[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

 Lightweight deployable SAR structures

Alan Watt


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]

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