“Taoglas has been instrumental in providing us with high-quality antenna technology and custom cabling solutions, making them a strategic supporter in achieving our mission goals.” – Dr. Ronan Wall, EIRSAT-1 Project Manager
SAN DIEGO – December 4, 2023 – Taoglas®, a trusted provider of antennas and IoT components that help solve complex engineering problems, proudly announces its pivotal role in the launch of Ireland’s first satellite, the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1 (EIRSAT-1). Developed by a highly skilled team of researchers and students at University College Dublin (UCD), with the support of the European Space Agency’s Education Programme, EIRSAT-1 launched on Friday, December 1, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This marks a historic milestone for Ireland’s entry into space exploration.
EIRSAT-1, a compact 2-unit CubeSat, will now begin its journey to enter low orbit around the Earth, carrying three experiments – or ‘payloads’ – designed to conduct groundbreaking scientific experiments. These payloads include a gamma-ray detector, a space materials characterization experiment, and a spacecraft control testbed.
Space is a hostile environment. To reliably locate where EIRSAT-1’s scientific measurements are recorded in orbit, the team at UCD needed a robust GNSS antenna solution capable of addressing several out-of-this-world challenges. The antenna must withstand the shock, acoustic vibrations, and sudden atmospheric pressure fall during strenuous launch and eject phases while continuing to perform when exposed to high-temperature changes and solar radiation. Taoglas’ GPS/GALILEO patch antenna was chosen for its lightweight and low-volume characteristics while ensuring high gain and wide bandwidth.
“We are immensely proud that Ireland’s first satellite, EIRSAT-1, will have an Irish satellite antenna and cable solution on board. We jumped at the chance to contribute our cutting-edge technology to the students and researchers in UCD behind this project, and as a UCD alum myself I am delighted to see the end result” said Dermot O’Shea, CEO of Taoglas. “Aerospace is a vast frontier for GNSS antenna applications. Taoglas’ engineers utilize their deep understanding of RF and antenna performance to overcome the challenges commonly associated with the development and the ever-changing demands of new aerospace technologies. The launch of EIRSAT-1 signifies a remarkable achievement for Ireland and highlights the nation’s capabilities in space research and technology.”
Watch Taoglas’ video about their involvement in the EIRSAT-1 mission below.
Taoglas’ antenna technology balances functionality, durability, and reliability into quality solutions precision-engineered to endure the harshest environments. Its GPS antenna meets the stringent requirements of space exploration and optimizes space on board, a critical consideration for a satellite the size of EIRSAT-1.
“The quality of what you put into space is paramount – everything must be 100% QC tested and the absolute best quality. You need to know that what you put up there will not fail you when you most need it,” said Dr. Ronan Wall, EIRSAT-1 Project Manager. “We required a GNSS antenna solution that could withstand the extreme conditions of space while reliably locating the satellite’s scientific measurements in orbit. Taoglas provided the ideal solution with their direct solder mount GNSS antenna, demonstrating the innovation and precision necessary for this pioneering mission.”
Additionally, most cables consist of plastic insulation. However, Taoglas provided high-performance cable assemblies engineered to endure the harshest environments and withstand the vacuum of space while being flexible enough to fit within the limited space of the satellite. These custom cabling solutions, produced at Taoglas’ Enniscorthy facility, were thoroughly tested to guarantee reliability.
“Taoglas has been instrumental in providing us with high-quality antenna technology and custom cabling solutions, making them a strategic supporter in achieving our mission goals,” added Dr. Wall.
Taoglas continues to advance its commitment to cutting-edge technology and space exploration, establishing itself as a key contributor to Ireland’s burgeoning presence in the global space community.