Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Home3D PrintingSWISSto12 develops new 3D printed antenna chains for Northrop Grumman

SWISSto12 develops new 3D printed antenna chains for Northrop Grumman

Swiss superior satellite tv for pc merchandise and Radio Frequency (RF) programs supplier SWISSto12, has delivered three totally built-in RF Antenna Feed Chains to Northrop Grumman Company for the GEOStar-3 business satellite tv for pc program.

In response to the corporate, the qualification program for these feed chains was accomplished in January 2024. Scott Wolf, Managing Director of St12 RF Options, the US entity of SWISSto12, expressed the corporate’s satisfaction with the primary supply to Northrop Grumman of superior Radio Frequency Antenna Feed Chains for the business GEOStar-3 program. 

Wolf famous that the Radio Frequency and HummingSat geostationary SmallSat enterprise has garnered over $200 million in buyer orders thus far, underscoring the corporate’s mission to boost present payload capabilities to guard higher and join each nook of the world.

GEOStar-3 commercial satellite. Image via Northrop Grumman.
GEOStar-3 business satellite tv for pc. Picture through Northrop Grumman.

Optimizing efficiency and weight with RFAM

The feed chains are complete monolithic assemblies that combine diplexers, filters, polarizers, horn apertures, and mechanical interfaces. These parts are produced as a single unit utilizing SWISSto12’s proprietary Radio Frequency Additive Manufacturing (RFAM) course of. This progressive strategy permits exact design optimization to scale back dimension and weight whereas assembly stringent RF efficiency and qualification standards for the GEOStar-3 program.

Guaranteeing alignment with mission specs, the feed chains are set for integration into GEOStar-3’s payload. Notably, this marks St12 RF Options Inc.’s first SatComm contract to ship SWISSto12’s options to US shoppers. Following the profitable completion of Northrop Grumman’s qualification program in January 2024, the GEOStar-3 launch is slated for later this 12 months.

Established in 2011, SWISSto12 has been utilizing superior AM tailor-made for RF purposes, garnering traction inside the aerospace sector. Standard RF product designs confronted challenges on account of manufacturing constraints impacting efficiency, weight, dimension, and price.

SWISSto12’s RFAM expertise permits for the manufacturing of intricate and non-traditional designs that weren’t possible earlier than. By bettering manufacturing tolerances, floor finishes, plating methods, and RF designs, SWISSto12 goals to boost RF efficiency, obtain dimension and weight efficiencies, and preserve competitiveness in its merchandise.

SWISSto12’s RF Feed Chains are designed as fully-integrated monolithic assemblies; including diplexers, filters, polarizers, horn apertures and mechanical interfaces 3D printed as a single-piece assembly. Image via SWISSto12.
SWISSto12’s RF Feed Chains. Picture through SWISSto12.

3D printed satellite tv for pc antennas

As noticed beforehand, AM is being more and more utilized in satellite tv for pc antenna manufacturing on account of its capacity to create personalized, light-weight designs with advanced geometries. This methodology permits speedy prototyping, optimizing antenna efficiency by way of materials choice and built-in design.

As an example, 3D printer producer 3D Techniques collaborated with Australian satellite tv for pc developer Fleet Area to supply RF patch antennas for Fleet Area’s Alpha satellites. Utilizing the DMP Flex 350 steel printer, 3D Techniques’ Software Innovation Group (AIG) facilitated the speedy transition from design to small batch manufacturing inside three weeks. Fleet Area had deliberate to accumulate its personal DMP Flex 350 for antenna manufacturing at its headquarters in Adelaide, aiming to help its Alpha constellation which was set to launch in 2023.

Again in 2022, Mitsubishi Electrical developed a novel strategy for freeform 3D printing of satellite tv for pc antennas in orbit utilizing a specifically formulated liquid resin able to photopolymerization by the solar’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This expertise aimed to allow the fabrication of huge high-gain antenna reflectors and different large-format components immediately in area, surpassing the dimensions constraints of satellite tv for pc fairings. 

By avoiding the complexities and dangers related to conventional deployment strategies, corresponding to spring-loaded mechanisms, Mitsubishi Electrical sought to scale back satellite tv for pc weight, and launch prices, and improve sign relay capabilities for SmallSats and CubeSats.

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Featured picture exhibits SWISSto12’s RF Feed Chains. Picture through SWISSto12.



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