A deployable CubeSat antenna using origami techniques was tested at Thales Alenia Space facilities in Toulouse, France. Operating at 30 GHz (Ka-band), the 41dB antenna is exceptionally small and light, weighting only 600 g and folding into a cylinder of 100 mm diameter and 130 mm in height, while preserving outstanding RF performance. This is an important milestone, demonstrating both origami folding of doubly-curved surface and its application to deployable reflector antenna for space applications.
The antenna was designed and manufactured by Large Space Structures GmbH using our FlexRS®-I material technology and OriFlex® origami folding methodology in the scope of the REVOLVE project, together with Thales Alenia Space and Heriot-Watt University.
REVOLVE is part of the European Commission’s H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and we thank all partners of the REVOLVE project who made work this possible.
Large Space Structures GmbH (LSS) is a company based near Munich, Germany, founded in 2012 as a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich where its staff had been working on deployable reflectors and advanced composite membranes for more than two decades. It inherited from its academic background a very strong R&D philosophy, still developing break-through materials and technologies in partnership with various institutional, industrial and academic institutions from 0.5 m to >12 m reflectors and from P to W-band.
FlexRS® is a registered trademark for Large Space Structures GmbH family of RF reflective materials. FlexRS®-I are shell membranes based on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Technology (CFRS). FlexRS®-II are gold-plated, metallic meshes with their supporting cable network. FlexRS®-III are flexible shells based on CFRS technology, for use in deployable reflectors or reconfigurable reflectors. FlexRS® -IV explore special knitting techniques, and for use up to 60GHz.
OriFlex® is a registered trademark for Large Space Structures GmbH set of technologies related to the design and analysis of highly compact origami-based deployable reflectors based on its FlexRS® family of RF reflective surfaces.
Large Space Structures GmbH is currently hiring. Please consult the career page.