[SatNews] Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has been selected by Thales 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. The announcement was made during Satellite 2015 being held March 16-19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Harris will deliver two fixed mesh reflectors which will be installed on the Inmarsat S-band satellite to create the world’s fastest most advanced 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 proven government and commercial unfurlable antenna products, the reflector’s smaller mass enables operators to add additional payloads or fuel to extend satellite life, resulting in increased revenue.
Harris has teamed with Vanguard Space Technologies, a major graphite manufacturer, to build the two reflectors. They are produced with 3D-printed titanium components, a low-cost, high performance alternative to traditional manufacturing techniques.
“Thales’ selection of our fixed mesh reflectors demonstrates the confidence the commercial sector has in this unique Harris design,” said Bill Gattle, vice president and general manager, National Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems. “Harris has a long history of space antenna innovation, and these advanced reflectors expand our extensive portfolio, which ranges from two meters to 22 meters, to suit all customers’ needs.”