It is in Cannes, in the South of France that Thales Alenia Space is trying to assemble the Koreasat 5 A communication satellites and 7. Large satellites of communication of 3.5 tonnes which were controlled by the Korean operator KT Sat to deliver Internet access services, data transfer, retransmission TV from Asia to the Middle East. Originality of these satellites, they have antennas supports products in 3D metal printing. Industry has produced the largest aluminium parts to be sent to space in 3D in Europe printing.
Bio-inspired parts created in 3D printing, lighter and less expensive to produce
Thales Alenia Space has achieved the antennas of the satellite Koreasat 5 A and Koreasat 7 supports using a Xline 1000R from Concept Laser 3D printer. Made in aluminium, those parts measure 45 x 40 x 21 cm. The 3D printer, using a laser of 1 kW on a bed of powder has enabled these aluminum parts. The imposing Xline 1000R (63 x 40 x 50 cm) tray helped produce 2 parts, identical on these 2 satellites at once. This 3D printer is one of the most impressive (and expensive) printer on the market and Thales Alenia Space was leased to Poly-Shape to produce this small series.
In addition to their innovative manufacturing method, what strikes with these pieces, besides the fact that it’s produced complex structures from a single piece, it is their design. No right angles, not standard profiles, brackets, not shapes, curves, strictly symmetrical, almost plant. Engineers have designed this structure by applying the rules of bio-design. A new approach which, combined with 3D printing allowed to earn 1 to 2 months in the production process, reduce the weight of the piece of 22% for a 30% cost reduction. This is not a real first for Thales Alenia Space since such a piece has already been produced for the TurkmenAlem satellite into orbit from the month of April 2015. Other parts have been produced for Arabsat 6B, a satellite to be launched in November.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “Koreasat 5A and 7 telecom satellites to include the largest 3D printed parts ever made in Europe”, Thales Alenia Press release, October 12, 2015