Nieke Roos
17 December 2020

Altum RF has signed a two-year agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA). Under the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems program (Artes), the Eindhoven microwave startup is going to design and develop gallium nitride Ka-band high-power amplifiers, using a cost-effective packaging solution. These components are well-suited for very-small-aperture terminals (VSATs), two-way ground stations that transmit and receive data from satellites. The project starts in January.

“The ESA contract recognizes the GaN design capabilities we’ve demonstrated and allows us to continue expanding our design and development activities in Eindhoven,” comments Niels Kramer, Altum RF’s managing director Europe and vice president marketing. Elodie Viau, director of telecommunication and integrated applications at ESA, adds: “Artes is dedicated to the innovative technological development of the satcom industry and its applications. We’re delighted to be able to assist Altum RF in developing this ground equipment – which represents a very promising new technology for future and evolving space-based telecommunication services.”

“The ESA contract allows us to continue expanding our design and development activities in Eindhoven,” says Altum RF’s Niels Kramer. Credit: Altum RF

Kramer founded Altum RF in 2019, together with CEO Greg Baker and VP of engineering Tony Fattorini. They incorporated in the Netherlands, established an office on the Eindhoven University of Technology campus, secured a design team in Sydney, Australia, and started building a portfolio of high-performance RF to millimeter-wave solutions for next-generation applications. Using proven technologies like GaAs and GaN, they target telecom, 5G, satcom, test & measurement, aerospace & defense and Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) applications.