Space

August 7, 2013

Reflector System built by Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace unit deploys successfully

An artist’s concept of the Alphasat commercial communications satellite shows deployed AstroMesh reflector made by Astro Aerospace, a business unit of Northrop Grumman.

 

CARPINTERIA, Calif. – A deployable reflector and boom system made by Astro Aerospace, a strategic business unit of Northrop Grumman, successfully deployed on-orbit Aug. 3 aboard the Alphasat spacecraft that will provide commercial broadband telecommunications services to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

Developed by prime contractor Astrium in Toulouse, France, Alphasat was launched July 25 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane V launch vehicle. The spacecraft, one of the largest telecommunications satellites in the world and the first satellite to use the high-capacity Alphabus platform, is carrying a commercial payload for Inmarsat and four technology demonstration payloads for the European Space Agency.

A unique AstroMesh Reflector System from Astro Aerospace is integrated onto the Alphasat I-XL spacecraft. The reflector is a key part of the antenna system that the satellite will use to provide broadband Internet communications. Enabled by the large AstroMesh reflector, the antenna system’s sensitivity allows the use of mobile, laptop-size modems by users around the world.

The 12-meter AstroMesh antenna reflector succesfully deployed aboard Astrium’s Alphasat telecommunications satellite Aug. 3 is shown as it was being prepared for shipment in 2011 to Astrium by the manufacturer, Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman business unit. The reflector enhances satellite performance by providing extra sensitivity to receive low-power signals from Earth terminals.

“Astro Aerospace, as a key member of the Inmarsat/Astrium team, has once again delivered and successfully deployed an AstroMesh reflector,” said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. “This represents the eighth consecutive successful AstroMesh on-orbit deployment.” Astro Aerospace delivered the reflector and boom system in 2011.

“These reflector systems are selected by premium telecommunication service providers and satellite prime contractors because of the high value they place on mission performance and reliability. AstroMesh is the only deployable mesh reflector on the market today with a 100 percent on-orbit deployment success rate, meaning no failures, incidents or anomalies.”

The deployment of the 11-meter reflector marks another successful event in the family of AstroMesh deployable, large-aperture reflectors developed and built by Astro Aerospace. The company has supplied three nine-meter deployable reflectors to Astrium for the Inmarsat-4 satellites since 2004.

Once fully deployed in space, the Alphasat reflector forms a precision 45 x 38 foot radio frequency reflective antenna surface, which was stowed for launch in a compact package weighing approximately 135 pounds. Including launch support and deployment boom hardware, the total system weighs only 246 pounds.

 

Astro Aerospace employees work on the AstroMesh reflector that was successfully deployed aboard Astrium’s Alphasat telecommunications satellite Aug. 3.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NASA, ESA telescopes give shape to furious black hole winds

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA’s (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions – a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now. This discovery has given astronomers their first opportunity to measure the strength of these...
 
 
NASA photograph by Gary Banziger

Jurczyk named head of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate

NASA photograph by Gary Banziger NASA’s Steve Jurczyck addresses an audience during a manufacturing event in Hampton, Va., last month. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Steve Jurczyk as the agency’s Associ...
 
 

Boeing to build all-electric propulsion satellite for SES

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Boeing will build for SES S.A. a new, all-electric 702SP satellite that will enable SES’ airline customers to provide in-flight entertainment and WiFi over North America, Central America and the Caribbean. This is the 12th satellite in more than 25 years that Luxembourg-based SES has ordered from Boeing, and the first...
 

 
NASA/GSFC image

NASA study finds carbon emissions could dramatically increase risk of U.S. megadroughts

Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a new NASA study. The study, p...
 
 
NASA photograph

Critical NASA science returns to Earth aboard SpaceX Dragon spacecraft

NASA photograph SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft departed the space station with 3,700 pounds of cargo Feb. 10, 2015, for a 7:44 p.m., EST, splashdown in the Pacific, 259 miles southwest of Long Beach, Calif. SpaceX’s Dra...
 
 
Air Force photograph

45th Space Wing, SpaceX sign first-ever landing pad agreement at Cape Canaveral

Air Force photograph Launch Complex 13 was originally used for operational and test launches of the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, in addition to Atlas B, D, E and F missiles, which were also test launched from there...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>