The objective of this activity is to develop a Large Deployable Reflector Assembly (3m an above) concept with fine pointing capability (at least 0.02 degrees), re-focusing and in-orbit alignment for Ka-band applications. The fine pointing and alignment concept shall be further developed and critical elements breadboarded and tested.
Targeted Improvements:Enabling technology development of an in-orbit fine pointing and alignment capability for European large deployable reflectors.
Description: Geostationary very-high-throughput-satellite missions require large radiating apertures in order to produce multiple narrow beams over a wide coverage region.
One viable antenna solution is a large unfurlable reflector operating in Ka band with a diameter of up to 9 metres. The high frequency of operation of this large antenna puts strong constraints on the design and the manufacturing of the large deployable reflector assembly (including the deployment boom and hold-down and release mechanism), since it requires an RF-reflective surface with an excellent accuracy(RMS error of less than 0.2 mm) and stability. The challenging requirements for such in-orbit reflective surface accuracy call for a possible correction of the reflector pointing and alignment in orbit. Currently, an in-orbit fine pointing and re-alignment concept does not exist for European large deployable reflector technology.
In this activity, a representative partial breadboard of a large deployable reflector assembly suitable for Ka-band applications will be developed, manufactured and tested. The breadboard test campaign shall demonstrate the viability of the fine pointing and re-alignment concept and lead to a quantification ofthe achievable performance at antenna level.