(19)
(11)EP 3 671 947 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
24.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/26

(21)Application number: 19217384.7

(22)Date of filing:  18.12.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01P 1/213  (2006.01)
H04K 3/00  (2006.01)
H01P 5/16  (2006.01)
H04W 48/02  (2009.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 21.12.2018 EP 18215643

(71)Applicant: Atos Convergence Creators GmbH
1210 Wien (AT)

(72)Inventors:
  • HALLA, Markus
    1210 Vienna (AT)
  • KAUER, Christian
    1210 Vienna (AT)
  • DANZER, Hermann
    1210 Vienna (AT)
  • TUPPA, Walter
    1210 Vienna (AT)

(74)Representative: Bonnet, Michel 
Cabinet Bonnet 93, rue Réaumur
75002 Paris
75002 Paris (FR)

  


(54)NETWORK CONTROL UNIT WITH A MULTI-BAND COMBINER AND AIRCRAFT COMPRISING SUCH NETWORK CONTROL UNIT


(57) This network control unit comprises: - a noise generation system (101) for generating noise signals (S1, S2, S3) in respective frequency bands; and - a multi-band combiner (106) designed for filtering and summing the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) into a single output signal (SO) to be provided to an antenna. The multi-band combiner (106) is implemented at least in part by microstrips.




Description


[0001] The invention relates to a network control unit with a multiband combiner and an aircraft comprising such a network control unit.

[0002] The invention applies more particularly to a network control unit comprising:
  • a noise generation system for generating noise signals in respective frequency bands; and
  • a multi-band combiner designed for filtering and summing the noise signals into a single output signal to be provided to an antenna.


[0003] A network control unit (NCU) is used in aircrafts to mask cellular ground base transceiver stations from passenger equipment like cell phones, transmitting personal electronic devices, etc. To achieve this, the NCU emits noise signals on different frequency bands.

[0004] It is known to implement the multi-band combiner as a cavity filter combiner.

[0005] A drawback of this solution is the required volume, weight and sensivity of the resulting multi-band combiner.

[0006] An object of the invention is therefore a network control unit comprising:
  • a noise generation system for generating noise signals in respective frequency bands; and
  • a multi-band combiner designed for filtering and summing the noise signals into a single output signal to be provided to an antenna;
characterized in that the multi-band combiner is implemented at least in part by microstrips.

[0007] Thanks to the invention, microstrips are used to implement at least a part of the multi-band combiner, and microstrips are far lighter and more compact than cavity filters.

[0008] Optionally, the multi-band combiner comprises filters, each designed for filtering at least one of the noise signals, and at least one of the filters is implemented by microstrips.

[0009] Also optionally, each of the filters is one amongst: a low-pass filter and a band-pass filter.

[0010] Also optionally, at least one of the filters is a cavity filter.

[0011] Also optionally, at least one of the filters is a ceramic filter.

[0012] Also optionally, the multi-band combiner comprises at least one summer implemented by microstrips, for summing at least two of the noise signals.

[0013] Also optionally, the multi-band combiner comprises a first multiplexer for filtering and summing at least two first of the noise signals in order to provide a summed signal, and a second multiplexer for filtering and summing the summed signal and at least one second of the noise signals in order to provide the output signal.

[0014] Also optionally, the multi-band combiner comprises an input for receiving a base signal, and wherein the multi band-combiner is designed for combining the noise signals and the base signal into the output signal.

[0015] Also optionally, the noise signals comprise at least one amongst: a first noise signal in the frequency band 728 - 844 MHz, a second noise signal in the frequency band 925 - 960 MHz, and a third noise signal in the frequency band 2110 - 2170 MHz.

[0016] Another object of the invention is an aircraft comprising a network control unit according to the invention.

[0017] The invention will be better understood with the aid of the description which follows, given solely by way of example and with reference to the appended drawings, in which:

[0018] [Fig.1] figure 1 diagrammatically shows the overall structure of a network control unit according to the invention.

[0019] Referring to figure 1, an example of network control unit (NCU) 100 for an aircraft, according to the invention will now be described.

[0020] The NCU 100 comprises a noise generation system 101 for generating noise signals in respective frequency bands.

[0021] The noise generation system 101 comprises a digital noise generation unit 102 for generating low power noise signals s1, s2, s3 in the respective frequency bands. In the described example, the digital noise generation unit 102 is designed for generating three low power noise signals s1, s2, s3 in respectively the three following frequency bands: (NB700) 728 - 844 MHz, (NB900) 925 - 960 MHz and (NB2100) 2110 - 2170 MHz. It will be noted that these frequency bands are each wideband, that is to say that they each extend over more than 20 MHz. It will also be noted that at least one frequency band extends over more than 100 MHz.

[0022] The digital noise generation unit 102 is for example as described in patent US 8 159 280 B2.

[0023] The noise generation system 101 further comprises a power amplifier stage 104 comprising power amplifiers 104A, 104B, 104C for respectively amplifying the low power noise signals s1, s2, s3 in order to provide the noise signals S1, S2, S3.

