Space SAR system with
reconfigurable integrated photonic beamforming

SPACEBEAM aims at designing, realizing and testing an innovative radar receiver that will enable the concept of reconfigurable multi-beam Scan-on-Receive (SCORE) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Earth observation applications.

In order to comply with the requirements of future swarms and constellations of LEO satellites and cubesats in terms of performance, SWaP, and cost, the SPACEBEAM receiver will be based on an optical beamforming network realized as a photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The PIC will implement a precise and continuous beamforming of wideband signals, also realizing a frequency-agnostic photonic down-conversion of signals in the range from 5 to 40 GHz. In order to push the maturity of the SPACEBEAM technology to TRL 6, the project will also develop and test a Space-compliant package for the PIC.

The SPACEBEAM receiver will therefore show more functionalities, better performance, and lower size, weight, and power consumption than the current systems.