DEPLOYABLE MECHANISMS FOR MULTI FLAT-PANEL REFLECTARRAY ANTENNAS FOR SMALL SATELLITES (ARTES AT 5E.026)

Description

The objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and test the mechanisms to support a Ka-band reflect array composed of several panels that deploy in two orthogonal directions. The activity will develop packing, deployment solutions and mechanisms. Targeted Improvements: Enable small telecommunications satellites to embark deployable reflect arrays of at least 1 square meter. Description: In order to increase the gain of antennas employed on cubesats, the surface area of the reflector needs to be maximised. Given that the available stowage volume on cubesats is limited, a foldable flat panel reflectarray antenna that can be stored on the outside of the CubeSat is the preferred solution to minimise space. By flattening antennas in this way, missions can gain in terms of massand volume, as well as on board accommodation. However, while producing these flat surfaces with metallic elements printed on dielectric slabs is comparatively simple, designing their layout to produce the desired radio frequency characteristics is quite challenging. Overall, the main criticality in developing these deployable, flat-panel reflect array antennas is the mechanical design. The required flatness of the deployed panel array is a challenging factor for the development of this technology. Also, to guarantee a precise reciprocal position of the panels requires accurate and sophisticated hinges and deployment mechanisms. Triple panel reflect arrays which deploy only along a single axis are currently being studied. To meet the demanding requirements of future small satellite telecommunication constellations, larger apertures are needed (greater than one square metre). Therefore, multi-axis deployment solutions will be developed to provide the larger size from a small platform stowage area. The activity aims to develop and validate atechnical concept for a deployable multi-panel reflector that deploys in two directions and includes a suitable hold-down and deployment mechanism. An engineering model will be built and tested for flatness and repeatability. Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevantparticipation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Business_with_ESA/Small_and_Medium_Sized_En…

Tender Specifics