Our Journey into Spaceflight

Flann Microwave Ltd is a global market-leading designer and manufacturer of precision waveguide products, solutions and services to the Telecom, SATCOM and Aerospace markets. Trading since 1956, with a workforce consisting of highly skilled engineers and professionals, Flann continually stretches the limits of possibility with waveguide solutions not available else where on the market.


We have held a prominent presence in the SATCOM markets for decades, offering instruments such as antennas, antenna feed systems, waveguide switches and other componentry required by our customers. In 2015 Flann took a considered step toward establishing ourselves as a key part of the growing Space industry after being approached by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL NASA) to provide critical components not available elsewhere. From here, we have continued to provide bespoke solutions for Spaceflight missions occurring around the world.

NASA JPL SWOT satellite mission


As part of the NASA JPL Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission, a requirement was identified for fixed attenuators with very stable performance over time, and across the range of environmental conditions, within the extreme Space environment. In response Flann designed and built a selection of Spaceflight Fixed Attenuators that would retain their calibrated performance, ready for installation into two phased matched Ka-band waveguide channels.


Methods developed to support Spaceflight qualification included: bolted rather than brazed construction, load element dual retention, mechanical encapsulation, secondary bonding, and viewing lids to allow full inspection of bond lines.


SWOT, launched on December 16th 2022 with our two attenuators installed, these enable consistent, high accuracy mapping of Earth’s surface water, from its harsh Space environment.

ESA Metop-SG 2nd Gen satellites


In 2018, Flann successfully won the tender to supply a range of V-band and W-band complex waveguide sections for mm-wave receivers on European Space Agency (ESA & EUMETSAT) Metop-SG 2nd Gen satellites. The series of six meteorological satellites are due to commence launches from 2025 to 2039.


This extremely challenging application required Flann to produce ultra thin wall waveguide components comprising of one-piece sections of copper waveguide with plated internal surfaces. During the manufacturing process, CT scans (x-ray) & cross-sectional analysis were used to confirm solder penetration in flange joints, and critical internal surface coating thickness.


These high precision devices underwent Spaceflight qualification testing managed between Flann, RAL Space and Airbus, and with delivery completed, these are now being integrated ready for launch.

Compact spaceflight switch


The huge demand from individuals and businesses for more high-speed data services, will continue to lead to an explosion in the number of satellites in LEO. Flann undertook a funded development project aimed at advancing the state of the art in waveguide technology for super high capacity satellite communication links.


Our precision electro-mechanical waveguide switch technology is ready to be tailored to mission-specific specifications with designs spanning 33 GHz to 220 GHz.


Flann have continued to develop more integrated solutions including combining the switch with diplexers, multiplexers, combiners, and couplers to make a complete light weight switching network for flight at ‘High g’ launch profiles.


Our Technology

Electro-Mechanical Switch

Switch - Circle
  • Stable across temperature extremes
  • Non-contacting detent mechanism
  • High Power, High Isolation & Low PIM

Flann’s Spaceflight switch is now available up to 220 GHz with work continuing to extend this further. An option for a ‘New Space’ approach has also been developed which is now available. 

SATCOM DC-Operated

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  • High isolation & Low insertion Loss
  • High reliability (>1,000,000 actuations)
  • Sealed, Pressurisable to 15 psi(g) standard

Flann’s highly successful range of test & measurement switches extends to SATCOM. Designed for both internal and external usage with applications including: SATCOM Systems, Switching Networks and SNG.


27283 Circle
  • Greater than 80 dB stop band rejection
  • COTS high frequency models up to 500 GHz
  • Standard low pass filters for test & development

Flann can quickly develop custom filters with confidence going straight from simulation to final product, using a variety of topological features to arrive at the required performance.

Couplers & Attenuators

SpaceFlight Attenuator HDI - Circle
  • Retains Calibration in extreme Space Environment
  • Aluminium, split-block design with Load Element Dual Retention
  • Available from 2.60 GHz to 500 GHz

Fixed level attenuators and high performance couplers enable consistent, high accuracy measurements in the extreme Space environments. Qualified design provides low risk for new bespoke models.


26810-QA - Horn
  • Linear & circular options available, dual polarization available with antenna feed
  • High power phased array antennas & standard gain horns also available
  • Additive manufacturing techniques now used for high frequency corrugated horns

Extensive range of antenna options available to suit any application. Inherently robust while providing superior sidelobe and cross-polar performance where applicable.

Diplexers, Polarizers & OMT's

26782-Septum Polariser - circle
  • Diplexers & Polarizers available for custom Rx and Tx frequencies
  • OMTs available as narrow band or full band devices
  • Innovative compact designs

Bespoke or COTS models available to suit existing E-band and Q/V-band designations. Compact, rugged design ensure suitability for the toughest environments while offering optimal RF performance.

Waveguide Terminations

High Power Load - with background - Circle
  • Water cooled, thermal sink plate radiation and convection cooled options available
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out to confirm compliance
  • Non shedding and designed with stress equalisation

High and low power terminations available using various cooling methods to meet the toughest of demands, regardless of the application. Extensive legacy supplying into ground-based TVAC environments.

Complex Waveguide Solutions

25480 Thin Wall Spaceflight Waveguide HDi - circle
  • High RF performance using a thin wall, low mass, compact solutions
  • Optional materials, finishes and interfaces available
  • Models available from 2.6 GHz to 1.1 THz

Complex waveguide solutions enable seamless connection between custom positioned ports. Ability to incorporate multiple bends, twists and other features to meet bespoke requirements while withstanding extreme Space environments.

Waveguide-Coaxial Transitions

22094-KF20 AL11697X10021 HDi - circle
  • Rugged metal construction with air-line coax for extreme environments
  • Various waveguide and coaxial interfaces available
  • End launch or alternative profiles also available

Building upon decades of supply of waveguide to coaxial adapters, spaceflight options are now available as either bespoke or COTS and to suit narrowband or full waveguide band frequencies.

Supporting Case Studies