Airbus and Oerlikon Sign Contract for Additive Manufacturing of Satellite Components

June 27, 2023

Oerlikon AM and Airbus, who have been working together in the field of 3D-printed metal parts for space for more than 10 years, have signed a €3.8-million multiyear contract for the manufacture of satellite antenna clusters using laser powder-bed additive manufacturing (AM).  The aluminum antenna clusters, several of which already are in orbit, measure approximately 400 by 400 by 400 mm and are part of next-generation communication satellites that will transmit and receive communication and/or data signals in K-band frequency. 

“The key success factor is the specific AM machine setup, which allows the family of geometries to be reproduced with the required accuracy and the process to be indefinitely repeated,” says Hendrik Alfter, managing director, Oerlikon AM. “Thus, we met the high accuracy and quality requirements of Airbus, and consequently the specified European Space Agency (ESA) standards for satellites.”

In addition to aluminum AM, the two parties have jointly fine-tuned the post processing as a key part of the process development. 

Industry-Related Terms: LASER
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Additive Manufacturing


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