This thesis presents the conceptual design of a new style of frame for
deploying, supporting and tensioning a membrane-based Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR). The proposed design is for a mechanism made of rigid bars connected
together by hinges. These bars unfold from a closely-packed bundle
into a rigid rectangular frame whilst unrolling a flexible membrane comprising
the SAR transmit-receive surface.
For a practicable deployable frame of this style to be developed, the hinges
used will have to be: low friction, lightweight, compact, self-deploying,
lockable, constrained in their deployment profile, made with no contacting
metal parts and controlled in their deployment. As no present hinge
designs can meet all of these constraints, a new design of hinge based on
tape-springs and Rolamite hinges is presented.
[Cambridge University | CUED | Structures Group | Geotechnical Group]