Dunmore Aerospace Collaborates with NSLComm to Develop a New Expandable Satellite Antenna

Deployable Satellite Antenna in the ISSDeployable Satellite Antenna in the ISS (Submitted Image)

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Dunmore Aerospace and NSLComm have come together to develop a new deployable satellite antenna. The combined materials expertise of Dunmore Aerospace and NSLComm’s satellite structure design experience has produced a unique satellite antenna design. NSLComm’s antenna was successfully tested on the International Space Station. The antenna will be integrated into the company’s second satellite designated to be launched later this year. The goal will be to integrate the antenna system into future communication satellite constellations. The lightweight, large aperture antenna will bring high bandwidth capabilities at a lower cost.

The barriers of entry for communication satellite constellations are very high due to the high cost of launch vehicle services. NSLComm focused on this problem and began to work on developing a new antenna technology that would decrease the cost per spaceflight by reducing the satellite size and mass. As NSLComm began the development process they knew they needed a partner that had significant materials expertise and spaceflight heritage. NSLComm and Dunmore Aerospace began to work together to turn NSLComm’s antenna concept into a reality.

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Working collaboratively with Dunmore, NSLComm developed an antenna that is compactly folded during launch and maintains the electromagnetic characteristics post deployment. The lightweight antenna is extremely flexible and is stowed in a small volume, while providing a large aperture post deployment. As NSLComm continues with spaceflight testing, the collaboration will continue to grow with the next phase of the project. A satellite mission is planned for this year to further test this disruptive technology. The final goal will be to integrate the antenna system into a next generation LEO Ka-band satellite constellation.

According to NSLComm’s Co-Founder/Chief Engineer Daniel Rockberger, “We are so excited after the successful test on the International Space Station (ISS) thanks to the Ramon foundation Rakia mission with Axiom-1. The antenna deployed perfectly after being stowed for 3 months and daily photogrammetry images proved the adequate shape of the reflector for Ka band communications. Next step is orbit!”

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“An important part of our mission is to work with companies that are developing innovative solutions for the space industry. We look forward to this antenna technology reaching its full potential,” said Art Mallett, Vice President of Dunmore Aerospace.

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