Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a program from the U.S. Space Force to develop the On-orbit Metrology system for Rigid Antenna array Panels (OMRAP), which uses a set of instrumented flexures to measure the out-of-plane deflections of large antenna arrays.
Future space missions that require more powerful communication capabilities will require large antenna arrays that can operate at frequencies in the X-band or above. Performance of these arrays is sensitive to small deflections of the antenna elements that may result from thermal expansion, spacecraft slewing maneuvers, or other orbital loads. PSI’s OMRAP measurement of the deflected position of the antenna allows the antenna electronics to compensate for positional errors, improving the antenna performance. Successful development of the OMRAP will loosen the mechanical constraints that are placed on existing antenna designs, allowing for a reduction in launch cost and engineering effort prior to launch.
The modular design of PSI’s OMRAP antenna structural panels and compliant connectors allows the system to be used to measure a wide range of antenna and backing structure geometries to improve antenna performance. This technology will lead to a reduction in required development time and launch costs for space based antennas. The individual components of the system, such as the connectors, can be used in land and spaced based applications that require precision angular measurements.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Sean Torrez
Area Manager, Deployable Technologies
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003