Giant expandable space antennas and solar arrays

Oxford Space Systems is developing innovative deployable antennas and structures that meet the challenges of the new space age. Their approach is one of agile development and validation where success is measured in proven hardware and customer commendations. This exemplified by the setting of two industry records with the successful deployment of the OSS AstroTube boom: from concept to orbit in under 30 months with the world’s longest retractable cubesat boom.

Thales Alenia Space UK has selected Oxford Space Systems to provide a deployable antenna based on OSS’ proprietary novel materials. The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the end customer for the mission to study the upper atmosphere due for launch in 2020. This low earth orbit mission, builds on the flight heritage of the OSS AstroTube boom currently on orbit on the UK Space Agency’s AlSat platform.

The mission, known as WISCER (Wideband Ionospheric Sounder CubeSat Experiment) expands on previous work carried out by Dstl and the University of Birmingham under fund from the UK Space Agency. WISCER, part of a joint programme with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, will allow scientists to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere and evaluate the impacts on radio frequencies through the upper atmosphere.

Unfurlable Reflector Antennas

* Significant reduction in complexity
* Readily scalable architecture (2 meters – 12 meters deployed diameter)
* High stowage efficiency
Novel reflector surface material under development
High frequency operation (up to Ka Band)
Cost competitive
Applications: Data Relay Systems (DRS), Earth Observation, Telecoms etc.

AstroTube Max boom

Updating a successfully flight-proven design, the Oxford Space System’s AstroTube Max boom is a highly scalable, structurally stiff boom designed to enable a range of mid to high mass payload deployments.

Low cost, low complexity design
Retractable or single shot deployment
Unlimited partial deployment
Footprint efficient
Scalable (0.5 meters – 15 meters)
Internal cable and gas feeds possible
Optional rotation
Based on a flight proven design (CFE-SAT 2007)
TRL 9 – outer CFRP telescope
TRL 9 – AstroTube actuator system
Applications: LDA deployment, Electric Propulsion Placement, high mass payload deployment

AstroTube Boom

AstroTube is a highly scalable, low cost boom designed to support a wide range of microsat and cubesat applications.

Low complexity, novel design
Retractable or single shot deployment
Very low shock deployment
Integrated HDRM
Unlimited partial deployment and retraction
Low mass
Highly footprint efficient (<\0.5U) Scalable (0.3m – 3m) Simple I2C interface Applications: payload deployment & retraction, antenna systems, de-orbit structures, solar sails AstroTube™ successfully validated on orbit in November 2016 (AlSat-Nano 3U cubesat mission)

AstroHinge scalable solar panel array

Building upon Oxford Space Systems’ expertise in flexible composites, OSS is co-developing a scalable, synchronized panel array. This is based upon its stored energy AstroHinge™ technology. A steerable variant is under development for LEO microsat applications.

Low complexity, proprietary design
Mass efficient
Programmable rate of deployment
Cost competitive
Applications: Patch antenna arrays, thermal radiators, solar arrays, SAR


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