Hanwha Phasor:  Empowering Seamless Connectivity for Satellite Communications On-the-Move

Collaborating to deliver space technology innovation to market.

Hanwha Phasor is at the forefront of pioneering enterprise-grade Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) antennas for satellite communications on the move, designed to provide seamless connectivity across air, land, and sea. The advanced technological capabilities cater to both commercial and military clientele.

In order to bring this next generation antenna solution to market, Hanwha Phasor required a devoted and accomplished partner with deep design for manufacture, test development and supply chain solutions.

Solution Spotlight


Hanwha Phasor


Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) – flat panel antenna


  • Design and Development
  • Supply Chain Solutions

Pushing the boundaries through new technology and design.

In June 2020, Hanwha Systems, a prominent South Korean aerospace and defense company, took a visionary step by establishing Hanwha Phasor. This move was realized through the acquisition of patented technology and associated assets from Phasor Solutions, a pioneering London-based company renowned for its advanced satellite communication technology, originally established in 2005.

Diverging from conventional parabolic reflectors, Hanwha Phasor’s flat and modular antenna is designed to fit onto aircraft, response vehicles, and marine vessels. The innovative make-before-break technology ensures uninterrupted multi-orbit connectivity from virtually any environment, all while maintaining an ultra-low profile and uncompromising performance standards. This marks a revolutionary leap forward.

The goal was to take their development unit, built by their prototyping engineers, and transform it into a fully commercialized product ready for volume production. Hanwha Phasor needed a partner with the skillsets to provide support from design to production, enabling growth into expanded markets.

That’s when Hanwha Phasor turned to Plexus. Plexus leveraged its expertise and proven track record for bringing disruptive space technology to life.

What makes Hanwha Phasor’s Antenna Design Revolutionary? The advanced enterprise-grade antenna provides on-the-move Ku-band technological capabilities allowing for uninterrupted multi-orbit connectivity while providing high-performance interoperability and maintaining an ultra low profile. The flat panel design is compact and lighter in weight compared to traditional antennas and is also modular and scalable. Additional features include two dual simultaneous receive channels and a single transmit channel, and the antenna allows for easy installation

Collaboration at every level of space technology innovation.

During a two day workshop at the Plexus facility in Livingston, the Plexus Design and Development team were able to watch Hanwha Phasor’s, Mark Radford, New Product Introduction Engineer and their Principal Mechanical Engineer, completely dismantle and reassembly their first prototype unit.

The Plexus team quickly appraised themselves of the complexities of the product and set to work providing design for manufacturing guidance. One of the key recommendations was a change to the Thermal Interface Material (TIM). By changing from a sheet material to a dispenser, it eased assembly application and provided greater margin in the design for the assembly stack up.

Helping to re-shape the design in the early stages ensured repeatability and consistency was built into future manufacturing and that appropriate tooling could be put in place. It also allowed the teams to set up a suitable materials strategy. Collaborating as one team was essential to building a closer partnership and getting the antenna design right. Hanwha Phasor’s review of the workshop was wholly positive, “We know that we have an extended team at Plexus, just as engaged in designing and making this product as we are at Record Hall [Hanwha’s London headquarters]” said Hanwha Phasor’s COO, Dominic Philpott.

The antenna was complex, it combined 27 PCBAs within a highly integrated design. Plexus’ engineering teams carried out Design for Excellence (DfX) across all eight unique assemblies in the first revision and on the fifteen unique assemblies used in the second revision of the antenna design. They provided feedback on material selection and elements at the most granular level, such as the symbols and footprints on the PCB bare boards. Through this process, the Plexus team was able to offer Hanwha Phasor guidance on the best use of design-for-test principles to ensure they achieved the best possible test coverage across all PCBs from the outset.

Having completed the PCB development, Plexus worked alongside Hanwha Phasor to develop and implement a reliable and efficient functional testing processes — with the underlying priority of maximizing reliability through quality.

“In a collaborative two-day workshop, Plexus and Hanwha Phasor engineers dismantled and reassembled a prototype, optimizing the design for manufacturing. This hands-on approach and ongoing teamwork ensured a meticulous antenna design, setting the foundation for a strong and reliable partnership." Dominic Philpott, COO, Hanwha Phasor

Avoiding antenna manufacturing delays.

Plexus’ expertise in managing global supply chains proved vital at a time when manufacturers across the world were finding their operations severely impacted by a ‘squeeze’ in the wake of the pandemic. Plexus was able to provide a sustainable stock with their intimate knowledge and understanding of the complex component market, locating suitable alternatives for components and logistics at pace. As well as recycling materials to expedite the manufacturing process.

Plexus’ unwavering focus on quality accelerated time to market still further. In one example, Plexus carried out a flying probe test to check for deficiencies in the initial batch of five prototype PCBs. Identifying an issue at this early stage of prototyping, prevented it slipping through to manufacturing, potentially resulting in the need for a costly and time-consuming systems overhaul. Hanwha Phasor estimated that this intervention saved them about a week in their development timeline.

Ready for launch: Writing history with Hanwha Phasor.

By partnering with Plexus, Hanwha Phasor gained a trusted partner to help scale the production of the active electronically steered array (AESA) for enterprise satellite communications on the move. Hanwha Phasor has been paired with a strong Plexus team who acted as a seamless extension through each stage of the supply, design, manufacturing and testing process. This close partnership and collaboration will continue as we scale the production of their antenna system—bringing instant satellite communications into the hands that need it most.

"Through collaborative efforts and unwavering dedication, Hanwha Phasor and Plexus have not only achieved remarkable milestones but have also forged a path of innovation and success in the satellite communications industry. Our shared journey exemplifies the power of synergy, and as we celebrate our shared accomplishments, we look forward to the boundless enthusiasm and exciting possibilities that lie ahead. Together, we have set a precedent for excellence” – Hanwha Phasor Team

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