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Proceedings Paper

Measurement of the thermal deformation of a highly stable antenna with pulse ESPI
Author(s): E-H. Nösekabel; T. Ernst; W. Haefker
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Paper Abstract

The demand for rapidly increasing data communication speed between spacecraft and ground stations leads to the development of highly stable parabolic satellite antenna structures. Besides the requirement for a very accurate overall shape precision, one of the main design challenges for these antennas is their shape stability under varying thermal conditions (in-flight operation). Although accurate mathematical models (FEM), already established during the design phase of the antennas, allow predictions of their behavior under varying operational conditions, even minute variations of the introduced material property constants can lead to significantly varying simulation results. For the validation of the mathematical model, a Pulse ESPI system has been used to measure the thermal distortion in a space simulation chamber. ESPI measurements have been recorded during two consecutive cooling down cycles under vacuum condition (less than 10-4 hpa remaining pressure), each cycle covering a temperature range from approx. +110°C to approx. - 110°C. The evaluated data sets allowed determination of the overall distortion of the antenna and its deformation in temperature intervals of approximately 0.3°C at any time of each cycle. After evaluation of the interferometric data, a comparison with the deformation predictions from the FEM simulation has been carried out.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 June 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6616, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection V, 66162X (18 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.726053
Show Author Affiliations
E-H. Nösekabel, Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH (Germany)
T. Ernst, HPS GmbH (Germany)
W. Haefker, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6616:
Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection V
Wolfgang Osten; Christophe Gorecki; Erik L. Novak, Editor(s)

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