With the foundation of HPTEX GmbH in February 2020 in equal shares by the Bavarian companies HPS GmbH and Iprotex GmbH & Co KG, a company is being launched that no one else in the space industry has ever had on the cards before: HPS, the European specialist for satellite antennas of all sizes, and Iprotex, the key-provider for technical textiles on the world market, are joining forces and competences to establish Bavaria and Germany as the centre for metallic high-tech fabrics, the “mesh”, in ordere to serve the international space market.
The HPTEX GmbH joint venture thus aims at a key component of satellite technology for two core applications at the same time: Earth observation and communication.
For both, the mesh functions as a resonance body for reception and transmission of radar and communication data between heaven and earth, for generating images for climate protection and to provide stable communications networks for the earth’s population. The precision of production is measured in micrometers, i.e. ten thousandths of a centimeter, and must achieve an optimum between electrical conductivity and mechanical elasticity homogeneously over reflectors of up to 15m diameter, for frequency bands between L- and Ka-band, and in the medium term also up to V-band. To guarantee this, the two companies behind HPTEX have concentrated development and production technology of the latest generation at the Münchberg site in order to meet the extremely special requirements of the customers.
Initial mission objectives are the pre-development and pre-qualification of a Ka-band mesh for “CIMR”, a satellite of the EU Commission’s latest flagship fleet Copernicus for the observation and measurement of climatically relevant developments in the Arctic, and a series of small satellite antennas from the commercial NewSpace sector. In the area of research and development, HPTEX works closely with the leading institutions in the region, the Fraunhofer Münchberg and the University of Hof.
For a transitional period of a few weeks, direct sales of the products will continue to be handled by HPS in Munich until the new staffing levels have been established to allow HPTEX to take over.