TICRA to design millimetre-wave deployable reflector for small satellites

28 Jun 2021

In collaboration with Large Space Structures GmbH (LSS) as main contractor, TICRA has recently won the project MilliWave (Millimetre-Wave Deployable Reflector for Small Satellites) funded by the European Space Agency for the development of a deployable reflector antenna for low orbit CubeSats.

The objective of the project is to design, manufacture and test a deployable reflector antenna operating from 59 to 183 GHz for low orbit Earth Observation applications. The reflector antenna will have a diameter of 1 m and  fit within a 1.5 U stowage volume, i.e. 10 cm x 10 cm x 15 cm, which is slightly more than a Cola Cola can. This will result in a valid alternative to traditional solid reflector antennas, which cannot fly on CubeSats and need satellites of dimension and mass far beyond. The requirements are extremely ambitious and to be met they need deployment architectures and surface materials above state-of-the-art.

TICRA will be responsible for the design and analysis of the reflector antenna system and for the correlation of the predicted RF pattern with the measured one, which is typically a challenging task that relies on extremely accurate RF predictions. TICRA’s GRASP and CHAMP 3D software products will be used for the antenna design and analysis while the ESTEAM software will be used for the full-wave analysis of the antenna on the CubeSat platform.

The project is expected to be complete in December 2022. Until then we will keep you updated on its development on our Linkedin profile.


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