Breakthrough 3D Ceramic Antenna Technology
(Source: European Space Agency; issued July 24, 2020)
Two different ceramic antennas developed by the French firm Anywaves under an innovation project managed by the European Space Agency. (ESA photo)
A new breakthrough technology has developed 3D structured ceramics using additive manufacturing and very solid ceramic materials.

One domain where this new technology has great potential is with antenna applications – since it can be used to make compact antenna that still have good radio and mechanical properties.

A recently closed TDE activity with Anywaves in France wanted to develop, test and qualify 3D ceramic technology structures. As such, the activity proposed to develop, manufacture and test four antennas.

Anywaves produced two elliptical antennas with a filled lattice structure and two truncated patch antennas with an empty lattice structure.

The testing of the four antennas proved that this new technology can reach expected radiofrequency performances but require a slight shift in frequencies due to an imperfect cleaning of the material as part of the industrial process.

The antenna also surpassed expectations under very demanding environmental tests, demonstrating good mechanical and thermal properties throughout -- especially the patch antenna with an empty lattice.

Beyond DRA and patch antenna, the activity plans to investigate more complex designs to explore the full industrial potential of the 3D structured dielectric material technology for space future challenges.

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