The Pentagon wants to test the performance of a new type of satellite antenna, the reflecting surface of which is made of polyimide film.
The American company Rocket Lab launched into earth orbit on Friday with the help of its electron rocket experimental communication satellite, commissioned by the Office of advanced research programs of the Pentagon (DARPA).
“Satellite [Radiofrequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration, R3D2] successfully delivered into orbit,” said Management in his Twitter.
As DARPA pointed out, the purpose of this mission is to test the performance of a new type of satellite antenna, the reflecting surface of which is made of the thinnest polyimide film. Before the start, it was compactly folded into a roll. Already in orbit, the antenna was deployed with the help of a telescopic mechanism and took the form of an octahedron with an area of about 4 square meters.
The payload successfully deployed. Congrats, #R3D2 team! @RocketLab provided launch; @northropgrumman was satellite prime contractor; @mmadesignllc designed/built antenna;
@TridentSystemsI designed/built software-defined radio; Blue
Canyon Technologies provided spacecraft bus. pic.twitter.com/GWmj5m4K0N
— DARPA (@DARPA) 29 марта 2019 г.
In DARPA hope that the use of such antennas in the future will radically reduce the size of satellites and thus reduce the cost of bringing the devices into orbit. R3D2 was manufactured by the American Corporation Northrop Grumman in less than two years.
The 150 kg satellite was launched from the Rocket Lab launch site in New Zealand.