Additive manufacturing for geostationary telecommunications satellites

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The purpose of this activity is (1) to analyse the applicability of additive manufacturing technologies for the production of different systems and subsystems of telecommunications missions and (2) to assess the benefit on cost savings, potential assembly, integration time and mass savings at system level.

To this aim, the activity defines reference / use cases of systems and of sub-systems for which the proposed technique is to be evaluated as well as the corresponding criteria – production costs and schedule, mass, reliability, … Both space segment and ground support equipment (dummy masses, …) shall be addressed. The corresponding manufacturing and testing process(es) are reviewed and the performance for the existing process for the existing process and metrics are assessed. Furthermore the following activities are performed:

  • AM processes are proposed and identified,
  • The metrics for the references cases when using the AM are evaluated,
  • A complete cost benefit analysis for the reference cases are provided
  • Guidelines for the specification and design of the new parts are provided
  • A detailed technology development roadmap for future telecommunication satellites is proposed, identifying return on investments,

Players from ESA member states and Canada are identified that could play a role in implementing the proposed roadmaps.