Mitsubishi Electrical Develops Expertise for the Freeform Printing of Satellite tv for pc Antennas in Outer Area – Parabolic Arc

On-orbit manufacturing and deployment of a satellite tv for pc antenna in area (from left). (Credit score: Mitsubishi Electrical Company)

New photosensitive resin harnesses photo voltaic radiation for low-power 3D printing in vacuum

TOKYO, Could 17, 2022 – Mitsubishi Electrical Company (TOKYO: 6503) introduced immediately that the corporate has developed an on-orbit additive-manufacturing know-how that makes use of photosensitive resin and photo voltaic ultraviolet gentle for the 3D printing of satellite tv for pc antennas within the vacuum of outer area. The novel know-how makes use of a newly developed liquid resin that was customized formulated for stability in vacuum. The resin permits buildings to be fabricated in area utilizing a low-power course of that makes use of the solar’s ultraviolet rays for photopolymerization.

The know-how particularly addresses the problem of equipping small, cheap spacecraft buses with giant buildings, reminiscent of high-gain antenna reflectors, and permits on-orbit fabrication of buildings that tremendously exceed the size of launch automobile fairings. Resin-based on-orbit manufacturing is anticipated to allow spacecraft buildings to be made thinner and lighter than typical designs, which should survive the stresses of launch and orbital insertion, thereby decreasing each complete satellite tv for pc weight and launch prices.

Spacecraft antenna designs are difficult resulting from their conflicting necessities for top acquire, large bandwidth, and low weight. Excessive acquire and large bandwidth essentially require a big aperture, however economical orbital deployment conventionally dictates that designs be light-weight and sufficiently small to suit or fold inside a launch automobile or satellite tv for pc deployment mechanism. Mitsubishi Electrical’s modern strategy—resin-based on-orbit manufacturing—effectively realizes high-gain, wide-bandwidth, large-aperture antennas deployed from a light-weight, vibration-resistant launch bundle. By creating a 3D printer that extrudes a customized ultraviolet-curable resin formulated for vacuum, resin-based low-power freeform* additive-manufacturing in area has now change into potential.


1) 3D printer for the freeform fabrication of antennas in vacuum

– The 3D printer shares the antenna’s struts and angle-adjustment motors.

– Antenna measurement isn’t restricted by the dimensions of the fairing of the launch automobile or the dimensions of the satellite tv for pc bus.

– On-orbit manufacturing eliminates the necessity for an antenna construction that may stand up to vibrations and shocks throughout launch, which is required for typical antenna reflectors, making it potential to cut back the burden and thickness of antenna reflectors, thereby contributing to the discount of satellite tv for pc weight and launch prices.

– Assuming using a 3U CubeSat (100 x 100 x 300 mm) specification, an antenna reflector with a diameter of 165 mm, which is bigger than the dimensions of the CubeSat bus, which was fabricated in air, and a acquire of 23.5 dB was confirmed within the Ku band (13.5 GHz). Resin reservoir Resin extrusion management valve UV protect Nozzle Rotary axis motor Yaw axis motor Linear motor Antenna strut 165mm

Diagram (left) and photograph (proper) of the 3D printer. (Credit score: Mitsubishi Electrical Company)

2) World’s first** photosensitive resin with stability appropriate for extrusion and curing in vacuum

– Industrial photosensitive resins have low molecular weight, excessive vapor stress, and are usually not appropriate for vacuum purposes, the place they boil and polymerize prematurely. The newly developed ultraviolet-curing resin makes use of a high-molecular-weight, low-vapor-pressure oligomer base blended with a vacuum-stable plasticizer primarily based on a nonvolatile polyphenyl ether to attain a viscosity appropriate for extrusion in vacuum.

– As most polymerization inhibitors require atmospheric oxygen as a cofactor to stop untimely polymerization and don’t perform in vacuum, the brand new resin formulation makes use of inhibitors that don’t rely on the presence of oxygen and have near-zero volatility.

– When uncovered to ultraviolet gentle, the resin polymerizes by crosslinking right into a stable that’s heat-resistant to not less than 400°C, which is past the utmost temperature skilled on orbit.

– Using daylight for polymerization and curing eliminates the necessity for a separate ultraviolet gentle supply, enabling manufacturing with low energy consumption.

Mid-printing utilizing an ultraviolet gentle supply in a vacuum under 0.2kPa (Enlarged space across the nozzle and rotary axis motor). (Credit score: Mitsubishi Electrical Company)

Future Developments

Mitsubishi Electrical’s resin-based on-orbit manufacturing permits small satellites to attain large-satellite capabilities, which reduces launch prices and permits for satellite tv for pc know-how for use greater than ever in purposes reminiscent of communication and Earth commentary. These prolonged capabilities are anticipated to allow extra well timed provision of satellite tv for pc imagery and commentary knowledge that meet the various wants of people and organizations. Going ahead, Mitsubishi Electrical will proceed to develop applied sciences and options that contribute to fixing international points.


3D Printing Expertise for the Freeform Printing of Satellite tv for pc Antennas in Outer Area English: Japanese:

About Mitsubishi Electrical Company

With greater than 100 years of expertise in offering dependable, high-quality merchandise, Mitsubishi Electrical Company (TOKYO: 6503) is a acknowledged world chief within the manufacture, advertising and marketing and gross sales {of electrical} and digital tools utilized in data processing and communications, area growth and satellite tv for pc communications, client electronics, industrial know-how, power, transportation and constructing tools. Mitsubishi Electrical enriches society with know-how within the spirit of its “Modifications for the Higher.” The corporate recorded a income of 4,476.7 billion yen (US$ 36.7 billion*) within the fiscal yr ended March 31, 2022. For extra data, please go to

* With out requiring auxiliary help buildings

** As of Could 17, 2022 in keeping with Mitsubishi Electrical’s analysis

*US greenback quantities are translated from yen on the charge of ¥122=US$1, the approximate charge on the Tokyo Overseas Trade Market on March 31, 2022

Leave a Comment