ESA Chooses DCUBED Lead Consortia to Create Deployable Reflectarray Antenna for NanoSats

ESA Chooses DCUBED Lead Consortia to Create Deployable Reflectarray Antenna for NanoSats

The Mechanical Assembly for Reflectarray Antennas of SmallSats (MARAS) project funded through ESA ARTES 4.0 will enable small telecommunications satellites to take their antenna capabilities to the next level with a multi-panel Ka-Band reflect array antenna developed by DCUBED (Deployables Cubed GmbH), Celestial Space Technologies GmbH, German Orbital Systems GmbH and Blackwave GmbH.

The satellite communications market is growing rapidly and represents a very essential part of the global satellite industry. Through the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) Programme, ESA supports the development of new satellite telecommunication technologies to keep the European industry at the leading edge of the market. One of the critical parts of this support is to ensure the development of satellite telecommunications products compatible with the trends in satellites. With the ARTES activity Deployable Mechanisms for Multi Flat-Panel Reflectarray Antennas for Small Satellites, ESA has the goal of enabling small telecommunications satellite to carry deployable reflect arrays with large surface areas and so, increasing their antenna gain. ESA has selected DCUBED to carry out this activity with their project MARAS.

Within the scope of MARAS, DCUBED is leading the design, manufacturing and testing of the mechanisms to support a multi-panel Ka-Band reflect array antenna for a 12U CubeSat.  The mechanical assembly consists of panels with high-precision hinges that form a planar structure when deployed, the Hold Down and Release Mechanism (HDRM) that supports the stowed reflectarray during launch, as well as any mechanisms required for its packaging and deployment. The project covers the initial concept definition, analyses, and breadboarding activities, up to the design and fabrication of a mechanical engineering model that will undergo environmental testing and functional testing in representative conditions. These activities will bring the subsystem from TRL 3 to TRL 6.

The consortium of four companies is combining the expertise of different disciplines necessary to deliver MARAS. Celestial Space Technologies GmbH provides the telecommunications know-how, while Blackwave GmbH is supporting the team with their competence in structures and German Orbital Systems GmbH with their expertise on satellite missions. DcubeD is leading the consortium and bringing in the experience in deployable structures and mechanisms.  

“We are very excited that the European Space Agency (ESA) rated our proposal on the Mechanical Assembly for Reflectarray Antennas of SmallSats project (in short MARAS) as the best in Europe. This development of flat panels joined by high precission hinges all folded in a tight volume fits in perfectly in our roadmap of becoming the go-to partner for all kinds of SmallSat mechanisms (release mechanisms and deployables),” says Thomas Sinn, CEO of DCUBED.

Click here to learn more about the project MARAS (Mechanical Assembly for Reflectarray Antennas of SmallSats).

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  SatelliteLaunchGlobal

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Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013