DURATION: With a duration of 30 months, PHLEXSAT starts the 1st November 2020 and will conclude on the 30th April 2023.


PhLEXSAT (Photo-Digital Channelizer for Flexible Digital High Throughput Satellites) is a H2020- Satellite Communication technologies -Space project funded by the European Commission, which leverages the results of previous FP7 Project PHASER and aligns with the Digital Payloads for SATCOM product line initiated with H2020 project SODAH (https://www.sodahconstellation.eu/).


Photonic technologies are key enablers to satisfy the requirements of future Terabit/s communication satellites. The ability of Photonics to handle high data rates and frequencies is critical in this scenario, where current purely RF technologies are limited in SWaP and performance. However, the use of photonics devices is currently restricted to a few demonstrations in non-critical equipment and with limited degree of integration. PhLEXSAT will increase the maturity level of several key photonic devices and modules to TRL5, designing, fabricating and testing 1) Photonic sampler, 2) ultra-low jitter photonic clock for precise sampling, 3) Photonic-assisted ADC and DAC for digital channelizers for Q/V-band operation and 4) on-board digital processing firmware. Miniaturization will be achieved by fabricating and integrating a modulator photonic integrated circuit (PIC) and high-linear photodiode PIC with electronics in the photonic ADC and DAC components. PhLEXSAT will integrate and demonstrate such building blocks in a test bed proving the suitability of the proposed architecture for Tbps-like, software defined HTS payloads with hundreds of channels with flexible bandwidth allocation up to 1GHz/channel, demonstrating a flexible photo-digital channelizer for high capacity reconfigurable payloads, enabling flexible frequency plans and channelization and dynamic coverage for Ku/Ka/Q/V operation. PhLEXSAT consortium comprises the multidisciplinary skills needed to achieve its objectives and fully exploit its results, with partners representing the whole value chain, from space-grade hardware developers to communications satellite integrators and operators. PhLEXSAT builds on the results of the previous FP7 project PHASER and is complementary to developments made by its partners in previous and existing ESA and EC Projects. PhLEXSAT success will contribute to enhance EU competitiveness and non-n-dependence by developing critical technologies for the EU satellite industry.


The main objective of the project is the development of a photo-digital channelizer for flexible HTS. To make this possible, it is necessary to solve the limitations found in FP7 project PHASER in terms of power consumption and frequency of operation, and incorporate new features such as DSP and a truly broadband frequency operation approach, using advanced Photonic Components, photonic ADCs and DACs and a digital channelizer architecture. Bringing to TRL5 the previous developments in photonic enabled payloads for SATCOM applications from FP7 project PHASER, this innovative digital payload approach based on photonic technologies can have a colossal impact increasing the EU competitiveness in payloads for satellite communications

Supported by: European Commission