On-orbit verification of a 4 × 4 switch matrix for space applications based on the low temperature co-fired ceramics technology
We have developed a compact, high-performance, mechanically robust reconfigurable microwave switch matrix as well as peripheral components such as diode driver, voltage controlled oscillator, and power detector modules for satellite applications using the low temperature co-fired ceramics technology (LTCC) and hybrid integration of integrated circuits. In order to verify the technology for space applications, we combined these components to build a system that enables automated verification of the switch matrix in space, accounting for power consumption, mass, overall geometrical dimensions, and mechanical robustness. The system passed a full space qualification. During a one year On-Orbit-Verification (OOV) mission aboard the German test satellite TET-1 (technology evaluation carrier) launched on July 22, 2012, the correct operation and reliability of the entire switch matrix system and thereby the used technology will be demonstrated.