A new 3D printed antenna carrier for an Earth observation satellite has been created as part of a pilot project by RUAG, Altair and EOS. The revised mounting was optimised for industrial 3D printing and will feature on the Sentinel 1 satellite. The collaborative project was presented at this year's EuroMold, which took place from 25 to 28 November, during the CAE Forum on ‘Additive Manufacturing Design and Engineering’.
In the space industry weight saving reduces the launch costs, so lighter satellites are more economically viable. The objective was to make the new aluminium component much lighter while keeping its strength, and to make the best use of the additive manufacturing process’ increased design freedom. As a result, the finished component is almost only half the weight of the previous component and at the same time considerably more rigid
EOS produced the aluminium components on the new generation of EOS M 400 machines. The mount is one of the longest metal components ever manufactured at around 40cm in length. The antenna mount was designed by RUAG Space, a supplier of aerospace products, and was revised by Altair, a provider of simulation technologies.
The new mount is currently undergoing tests to qualify it for use in space which should be completed by the end of the year.