Catapult opens UK’s unique antenna test range facility in Harwell

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The Satellite Applications Catapult has today announced the availability of its Far Field Antenna Test Range which is located on the Harwell campus, in Oxfordshire.

The Far Field Range offers the UK a unique antenna test range, designed to help companies with the development, characterisation and type approval of satellite communication antennas, helping UK and international satellite communications terminal manufacturers develop and test new products. The Far Field incorporates a 400-metre antenna test range, includes two antenna towers and cover all satellite communication bands from C, Ka, Ku and X.

The UK’s previous antenna test range was located at Cobham but closed in December 2015. Since then, most companies requiring test facilities have had to travel abroad. The Far Field Range will re-establish a UK capability, attract overseas companies and draw major satellite manufacturers to Harwell, where they can also benefit from the array of other creative new opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

Stuart Martin, CEO at the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “We are very pleased to be able to bring a public antenna test range back to the UK and add this capability to our suite of facilities. We have one particular client who urgently needed to test their antenna at very short notice, so we were delighted we were able to give them access to the site, enabling them to deliver to their customer on time.”

The Far Field Range is one of only five (compact and far field) ranges globally, that has received Eutelsat accreditation for Ka and Ku tests. This will enable companies to obtain Eutelsat Type Approval in the UK.

The Catapults has received overwhelming feedback from antenna manufactures and experts in this field, comparing our range to a Californian facility (currently viewed as the best in the world).