Harris Supplies Reflector for New Mobile Communications Satellite

Harris Corp. was the supplier of a special 12-meter reflector that formed part of the antenna system aboard a new ICO Global Communications satellite launched April 14.

The geosynchronous satellite will be used to for the planned ICO mim (mobile interactive media) service in North America. ICO demonstrated the service in Las Vegas during the NAB Show. The company plans alpha trials later this year for ICO mim, which will use the DVB-SH standard.

The reflector design was such that it is stored in a relatively small space aboard the spacecraft, yet provides an increased gain figure and improved performance for mobile services across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Harris said.

The reflector is constructed of a patented gold-plated mesh surface. During the launch phase, the reflector was stowed in an umbrella-like configuration. Once the satellite had achieved a proper orbit, on ground controllers activated an onboard mechanism to unfurl the reflector April 26.

“This on-orbit success reflects our continuing commitment to providing the most advanced unfurlable reflector designs that meet the challenges of mobile communications providers and satellite broadcasters,” said Jeremy Wensinger, Harris Government Communications Systems group president. “The larger reflector size was achieved by using a patented Harris design and is key to providing new, high-quality satellite services to a full range of portable communication devices. We are pleased to be part of the Loral/ICO team in bringing these next-generation satellite services to users across the nation.”

The device was constructed at Harris facilities in Palm Beach, Fla.