This past July, an advanced antenna reflector designed for use on-board the Sirius FM-5 satellite was successfully deployed in orbit. Harris Corp. designed and built the reflector and on-board articulating boom and then provided it to Space Systems/Loral, which designed and built the Sirius FM-5 satellite. Thanks to the Harris antenna reflector, the satellite can focus 2-GHz S-band signals on the US, thereby delivering improved and more powerful reception of Sirius' 130-plus channels. The reflector features a gold-plated mesh reflective surface coupled with a design that maximizes antenna gain and provides the improved performance required for mobile media services. At the same time, it reduces stowed volume and antenna mass.
The high-power, geostationary Sirius FM-5 satellite is designed to provide more focused power in areas of peak population, such as metropolitan areas on the east and west coast. It also promises to provide improved reception for individuals driving under heavy foliage. Its geostationary orbit assures that home receivers can aim at a fixed point in the southern sky to receive a signal on a constant basis. The Sirius FM-5 features an S-band payload. During the June 30 launch from Kazakhstan, the Harris reflector was stowed on-board the satellite much like an umbrella. Once in orbit, Space Systems/Loral controllers executed a series of maneuvers and then sent the commands to deploy an articulating boom and unfurl the reflector. The reflector and boom were manufactured at Harris facilities in Palm Bay, Florida.
Harris Corp., P.O. Box 37, Melbourne, FL 32902-0037; (321) 727-4000, FAX: (321) 409-7058, Internet: www.harris.com.