In the summer of 2012, SPINNER was assigned a contract for the development and construction of a dual channel waveguide coax rotary joint in Ku band. The challenging thing about this task wasn’t the best RF attributes, as usual, but a shortened period of development and a tight budget. It was necessary for the prototypes to be supplied to the customer within 12 weeks, and the first batch (with 100 units) to be delivered 20 weeks subsequent to the receipt of order.

For both channels (one contacting coaxial channel and one contactless size R120 waveguide channel) it was necessary to redevelop all of the key RF-relevant parts. The rotary joint is intended for the global SatCom market and will replace a competitor product from China that has considerable quality-related problems. Of key relevance to the customer was the competitive price of the SPINNER product with a substantially-improved RF and mechanical performance over the entire lifecycle of the joint. In this context, it was on the one hand necessary to create a technically convincing concept, and on the other hand, to develop a product that is able to prevail on the Asian market at a competitive price. Actually, the solutions available from SPINNER for such requirements in the-Ku band are configured to provide as high an RF performance as possible and with a maximum bandwidth. However for this customer, it was also necessary to optimise the product in exact accordance with his requirements to improve the performance of the overall system while maintaining costs at the same level.

On the basis of its considerable experience, bringing together employees from design, RF development, production and assembly, the SPINNER team managed to make the first fully-convincing prototypes within a short period over the summer. The measurement curves ascertained from the RF parameters exceeded the requirements and corresponded to the precision of the previously simulated parameters. The mmm mechanical configuration convinced and overshadowed those of the competitors’ products which means it has been possible for the prototypes to be given to the customer on schedule.

This has been achieved due to the continuous further development of the simulation tools that were used and the close communications between the construction and RF development teams. This high-hit ratio during the implementation of the simulation results enables SPINNER to almost completely waive the possible fine-tuning of rotary joints or to consciously make use of them in special cases in order to further optimise the RF attributes.

All of the rotary joints produced so far exceeded the required specifications. Resulting from the targeted use of simulation tools in the development process, is ultimately a robust design. For SPINNER, best RF performance, broadband capacity, price and robustness in production and assembly are the top priorities. Our production with CNC machines for repeatable precision components enables us these implementation.

Thanks to the engaged and motivated effort and excellent cooperation of all of those involved – the development, construction, production and assembly and shipping teams – it has proven possible for the project to be successfully concluded in the specified time frame.