Aluminum is the preferred material for most small satellite components. It is also expensive to machine a billet of aluminum into the desired part. Because of this Hyperion Orbital is considering composite materials for its satellite frames and deployment pod structures.
ULTEM is an amorphous polyetherimied thermo plastic with high thermal and impact resistance. Compared to other PEEK or PEI materials ULTEM is less expensive and widely available in several forms.
ULTEM 9085 is an alloy that is already proven in space applications and data shows that ULTEM has a linear expansion not too dissimilar to aluminum. Glass reinforced ULTEM 9085 yields even greater dimensional stability.
ULTEM is also a common 3D printing material. Using 3D printing for the manufacture of satellite components will allow for a more seamless design. Additionally, 3D printing structures will allow for fewer fasteners and joints making for a more reliable assembly.
As we continue to experiment with ULTEM and further develop our designs simplicity will be a key element to achieve our goal. Stay connected for more updates.