A novel static shape-adjustment technique for planar phased-array satellite antennas
Planar phased-array satellite antennas deform when subjected to external disturbances such as thermal gradients or slewing maneuvers. Such distortion can degrade the coherence of the antenna and must therefore be eliminated to maintain performance. To support planar phased-array satellite antennas, a truss with diagonal cables is often applied, generally pretensioned to improve the stiffness of the antenna and maintain the integrity of the structure. A new technique is proposed herein, using the diagonal cables as the actuators for static shape adjustment of the planar phased-array satellite antenna. In this technique, the diagonal cables are not pretensioned; instead, they are slack when the deformation of the antenna is small. When using this technique, there is no need to add redundant control devices, improving the reliability and reducing the mass of the antenna. The finite element method is used to establish a structural model for the satellite antenna, then a method is introduced to select proper diagonal cables and determine the corresponding forces. Numerical simulations of a simplified two-bay satellite antenna are first carried out to validate the proposed technique. Then, a simplified 18-bay antenna is also studied, because spaceborne satellite antennas have inevitably tended to be large in recent years. The numerical simulation results show that the proposed technique can be effectively used to adjust the static shape of planar phased-array satellite antennas, achieving high precision.
KeywordsPlanar phased-array satellite antenna Static shape adjustment Diagonal cables Active control
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 11772187), the research project of the Key Laboratory of Infrared System Detection and Imaging Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant CASIR201702), and the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Grant 16ZR1436200).
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