Airbus Defence and Space


Surface acoustic wave bandpass filters

The Frequency Control Products Group in Airbus Defence and Space has over 25-years experience in SAW bandpass filters, and offers a comprehensive capability, including a continuing world-class design and modelling capability, together with space-qualified manufacturing facilities, all at Stevenage, UK. A wide range of filter transfer functions are feasible, with fractional bandwidths extending from 0.01% to 100%, and centre frequencies from 10MHz to 1GHz. Low in-band amplitude and phase ripples, and high close-in stopband suppression, are also typical. SAW filters are ideal for space applications, being very compact and robust.

Features / technical details

Narrowband Quartz Filters

  • Analogue IF processors

  • UHF and L-band, bandwidth up to 5%

  • Low amplitude/phase/group delay ripples

  • Sharp cut-off, high stopband suppression

  • Good temperature stability

  • Bandwidth Switchable SAW Filters (BSSF) - filters with contiguous passbands can be electrically linked and then selected/de-selected by switching

  • Examples:

    • 4.5 MHz at 200MHz
    • 11 MHz at 312MHz
    • 2.5 MHz at 160MHz
    • 30 MHz at 668MHz
    • 50 MHz at 1GHz

Wideband Filters

  • Pre/post filters for digital signal processors
  • High UHF, 5 - 30% bandwidth
  • A “complementary chirp” transducer capability allows SAW filters and delay lines with >100% fractional bandwidth
  • Lithium tantalate


Frequency range 10MHz – 1GHz
Fractional bandwidth 0.01% to 5% (quartz)
Fractional bandwidth 5% to >100% (lithium niobate/tantalate)
Inband ripple - amplitude <0.8dB pk-pk
Inband ripple - phase <5 degrees pk-pk
Inband ripple - group delay <200ns pk-pk
Transition bandwidth Few 100’s kHz min (passband to stopband edges)
Close-in stopband 40 – 50dB
Far-out stopband >-60dB
Size 20 x 15 x 6mm typical
Temperature stability (quartz) Parabolic, δF/F = -0.03*(T-T0)2 ppm
Frequency/temperature stability (lithium niobate, lithium tantalate) Linear, 90ppm/°C, 30ppm/°C
Weight 10 grams typical



  • Radiation tolerant – total dose and prompt radiation
  • Mechanically robust – to withstand launch vibration and solar panel deployment


  • Surface mount, e.g. flatpack, DIL for PCB mounting, custom hybrid.


  • G-sensitivity: <1x10-9/g
  • Operating temperature: -30°C to +85°C
  • Radiation tolerance: >1Mrad


  • Bandpass filters for signal channelisation in satellite-based analog IF processors
  • Pre- and post-processor filtering for in-orbit broadband digital processor applications

Reference customers

  • Inmarsat-4
  • Skynet-5