Objective of the activity is to design, develop and verify an unfurlable reflector surface assembly suitable for use in large European antennas operating in the 20 35 GHz frequency range.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling technology development for a new source of unfurlable reflectors capable of generating the high gain, narrow beams needed in terabit/s high throughput satellite systems.
Description: The next generation of high throughput satellites (HTS) that are intended to reach terabit/s capacity requirehighly directive antennas and hence large radiating apertures with diameters ranging from 3.5 to 5 metres at Ka-band. Due to the accommodation constraints of the launcher fairing, only antennas with deployable apertures can meet this need. Large antennas with unfurlable reflectors have attracted significant interest in Europe in recent years as critical technology for European non-dependence.Reflector antennas of the 5 metre class operating at Ka-band will be a key enabler for the next generation of HTS. However, today areflective surface that can be stowed and unfurled without compromising the surface accuracy and thermal stability is not available.
In this activity a large unfurlable reflector surface assembly shall be designed and developed with adequate RF and mechanical properties for Ka-band applications. Investigations shall include promising solutions, such as metallic mesh or carbon fibre reinforcedsilicone (CFRS) for the RF reflective surface, as well as a suitable support structure, such as a carrying net made of tensioning ties. A prototype of large reflector surface assembly shall be manufactured. The built prototype shall then be tested, including verification of thedeployment, surface accuracy, RF and passive intermodulation performance. Limitations and improvements to utilize the technology forantenna diameters up to 8m shall be identified.
Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".