Dynamics of A Large Streerable Radio Telescope Antenna

by William Weaver, Jr.,
Thomas R. Kane,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 4, Pg. 55-70

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analytical model having a moderate number of degrees of freedom was formulated in order to represent approximately the dynamic behavior of a large steerable radio telescope antenna structure. Techniques for synthesizing simplified mathematical models for complex structures are described. A model consisting of nine rigid bodies with a total of 33 degrees of freedom was devised to represent a 210-ft diameter antenna structure having approximately 4,800 degrees of freedom. Determination of the mass, inertia, and stiffness properties of the model is presented. A method of establishing equations of motion is presented and demonstrated with a simple example having only six degrees of freedom. A tabular method for generating the coefficients in the equations is described in detail. This orderly approach to writing the equations is useful for either a hand or a computer solution. Several types of computer programs were utilized in the analysis in combination with a certain amount of hand calculation.

Subject Headings: Mathematical models | Degrees of freedom | Structural models | Telescopes | Antennas | Equations of motion | Dynamic structural analysis | Dynamic models

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