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BLT Contributes To The SmartSat-2A Satellite’s Successful Launch

Launched by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) from the region of Yangjiang, Guangdong, the SmartSat-2A satellite, also known as Jiagao Science and Technology Innovation No. 1, took out into space early last month atop a Smart Dragon3 launch vehicle. Smart Satellite achieved a significant milestone with the orbital insertion of the SmartSat-2A satellite, demonstrating their ability to autonomously manufacture spacecraft weighing 200 kg or more and design X-band SAR payloads.

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payload of the SmartSat-X1A is designed using an integrated approach. Its flat panel configuration necessitates lightweight and quick component manufacture and is compatible with upcoming multi-satellite serial launches. This is where BLT, an industrial Chinese metal 3D printing business, came into play as a key enabler. Their technology has the inherent benefits of being able to produce intricately structured, large-scale aerospace components. The capacity of technology to guarantee performance and quality while optimising production procedures contributes to increased productivity and lower costs.

Three array panel structures and one satellite body structure were 3D printed by BLT using two BLT-S1000 equipment. The largest 3D printed satellite construction currently in orbit in China is the panel structure, measuring 1300 x 980 x 20 mm, and the satellite body structure, measuring 1300 x 1126 x 335 mm. AlSi10Mg material is used in the panel and satellite body structure, allowing for the design of large-scale lattice-skin structures with just 0.5mm wall thickness and lattice filament diameter. In order to overcome the difficulties of deformation of large-scale panel-type skin lattice components by painstaking process optimisation, the BLT team carried out extensive assessments of part properties and operating conditions.

With the increasing need for high-performance aircraft components, BLT has established itself as a major player in the market with its metal additive manufacturing solutions. Large-format multi-laser printing systems such as the BLT-S1000 and BLT-1500, with their scalability and precision, have made it possible to produce complicated parts with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency. Metal additive manufacturing has sped up aerospace innovation, reduced costs, and improved sustainability for everything from propulsion systems to satellite bodies.

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