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Unfurlable Mesh Reflector Antennas

800 Years of Collective Service in Unfurlable Mesh Reflectors

Today, more than 90 of our unfurlable, large-aperture mesh reflectors have rolled out of our factory and entered orbit—10 times the number of our closest competitor and representing 800 years of collective service. These reflectors are providing unmatched performance for satellite communications and broadcast systems that require high reliability for mission critical performance and higher antenna gain for increased satellite capacity.

High throughput satellites are helping to meet today's urgent demand for increased bandwidth by using Ka-band and applying frequency reuse technology to increase satellite capacity. L3Harris' Ka-band unfurlable antenna solutions were developed with that mission need in mind. The L3Harris design integrates easily into any spacecraft configuration. Lightweight and very compact, they can produce small spot beams that help maximize frequency reuse.

Our flexible architecture—a radial rib design that can be either hub mounted or edge mounted—provides a reflector aperture size that ranges from 3.5 meters to 9 meters. L3Harris' 5-meter Ka-band unfurlable mesh reflector is creating a buzz in the satellite community because of the combination of its small size and never-before-achieved accuracy for unfurlable technology at Ka-band.

Unmatched Performance for Big Data Streams

To meet the growing need for large satellite antenna systems that can be stowed into small launch envelopes, L3Harris offers unfurlable reflector solutions in sizes ranging from 2 to 25 meters. These solutions provide unmatched performance for satellite communications and broadcast systems that require high antenna gain for user missions.

L3Harris unfurlable space reflector solutions offer the benefits of reduced risk, increased frequency reuse for HTS communications, and reduced cost per bit though flight-proven design, customized solutions, and the world's most accurate and stable mesh reflectors on the market.

The Only 5-meter Ka-band Unfurlable Reflector Commercially Available

With the increasing demand for high-throughput satellite (HTS) antennas that can operate at higher frequencies, L3Harris developed large, unfurlable mesh reflectors shaped to Ka-band accuracy that easily integrate into all spacecraft configurations. The innovative surface-shaping technology used to create the 5-meter Ka-band antenna enhances mission performance and the unique hub mounting configurations improves tracking performance. With over 40 years of experience in the design of unfurlable reflectors as well as internal research and development L3Harris produces never-before-achieved accuracy in unfurlable mesh reflectors.

Unfurlable Mesh Reflector Antennas Brochures

  • Prebuilt 12-meter Unfurlable Mesh Reflector
    Prebuilt 12-meter Unfurlable Mesh Reflector Spec Sheet
  • 9-meter Radial Rib Reflector Spec Sheet
    9-meter Radial Rib Reflector Spec Sheet
  • 5-meter Unfurlable Ka-band Reflector Spec Sheet
    5-meter Unfurlable Ka-band Reflector Spec Sheet

Unfurlable Mesh Reflector Antennas

Performance Parameters
Parameter Specification
Frequency of operation S band
Deployed geometry  
Projected diameter 12 m
Focal length 7.8 m
Center offset 8.1 m
Surface accuracy on orbit  
Root mean square 4 mm
Stowed dimensions  
Height 4.3 m
Diameter 0.7 m
Mass  
Reflector 94.1 kg
Stiffness  
Stowed 30 Hz
Deployed 0.18 Hz
Stowed Loads
Reflector has successfully completed unit-level sine vibe testing.
Electrical Interfaces
Deployment of the reflector is initiated with the sequential release of pyrotechnic pinpullers (11 total).
Deployment is driven by 3 direct current brush motors.
Additional telemetry included in the reflector design are thermistors, potentiometers and limit switches.
Performance Parameters
Parameter Specification
Frequency of operation S band
Deployed geometry  
Projected diameter 9 m
Focal length 9 m
Center offset 7.8 m
Surface accuracy on orbit  
Root mean square 0.0016 m
Stowed dimensions  
Height 5.65 m
Diameter 0.61 m
Mass  
Reflector 79 kg
Boom 46 kg
Stiffness  
Stowed 32 Hz long 26 Hz lat
Deployed 0.5 Hz
Stowed loads  
Combined load case 9.5G longitudinal + 2.8G lateral
Combined load case 5.2G longitudinal + 6.5G lateral
Overall random vibe 3.69 grms protoflight and qual - 2.61 grms acceptance
60 sec/axis acceptance and protoflight
180 sec/axis qualification
Electrical interface  
Deployment mechanism DC motor
Motor count Reflector: 1, boom: 2
Telemetry Boom position
Motor temperature
Deployment complete
Rib position
5-Meter Reflector Specifications
5-meter diameter aperture size
Radio frequency reflectivity specifically for Ka band
< 0.3 mm RMS on-orbit surface accuracy
Accommodation of any focal ratio (f/D) requirement
Up to 85% optical transparency 
Hub- or edge-mounted rib reflectors for prime focus or offset antenna geometries
Fully integrated deployable boom assembly
Compatible with gimbal actuators and fine-pointing mechanisms

 

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