When great researchers inspire new technology!

25 Oct 2021

As satellite communication emerged during last half of the 1960s, TV broadcasting from satellites were foreseen in the near future. This would be based on reflector antennas on the ground and – important for TICRA – on the satellites.

In the academic year 1971-72, Arthur C. Ludwig from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, had a sabbatical year and stayed at the Laboratory of Electromagnetic Theory at DTU – Technical University of Denmark as a guest professor. As part of his PhD project, Arthur C. Ludwig had developed a program for computations on large reflector antennas. The program was based on a new, fast, and very accurate way to compute the central beam and the first sidelobes of a non-perfect reflector antenna, and it had successfully been used to design antennas for NASA’s deep space satellites at JPL.

TICRA was interested in Arthur C. Ludwig’s program, and it was agreed that we could use it for sales purposes. The first sale was part of a contract to ESA.

In 1976 TICRA, won another ESA contract to develop general reflector antenna analysis software. TICRA proposed to base the work on Arthur C. Ludwig’s original program, however, when the requirements to generality proved very extensive, a complete re-organisation of the software was necessary. The result of the contract was the first version of GRASP with a more general geometry and for a single reflector only. In the years that followed, GRASP was developed to handle a sub-reflector, an arbitrary rim, struts, multibeam feeds, and shaped reflectors in addition to faster computations and graphical presentations of the results.

Throughout the years, GRASP has been the de facto industry standard for reflector antenna analysis and optimisation, and the software that is integrated in TICRA Tools continues to be so today.

The TICRA Tools framework offers a range of products with a proven track record you can trust to accomplish your daily analysis and design optimisation tasks.

Fun fact: Users of the first versions of GRASP were provided with the FORTAN source code, and they had to compile it to their own machines.


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