Munich | Bucharest

Deployable Antennas (LEA)

Increasing complexity of space-based applications for civil and defense purposes will also in future require large deployable antennas, while at the same time the demand for lower costs of transportation inevitably leads to smaller units also. Large deployable antennas will become for some applications the strategic key to space-technology to solve this dilemma.

On the level of subsystems in Europe the Bavarian company HPS has very early raised the claim for leadership in the field of deployable reflector subsystems (reflector, arm, hold-down and release mechanisms, thermal hardware), with focus on scalability, modularity, storage space, mass and – last, not least – price. HPS Germany has concentrated on the subsystem configuration, design & analysis, the reflector RF design, the deployable arm and the reflective metallic mesh.
The HPS-offer covers each and every application in the field of antennas (earth observation, telecommunications, science and military). Yet another basis for its solid leadership is HPS´ very tight cooperation with experienced European SME, especially with the German companies LSS on reflector level and RUAG Space Germany on mechanisms level.
As flagship project, HPS is leading a consortium of 15 European partners developing until end of year 2020 a 6 m diameter proto-flight model (PFM) of a large deployable reflector subsystem (reflector, arm, HDRMs), called LEA (Large European Antenna).


For further information please contact our chief engineer.

→ Success Trajectory

Large European Antenna (LEA)



  • European H2020 Program („non-dependance“)
  • Protoflight-Model (PFM) development
  • LEA-PFM is offered for free to potential satellite programs in exchange to flight opportunity
  • Applications: Earth observation, telecom, science, defense
  • 15 Partners (DE, PT, ES, DK, SE, FR)
  • Lead: HPS-Germany (implem. & technical management)
  • Budget: 5 Mio Euro by EC + 2 Mio Euro Investment
  • Start TRL: 5, End TRL: 8
  • Timeframe: 11/2017 – 10/2020
  • Ready to launch: 2021
  • LEA-FO (follow-on products) developments in the frame of the virtual LEA company „WeLEA“:
    – lead: HPS-Germany
    – subcontractors: LEA partners: LSS, HTS, TICRA, INEGI,
    HPS-Portugal, INVENT, INTA, LUMA Metall, vH&S, Etamax.
    – in addition, if agreed/wished by the customer:
    OHB (DE) Airbus (DE), ThalesAleniaSpace (FR)
  • References:
    HPS Space News
    HPS Press-Release
    Space Intel Report


  • LEA-Subsystem includes: reflector, reflective surface, arm, hinges, deployment mechanisms, electronics, thermal hardware, test-GSE, test methodology.
  • LEA-PFM specification:
    – 6 m ring diameter with 6 m arm length, F/D=1.0
    – X-band (10.65 GHz)
    – Ku-band (18.7 GHz) for RF-compatibility tests.
  • LEA-FO targets:
    – 5 m to 25 m reflector diameter
    – C-, L-, S-, P-, Ku-Band (longterm Ka-Band).


  • 02.11.2017: Kick-off (as scheduled)
  • 18.01.2018: Major LEA-PFM parameters specified.
  • 20.07.2018: Preliminary Design Review

Large Deployable Reflector (SCALABLE)



  • C-Band, L-Band, S-Band
  • Scalable up to Ka-Band
  • LEO application for Earth Observation
  • GEO application for Telecommunication
  • Diameters between 5 m and 20 m
  • Mass of reflector assembly: 25 kg (5 m) and 60 kg (12 m)
  • Close co-operation with subcontractor LSS, Munich
  • Reflecting surface: gold plated metal mesh by HPS


RF Reflective Metal Mesh for Reflectors



  • Highly reflective metallic mesh for antenna reflectors
  • Main application: deployable reflectors
  • RF- & PIM-tested
  • Development under ESA- and European Commission contracts and HPS-internal funding
  • Made in Germany.


  • Frequencies: C- up to Ku/Ka-band
  • Knitting patterns: depending on frequency and application
  • Elasticity: deformation up to 15%
  • Good RF and PIM performance
  • Reflectivity: e.g. 98% at 18.0 GHz
  • Dimensions: length up to 25 m; width: with proven joining techniques up to 25 m.

Large Deployable Arm (ABDS)



  • Ultra-stable deployable booms
  • Applications:
    – large deployable antennas
    – scientific instruments to be deployed
  • Planning:
    – Engineering Model tested end 2018
    – PFM Model ready end 2020.


  • modular and scalable extending up to 30 m length
  • pointing accuracy: 10-4 m/m
  • Stowed Eigenfrequency: > 130 Hz
  • Deployed Eigenfrequency: > 1 Hz
  • Mass: 8 kg/m.


  • 12/2017: CDR sucessfully passed (ESA activity called „ABDS“ with HPS as prime contractor, HTS, INVENT, INEGI as subcontractors).
  • 06/2018: erfolgreiches EM-TRR