NEWS    MERL's On-Orbit 3D Printing Technology Featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release

Date released: May 18, 2022

  •  NEWS    MERL's On-Orbit 3D Printing Technology Featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release
  • Date:

    May 17, 2022

  • Where:

    Tokyo, Japan

  • Description:

    Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that the company has developed an on-orbit additive-manufacturing technology that uses photosensitive resin and solar ultraviolet light for the freeform printing of satellite antennas in the vacuum of outer space.

    The novel technology makes use of a newly developed liquid resin that was custom formulated for stability in vacuum. The resin enables structures to be fabricated in space using a low-power process that utilizes the sun’s ultraviolet rays for photopolymerization. The technology specifically addresses the challenge of equipping small, inexpensive spacecraft buses with large structures, such as high-gain antenna reflectors, and enables on-orbit fabrication of structures that greatly exceed the dimensions of launch vehicle fairings. Resin-based on-orbit manufacturing is expected to enable spacecraft structures to be made thinner and lighter than conventional designs, which must survive the stresses of launch and orbital insertion, thereby reducing both total satellite weight and launch costs.

    Mitsubishi Electric’s resin-based on-orbit manufacturing enables small satellites to have large satellite capability, which reduces launch costs and allows for satellite technology to be used more than ever in applications such as communication and Earth observation. The technology is based on recent research by MERL's Control for Autonomy and Data Analytics groups.


    Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release
    SatMagazine: UV In The Sky With Resin: A novel, on-orbit manufacturing technique

  • MERL Contacts:
  • Research Areas:

    Applied Physics, Communications

    •  Weiss, A., Yerazunis, W.S., Radyjowski, P., Cottrell, R., "On-Orbit Additive Manufacturing of Parabolic Reflector via Solar Photopolymerization", International Astronautical Congress (IAC), October 2019, pp. IAC-19,C2,IP,2,x51358.
      BibTeX TR2019-125 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Weiss2019oct,
      • author = {Weiss, Avishai and Yerazunis, William S. and Radyjowski, Patryk and Cottrell, Richard},
      • title = {On-Orbit Additive Manufacturing of Parabolic Reflector via Solar Photopolymerization},
      • booktitle = {International Astronautical Congress (IAC)},
      • year = 2019,
      • pages = {IAC--19,C2,IP,2,x51358},
      • month = oct,
      • url = {}
      • }