Aerospace AMAM for Space

Vitesse Systems delivered its 3D printed satellite antenna

It has been integrated into the Tomorrow-R1 commercial weather radar satellites

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In a significant milestone for the company, Vitesse Systems delivered its first additively manufactured satellite antenna, which was integrated into the Tomorrow-R1 satellite, marking a groundbreaking achievement in commercial weather radar satellites. The Tomorrow-R1 satellite was the world’s first commercially built weather radar satellite when it was launched last year.

Tomorrow-R1 Satellite from Tomorrow.io & Astro Digital Inc.

Since acquiring Custom Microwave Inc. in 2021, a specialist in 3D printing of space-bound parts, Vitesse Systems has strategically invested in additive manufacturing technology, expanding its capabilities and overcoming previous limitations, paving the way for innovative solutions in aerospace and defense. The company’s commitment to optimizing antenna performance and reducing development lead times showcases its dedication to advancing technology in the space hardware industry.

The antenna was designed and tested at Vitesse Systems Longmont location (previously Custom Microwave Inc). Since acquiring the business in 2021, Vitesse Systems has invested in two additional metal additive manufacturing machines and increased its design engineering capacity to streamline the development of complex antenna solutions. Vitesse Systems has also developed a range of proprietary finishing processes that enhance the surface characteristics of its antenna solutions; overcoming the limitations previously associated with additively manufactured antenna.

Richie Dart – General Manager, Vitesse Systems Longmont, explained, “Over the past few years, we have developed our additive manufacturing capability to optimize antenna performance and reduce development lead times. We initially focused on Ground and Airborne antenna applications, but it was always our intent to use this technology for Space hardware. Delivering our first additively manufactured satellite antenna is an important step on our technology roadmap and we look forward to more opportunities to leverage our additive capabilities for our customers.”

Dr. Clency Lee Yow, CTO, Vitesse Systems, added: “We began working with the team at Tomorrow.io back in 2020. As we developed the preliminary antenna design, we realized that we could optimize RF performance and reduce the overall mass of the antenna by using our additive manufacturing capability. Now that we have demonstrated that additive can be used in a space hardware application, it opens a broad range of other opportunities for Vitesse.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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