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FLOWPAD^3 passive demonstrator ready

Submitter: RaYmond van den Brink
Description: The PACMAN program is in its last stage; the design and building of a demonstrator called FLOWPAD3. This stands for Foilbased LOW cost PAcman Differential Dualpolarized Demonstrator. It will be the first differential Vivaldi designed and built at ASTRON. The demonstrator consists of antennas, a low noise differential amplifier stage and a beamformer network.

The first out of three FLOWPAD3 demonstrators is assembled and ready for measurement. The innovative concept is an outcome of PACMAN research. Some challenging features are implemented to get a feeling with possible low-cost SKA solutions. On a polyester foil the pattern is printed with silver ink. With electro-chemical plating a copper layer is grown onto the silver layer. The technology is called Flexible Antenna Plating and has been developed by MECO Equipment Engineers.

See also the daily images of 26-09-2006 and 12-12-2007

The SKA pathfinder prototype EMBRACE is the big brother of FLOWPAD3. It has implemented a PACMAN concept with a much higher maturity level and lower risks, since it has a short timeline.

Both brothers are part of the multi-national SKADS project. They will learn from each other and walk together towards SKA (Square Kilometer Array)

SKADS is funded by the European community (SKA Design Studies) and an international effort to investigate and develop technologies which will enable us to build an enormous radio astronomy telescope with a million square meters of collecting area.

Copyright: PACMAN team
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