20, May 2022

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11331
Open Date: 17/05/2022 10:24 CEST
Closing Date: 28/06/2022 13:00 CEST

There is an ongoing effort to establish a credible European metal mesh supplier for large deployable reflectors (LDR). To date, allLDRs are procured from US suppliers. A number of European manufacturers are currently making mesh material and iterating on findingthe optimal design that gives the best RF performance. ESA has become the central hub to perform the RF measurements for various manufacturers and thus ESA is in the unique position to monitor European progress in this field.There are many different parameters to be taken into account in the mesh design. To date, there is no reliable way to model the predicted RF performance, so each permutation must be tested. This means that development is expensive and time consuming since most test campaigns can only test a few samples at a time. From the 50 plus samples tested already, it is clear that the mesh tension is one of the key parameters that can affect the RF performance. Therefore, it is needed to develop a test fixture that will integrate into the existing RF test setup at ESTEC. The fixture will be able to take any mesh sample provided and vary the mesh tension over two independent axes and record the RF performance in real-time, thus drastically reducing the number of samples that have to be provided.Thanks to an ESA internal study, the feasibility of such system has been demonstrated, a way forward has been identified and the requirements have been refined. Sincethe process of testing individual meshes is so costly, such a system will rapidly speed up the development time of a European mesh and offer much higher sensitivity for fine-tuning the optimal RF working point of the mesh.The activity encompasses the following tasks:-Review of the requirements and data pack of the preliminary study.-Preliminary design of the device and any additional breadboarding.-Detailed design and build of the mesh tensioner and required control software.-Validation of the mesh tensioner concept through installation of fixture in the ESA/ESTEC test facility.The deliverables of this activity are:-Mesh tensioner-All control electronics and software.

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Anze Singer
Initiating Service: TEC-EFA
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme; E/A104-01 – FoundConcept Block 1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 7-A-V-Measurement, Characterisation and Calibration Techniques for Radiative Payloads and Antennas
Products Keywords: 2-L-1.1-d-Other

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