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Main approaches to formation of a thermal vacuum test program of precision mirror reflectors of space antennas
Engineering Education # 08, August 2013
DOI: 10.7463/0813.0612062
An obligatory element of mirror space antennas is a reflector which is a thin-walled shell of a parabolic or hyperbolic form. When a spacecraft enters the area of the Earth's shadow, temperature changes may cause temperature deformations; this may lead to distorting the shape and interfering with radiocommunications. For this reason, design decisions regarding mirror reflectors of space antennas must be confirmed by ground tests. A new method for the thermal vacuum test of a full-scale precision space reflector made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic was proposed in this work. Stability of the reflector’s shape within a wide range of temperatures was estimated by a contactless method; this method is based on heating of a reflector with a solar radiation simulator in a vacuum chamber with its walls cooled by liquid nitrogen.
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