Computer Design of Antenna Reflectors

by Roy Levy, (M.ASCE), Member of Technical Staff; Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA,
Robert Melosh, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Engrg. Mech. and Civ. Engrg.; Virginia Polytech. Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 11, Pg. 2269-2285

Document Type: Journal Paper


Performance of a paraboloidal antenna reflectors is adversely influenced by surface distortions from a perfect paraboloid, which causes path length variations of the RF energy beam. The structural design objective for the surface backup structure is to minimize the rms path length deviations for gravity loading. Two design approaches are illustrated and applied to sample antenna structure designs. These are a sectional search method and a virtual work/Lagrange multiplier method. Both are shown to provide useful performance improvements. The second method, however, seems to be more capable of rapid design execution and is more readily coded for design automation of large structures. A special purpose in-core version of this program is shown to complete all the design iterations for a moderate-size problem with computation times comparable to those required for single sets of statics loading analyses by general purpose computer programs.

Subject Headings: Computing in civil engineering | Paraboloid | Antennas | Gravity loads | Distortion (structural) | Beams | Load factors | Computer analysis

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