An existing market in the field of electrical scanning equipment has been the use of a doubly-supported boom, holding an antenna at its mid-span. While this design is structurally sound, logistical issues arise with coordinating the two positioning motors. Additionally, in the event of one motor’s failure, the boom would be catastrophically damaged in the process. Therefore a new approach proposes the use of a single cantilevered beam which would require the use of a single positioning motor. The challenge is that while the logistical issues are alleviated, a structural challenge is created. The boom is now subject to the loading of its own body forces as much as that of the antenna, and so there is a demand to lighten the boom. For this reason, this new generation of boom is made from carbon fiber. The stiffness and low density characteristics provide for a good solution. In this work, the design and analysis of the boom will be demonstrated. Further, details of some of the unique fabrication challenges are discussed. By using composite materials, a low weight, high stiffness boom was able to accomplish the goal of moving from a doubly controlled positioning arm to a singly controlled one.
Authors: Jeffrey M. Lawrence, Scott T. Holmes, V System Composites and Thomas McKeown and Vince Keenan, Orbit/FR, Inc.
Conference: SAMPE 2008 - Long Beach CA - May 18-22 / 2008