[Via Satellite 3-17-2015] Thales has selected Harris Corporation to provide a new advanced space antenna reflector that is half the weight of competing antennas, is impervious to vibration during launch, and reduces shadows that can block solar arrays on satellites. Harris will deliver two fixed mesh reflectors that will be installed on the Inmarsat S-band satellite to provide fast aviation passenger connectivity services throughout Europe.
The reflectors use Harris’ flight-proven mesh material in a patented arrangement, replacing traditional heavier solid graphite and tri-axial weave surfaces. Adapted from the company’s government and commercial unfurlable antenna products, the reflector’s smaller mass enables operators to add additional payloads or fuel to extend satellite life.
Harris has teamed with Vanguard Space Technologies to build the two reflectors. They are produced with 3D-printed titanium components, a low-cost, high performance alternative to traditional manufacturing techniques.
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