29 September 2004 Co-axial joint technology applied to antenna backup structures
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Abstract
The increasing demand to improve focusing accuracy and to accommodate higher frequencies in space communications and radio astronomy has created significant challenges for improving the capability of the constituent systems in radio antennas and telescopes. One important system is the radio antenna/telescope backup structure connections. The backup structure is a key element in providing a stable, precise and rigid support for the reflective surface. The ideal connection for these types of structures is rigid and concentric resulting in minimal deformation with stress/strain curves that are linear, repeatable and exhibiting no hysteresis over the entire service load range. Conceivably such a connection could be designed so that the stress/strain curve mimics the stress/strain characteristics of the connecting member in both tension and compression. When this is achieved then such joints can be said to be "invisible" in the global behavior of the backup structure. At that point, overall reflector deflection becomes more linear and highly predictable. In conjunction with this advantage, optimized backup structure geometries, adaptive reflectors and compensating algorithms can best be applied in producing an instrument of unparalleled performance. This paper introduces Co-Axial Joint (CAJ) technology as the practical and economical means to produce an invisible connection.
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Glenn A. Reynolds, V. Alfonso Feria, Gary Noble Curtis, Dean Robert Hackbarth, Asim Sehic, "Co-axial joint technology applied to antenna backup structures", Proc. SPIE 5495, Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551740; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.551740
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KEYWORDS
Antennas

Bridges

Reflectors

Connectors

Tolerancing

3D modeling

Assembly tolerances

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