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Airbus develops carbon fibre radar reflector

The 70kg reflector will help enable higher resolution from a radar instrument for Earth observation.

29th December 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Leiden, Netherlands

Transport/​Aerospace

Airbus has successfully qualified Europe’s first five metre deployable carbon fibre-based antenna reflector.

The 70kg reflector will help enable higher resolution from a radar instrument for Earth observation. With its lightweight design, its stiffness and high robustness, the semi-rigid reflector technology offers significant advantages compared to classic mesh reflectors.

Due to its large diameter, the reflector would not fit into any rocket fairing, so it must be compactly stowed. After the fairing is released, the reflector will unfold like a flower – from 1.6 to five metres. The unfurlable parabolic reflector concept enables Airbus to enter the market of cost effective and small radar missions or constellations.

After successful completion of the intensive deployment and environmental tests, the qualification model has now been delivered to a customer for further tests on the satellite system level. The flight unit will be delivered in 2021 and is currently scheduled for launch in 2022.

Airbus Website

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