One of the key components of the new Sirius FM-5 satellite, which was just recently put into service, is the satellite's massive advanced antenna reflector made by Harris.
The concept of focusing the Sirius FM-5 signal on areas of peak population (like metropolitan areas on the east and west coast) is a significant departure from the satellite radio provider's satellite constellation. And it's the unfurlable antenna reflector (pictured above - click on the photo to see a big version) that makes this possible.
The Sirius FM-5 satellite featuress an S-band payload and the Harris antenna reflector makes it possible for the satellite to focus the 2 GHz S-band signals on the U.S.
The reflector features a Harris-patented, gold-plated mesh reflective surface coupled with a specific design used by Harris that maximizes antenna gain and provides the improved performance required for mobile, media services while reducing stowed volume and antenna mass.
During launch, the Harris reflector was stowed onboard the satellite - pretty much like an umbrella. Once on orbit, Space Systems/Loral controllers executed a series of maneuvers to deploy an articulating boom (also made by Harris) and then unfurl the reflector.
Harris actually has been in the mesh reflector business for over 30 years, and has over forty such reflectors already in orbit. They've worked with SS/L in the past, and this is yet another of a Harris reflector in a commercial application.
View the original Article at Orbitcast or discuss it here.