QuinStar Technology designed, manufactured, and tested a set of four Q-band (33-50 GHz) Solid-State Power Amplifiers (SSPA) during 2008-2011 as transmitters and beacons for Alphasat Technology Demonstration Payload # 5 (TDP5), named The Aldo Paraboni Q/V Communications and Propagation Experiment.

QuinStar Q-band Solid-state Power Amplifiers

This equipment is part of a Q-V Band communications experiment to assess the feasibility of using these new frequency bands for future commercial applications.  The equipment for conducting propagation studies and communication technology experiment was launched on July 25, 2013, on an Ariane-5 ECA vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana. On January 21, 2014, it was fully operational, and the experiments and measurements were started.

QuinStar’s four SSPA have operated continuously for almost 9 years now without any problems or failures.  There are over 25 ground stations* located throughout Europe that have been measuring propagation characteristics of the Q-and beacon while three locations conduct communication experiments using the Q/V band transceivers on board.

Alphasat Satellite

After completing 9 years in operation in space, the experimenters are seeking to renew the contract for another 3 years of operation.  It should be noted that the SSPAs were required to operate for a minimum of 3 years in space environment.  They are approaching three times that in operation.

*Italian ground stations of the experiment are using QuinStar-built frequency converter sets.  In the near future, these ground stations will also use QuinStar-built V-band (47-52 GHz) Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPA) for which QuinStar is currently under contract. A very significant body of highly critical information and data has been obtained during this period by dozens of experimenters and academicians that will be vital for designing and planning future broadband satellites in these bands.