Munich | Bucharest

Deployable UHF-Helix Antenna (UDAN)


UDAN: Mini-Antenna with Maxi-Performance for Small Sats

HPS delivers Europe´s technical solution to squaring the circle

Small and nano-sat constellations are a decisive element in future New Space scenarios. However, key to effective small sat applications is the performance of the satellite´s onboard antenna in sat-to-sat and sat-to-ground communications. Regarding the latter, up to now this was the rule: the smaller the satellite, the weaker the performance of the antenna to be compensated for by a costly and complicated ground terminal. This, however, is a clear NoGo in a commercial space environment. The solution: UDAN (Deployable-10-dBi-class-gain UHF antenna for nano satellites), an antenna developed for 3U class cubesats and higher, packed at 1U-mini-format – 10by10by10 centimeters only! – that deploys outside of its host after launch within the spacecraft. The performance reaches 10 dBi, while the antenna is optimized for frequencies between 410 and 460 MHz with high bandwidth.

Europe´s space agency ESA entrusted in December 2018 the design to the German specialist for deployable antennas, HPS GmbH in Munich and its subsidiary HPS S.R.L. in Bucarest, Rumania, targeting 2020 for the delivery of an engineering model.

The result is an antenna designed as a conic double helix, offering additional upscaling potentials for higher frequencies. The technical demands towards ground stations remain so on the lowest possible cost level, and even smallest sats can now dispose of communications abilities that up to now have been the priviledge of really large satellites. With this solution, Europe has managed to square the circle.

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UDAN Engineering Model

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Features:

  • Deployable, conical antenna development for nanosatellites
  • Frequencies scalable from 300 MHz to 1 GHz
  • Stowable in a 1U cube and a mass < 0.3 kg (only antenna)
  • 5 years lifetime and a peak gain > 10 dBi
  • Design dimensioning, design and analysis