_OUT3(V) on 14: Power Detector, UMS
IN8 PD_SPDT_OUT2(V) off 13: Power Detector, UMS

Project period:
Aug. 2012 - Dec. 2013
Project ID:
Partners Country Description
DLR DE German Space Agency (Bonn): Project Coordinator
Technical University
DE Responsible for "Transponder Experiment" (Experiment 3)
IMST GmbH DE Responsible for "Syntheszier Experiment" (Experiment 2)
Technical University
DE Responsible for "Reconfigrable-Switch-Matrix Experiment" (Experiment 1)


# References
Link DLR Internet Site
Link DLR On-Orbit-Verifikation
Link On-Orbit Verification TET
PDF Schlussbericht
PDF Publication EMPC 2013


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