Conceptual Design of the Aluminum Reflector Antenna for DATE5

April 8, 2016
Conceptual Design of the Aluminum Reflector Antenna for DATE5

DATE5, a 5 m telescope for terahertz exploration, was proposed for acquiring observations at Dome A, Antarctica. In order to observe the terahertz spectrum, it is necessary to maintain high surface accuracy in the the antenna when it is exposed to Antarctic weather conditions. Structural analysis shows that both machined aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) panels can meet surface accuracy requirements. In this paper, one design concept based on aluminum panels is introduced.

This includes panel layout, details on panel support, design of a CFRP backup structure, and detailed finite element analysis. Modal, gravity and thermal analysis are all performed and surface deformations of the main reflector are evaluated for all load cases. At the end of the paper, the manufacture of a prototype panel is also described. Based on these results, we found that using smaller aluminum reflector panels has the potential to meet the surface requirements in the harsh Dome A environment.

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