A 5 m-diameter antenna reflector, designed for orbital operations. This reflector has a ‘double pantograph’ design to form a deployable ring. Once deployed, it tensions two opposing but connected parabolic nets, one on the top and one on the bottom. The top netting supports and maintains a very finely knitted metallic mesh in a predefined shape.
This reflector was developed in an activity addressing a full large deployable antenna system through ESA’s Basic Technology Research Programme (TRP), by a consortium led by HPS GmbH in Germany, responsible for the antenna subsystem engineering and the mesh development, with Germany’s Large Space Structures GmbH as main subcontractor, responsible for the whole reflector engineering, assembly and its deployment. “Different companies and European countries joining forces in combination with ESA’s programmatic approach have resulted in an excellent technology development,” comments Ernst K. Pfeiffer of HPS GmbH.