High precision large space structures: challenges in cable networks desgin
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Nowadays space missions such as Earth observation, telecommunication and science require large antenna reflectors in the diameter range up to 20 meters or even larger for high performances. The antenna reflector structure has to satisfy strict requirements like high surface accuracy, low mass, high packaging efficiency, high reliability/stability in hazardous space environments for a long service life among others. These requirements lead to great challenges in developing large space deployable reflector (LDR) structures. One of the challenges is related to providing the parabolic high accurate (sub-millimeter range) shape with a minimum mass. Most of the flown reflectors known use cable networks suspended circumferentially or radially over a deployable framework. The cable networks approximate a parabolic surface with flat triangular facets, creating support for reflective material, e.g. extremely flexible knitted metal mesh. In some specific missions LDR of about 6 m shall operate in high radio-frequency band (e.g. up to 30 GHz) . This indicates a need of a fine facet size of the cable network of about 100 mm with a large number of cables and a strict surface error tolerance (around 0.1 mm). Moreover, manufacturing and assembling of such complex cable network with high accurate positioning and proper tensioning in cables is a quite challenging task as well. All above mentioned aspects lead the cable network design to be a form finding and design optimization problem with large number of variables, strict goal definition and multiple complex constraints.
All rights reserved. This work is protected by the corresponding intellectual and industrial property rights. Without prejudice to any existing legal exemptions, reproduction, distribution, public communication or transformation of this work are prohibited without permission of the copyright holder