Thales Alenia Space has developed and qualified a new deployable antenna reflector designed for the company’s future communications satellites.
The Thales Alenia Space plant in Toulouse has developed and qualified a new deployable antenna reflector. Designed for the company’s future communications satellites, especially the Spacebus NEO product line, this new reflector is 2.6m in diameter and features a highly standardised design. According to the company, it will adapt perfectly to changing geostationary telecom mission requirements.
The new design features composite materials, as well as metallic parts made using the additive manufacturing (3D printing) process. It incorporates about 100 advanced titanium inserts, allowing the reflector to be assembled in just one week. It offers very high geometric stability in geostationary orbit, which means that it is well suited to telecom missions in Ku and Ka band, as well as the highly demanding Q/V band.
The new antenna reflector — combining very competitive economics and “best in class” technical performance — was developed and produced by a multidisciplinary team, using the “Open Innovation” model. Development was completed in just one year.
The first flight models of the new antenna reflector are currently in production at the company's Toulouse facility. First flight is planned for next year on a geostationary communications satellite.