Alphasat I-XL Spacecraft Deploys Huge Reflector

Northrup Grumman announced the “AstroMesh Reflector System” made by its Astro Aerospace business unit successfully deployed on the Alphasat I-XL spacecraft.

The Alphasat reflector weighs approximately 135 pounds, but when fully deployed it forms a 45 x 38-foot antenna surface. This large antenna system will allow Alphasat to provide broadband Internet communications to mobile and lap-top size modems throughout its coverage area.

“Astro Aerospace, as a key member of the Inmarsat/Astrium team, has once again delivered and successfully deployed an AstroMesh reflector,” said John A. Alvarz, Astro Aerospace’s general manager. “These reflector systems are selected by premium telecommunication service providers and satellite prime contractors because of the high value they place on mission performance and reliability. AstroMesh is the only deployable mesh reflector on the market today with a 100 percent on-orbit deployment success rate, meaning no failures, incidents or anomalies.”

Northrup Grumman released photos and drawings showing the construction and deployment of the antenna.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.