The Dual Redundant Medium Power Master Signal Source, also named MLO – Master Local Oscillator, is a project conducted by SpaceForest in cooperation with RUAG Space AB from Sweden for European Space Agency.
The project is a direct continuation of the successful PLDRO2 project, which has ended with am EQM – Engineering Qualifier Model – of the high reliability local oscillator operating at 8.6 GHz integrated with a down-converter hybrid developed by RUAG Space AB. The MLO, although similar in function to the PLDRO2, includes some extensions in comparison to the already completed PLDRO and PLDRO2 generator projects. First of all, the device should be designed as dual-redundant (2 identical devices in a single chassis), which should further improve reliability and compactness of the LO unit.
The next modification is much higher output power level in comparison to the PLDRO2 device. In the case of the MLO, the output power level should reach +24 dBm (250 mW) in frequency range of 3-13 GHz thanks to a MPA (Medium Power Amplifier) circuit. A power distribution network attached to the output of the MPA will make feeding of up to 16 frequency converters using the same LO signal possible. This will allow to minimize volume and weight required for the LO unit for very high throughput satellites including tens or hundreds of frequency converters.
The MLO device is designed to survive 15 years of operation on geostationary orbit (GEO).
The project has started in January 2018 and is due to be finished in December 2020 with TRL 7 – full Engineering Qualified Model (EQM).