[0024] Each power amplifier 104A, 104B, 104C is designed to provide a predefined amplification factor over the whole respective frequency band. For example, the power amplifier 104A is designed to provide a predefined amplification factor over the frequency band (NB700) 728 - 844 MHz. Because the frequency bands are wideband, the power amplifiers 104A, 104B, 104C are called wideband amplifiers.

[0025] The NCU 100 further comprises a multi-band combiner 106 designed for filtering and summing the noise signals S1, S2, S3 and a base signal SB provided for example by a base transceiver station (BTS), a node or a enode of the aircraft, into a single output signal SO to be provided to an antenna 109.

[0026] In order to receive the base signal SB, the multi-band combiner 106 comprises an input 110.

[0027] The multi-band combiner 106 further comprises filters 108A, 108B, 112A, 112B, 112C, each designed for filtering at least one of the noise signals S1, S2, S3 and base signal SB, and a summing system 128C, 112D for combining the noise signals S1, S2, S3, and base signal SB, after filtering, into the output signal SO.

[0028] More precisely, in the described example, the multi-band combiner 106 comprises a first multiplexer 108 (which is a diplexer) for combining the first and second noise signals S1, S2. The first multiplexer 108 comprises first and second band-pass filters 108A, 108B for respectively filtering first and second noise signals S1, S2. The first multiplexer 108 further comprises a summer 108C for summing, after filtering, the first and second noise signals S1, S2, in order to provide a summed signal S12.

[0029] The multi-band combiner 106 further comprises a second multiplexer 112 (which is a triplexer) for combining the summed signal S12, the third noise signal S3 and the base signal SB. The second multiplexer 112 comprises a low-pass filter 112A for filtering the summed signal S12 (and in this way both the first and second noise signals S1, S2), a band-pass filter 112B for filtering the third noise signal S3 and a band-pass filter 112C for filtering the base signal SB. The second multiplexer 112 further comprises a summer 112D for summing, after filtering, the summed signal S12, the third noise signal S3 and the base signal SB.

[0030] Each of the filters 108A, 112A, 112B and 112C is realized using microstrips (also called "stripline structure"). Instead, the filter 108B is a ceramic cavity filter. This is because the corresponding frequency band (925 - 960 MHz) is very close to an Avionic frequency band (more precisely, the DME frequency band extending over 962 - 1214 MHz), and a ceramic cavity filter is more reliable than a microstrip filter.

[0031] It is clear that a network control unit such as described above allows for a light and compact multi-band combiner.

[0032] It should also be noted that the invention is not limited to the embodiments and alternatives described hereinabove. More specifically, one of ordinary skill in the art will realize that various modifications can be provided to the embodiments and alternatives described hereinabove, using the information disclosed herein. In the following claims, the terms used must not be interpreted as limiting the claims to the embodiments presented in this description, however must be interpreted to include all equivalents that the claims intend to cover via their formulation and the prediction of which is within reach of one of ordinary skill in the art when applying their general knowledge to the implementation of the information disclosed herein.


Claims

1. Network control unit (100) comprising:

- a noise generation system (101) for generating noise signals (S1, S2, S3) in respective frequency bands; and

- a multi-band combiner (106) designed for filtering and summing the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) into a single output signal (SO) to be provided to an antenna (109);
characterized in that the multi-band combiner (106) is implemented at least in part by microstrips.


 
2. Network control unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein the multi-band combiner (106) comprises filters (108A, 108B, 112A, 112B), each designed for filtering at least one of the noise signals (S1, S2, S3), and wherein at least one (108A, 112A, 112B) of the filters is implemented by microstrips.
 
3. Network control unit (100) according to claim 2, wherein each of the filters (108A, 108B, 112A, 112B) is one amongst: a low-pass filter and a band-pass filter.
 
4. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 3, wherein at least one (108B) of the filters (108A, 108B, 112A, 112B, 112C) is a cavity filter.
 
5. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein at least one (108B) of the filters (108A, 108B, 112A, 112B, 112C) is a ceramic filter.
 
6. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the multi-band combiner (106) comprises at least one summer (108C, 112E) implemented by microstrips, for summing at least two of the noise signals (S1, S2, S3).
 
7. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the multi-band combiner (106) comprises a first multiplexer (108) for filtering and summing at least two first (S1, S2) of the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) in order to provide a summed signal (S12), and a second multiplexer (112) for filtering and summing the summed signal (S12) and at least one second (S3) of the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) in order to provide the output signal (SO).
 
8. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the multi-band combiner (106) comprises an input (110) for receiving a base signal (SB), and wherein the multi band-combiner (106) is designed for combining the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) and the base signal (SB) into the output signal (SO).
 
9. Network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the noise signals (S1, S2, S3) comprise at least one amongst: a first noise signal in the frequency band 728 - 844 MHz, a second noise signal (S2) in the frequency band 925 - 960 MHz, and a third noise signal (S3) in the frequency band 2110 - 2170 MHz.
 
10. Aircraft comprising a network control unit (100) according to any of claims 1 to 9.
 




Drawing














REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description