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Orbital Ka-Band Airborne BDC

Orbital Ka-Band Airborne BDC

Built for airborne SATCOM and in-flight connectivity, these Ka-band block downconverters (BDCs) deliver market-leading performance and reliability in a ruggedized package. They come with either multiple or fixed local oscillators, provide bandwidth of up to 1 GHz, and can be tuned anywhere in the following Ka frequency bands: 17.7 to 20.2 GHz, 18.2 to 20.2 GHz and 20.2 to 22.2 GHz. Like all Orbital BDCs, they support high data throughput with very low bit error rates.

  • External referenced for stability
  • Exceptionally low phase noise
  • Preset signal gains from 20 to 40 dB
  • Linearity for higher-order modulation schemes
  • Options for temperatures up to 70°C


Our Ka-band airborne BDCs are designed for military, commercial and BSS broadband applications – and can provide access to 4 GHz of Ka spectrum. They are built to AS9100 standards and operate reliably at high altitudes, extreme temperatures, and in turbulence. Whether they’re installed in-cabin or externally, these BDCs can help meet demand for fast airplane wifi and in-flight entertainment.

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Two Tone Test

What it means – The two plots below compare gain linearity for the new Orbital design with competitor designs. Two tones at 20.200000 GHz and 20.200100 GHz are injected into the LNBs to provide 0 dBm out. The first spur in the Orbital design is over -40 dBc down compared to the multiple spurs on the competitive LNB starting at only -10 dB down. Intermodulation (IM) distortion for a given output is reduced in the Orbital LNB while providing higher overall gain (60 dB minimum for the Orbital LNB, versus 55 dB for the competitor LNB).

How it works – The LNB has to amplify the multiple signals from the satellite by a factor of a million (60 dB) without adding significant noise (noise figure), but also to perform this conversion without adding distortion. The above graphs represent the comparative levels of distortion between the Orbital design and competitive designs. Basically, if you put two signals into the LNB, you should get two signals, and only two signals, out. You can imagine the mess using a poor quality LNB when you amplify and convert the dozens or even hundreds of signals from the satellite.

What it shows – While an LNB would never be operated at 0 dBm output level, the test and design represent the linear conversion quality of each LNB and the P1 dB compression point. The Two Tone tests are proxies for the quality of conversion that is absolutely necessary for low bit error rate satellite transmissions. LNB non-linearity starts at much lower levels than 0 dBm output, and the 2 tone test is the best method of comparing the quality of design and manufacture of LNBs. The ultimate benefit to the end user is lower noise figure, higher conversion gain, and most importantly, lower bit error rate for their digital transmissions.

Orbital Ka Isolator

Until recently, Orbital has been adding an input isolator to the LNB when required by the customer. Because of recent proprietary improvements in isolator design, Orbital has been able to reduce the width of the isolator so that it can fit inside the case of a standard LNB (without the load sticking out sideways). This gives the added benefit of sealing the isolator into the case with the LNB.

How to order

For pricing options please call 1-604-419-8585 or contact us.

High-performance LNBs and frequency conversion products for the most challenging SATCOM conditions on the planet.


1 (604) 419-8585

1 (604) 419-8561

8652 Commerce Court
Burnaby, BC, Canada  V5A 4N6


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