The Antenna Pointing Mechanism was developed and qualified for high precision two -axis pointing of geo-stationary steerable antennas or antenna dishes. The two axes of the mechanism are arranged in one plane so that a stiff and flat configuration is achieved. The APM is driven by stepper motors and can be equipped with high resolution encoders in its rotation axes. A feed-through in the centre of the mechanism allows to rout Flexible Waveguides from the antenna down to the S/C I/F. The APM steering function can be controlled by a dedicated fully redundant APM-Electronics.
Four different assemblies have been developed and qualified for the application:
The Antenna Pointing Mechanism (APM) was developed to steer complete spot beam antennas or simple reflector dishes in geo-stationary orbits with high precision about two gimbal axes.
The mechanism provides excellent pointing performance, high load carrying capability, long lifetime and was developed as a commercial item. European sub-units and parts modified for space application are used. The APM is a compact self-standing unit with simple interfaces to the satellite and to the antenna as well.
Space Qualified Stepper Motor Control Electronics available
The mechanism was qualified in the frame of an Airbus Defence and Space/DLR development program for a Steerable Antenna. A model is flying on DFH 3 since 2004.
16 similar units have been built and qualified for a telecom application (launch 2007)