SWISSto12 has worked on the design, manufacture and test of these products with Thales Alenia Space over the last year , scheduled for GEO satellite launch in 2021. This delivery constitutes the first large scale use by SWISSto12 with TAS of 3D printed waveguide solutions for communication satellite payloads.
This result demonstrates a successful and ongoing collaboration between Thales Alenia Space and SWISSto12 for a wider use of 3D printing for RF products onboard satellites across a variety of orbits: LEO, MEO, GEO. SWISSto12 has used the design freedom offered by its technology to provide highly integrated and dense waveguide signal interconnect modules that integrate several complex waveguide runs into monolithically 3D printed equipment modules.
These custom designed products help improving the waveguide routings, thereby generating a significant benefit in terms of RF performance and system compactness. These corresponding designs would have been very challenging to produce using traditional waveguide manufacturing technologies.
With Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) payloads growing in complexity to deliver ever increasing amounts of data throughput, this new approach constitutes a future avenue to accommodate larger quantities of communication equipment onboard satellites. This program also confirms the success of a thorough space qualification process for GEO satellite applications completed by SWISSto12, based on the valued inputs of key customers that include Thales Alenia Space.