Deployable Antenna Systems

CTD has been developing shape memory polymer and other novel deployables since 1999. CTD’s deployable reflector work started with the center-fed radar reflector. This elegant design concept (patent 7,710,348) enables small, inexpensive spacecraft to employ large antenna reflectors. The center-fed solid-surface deployable reflector was intended for small military or commercial spacecraft, enabling high-gain RF missions for RADAR, COMMS, and SIGINT. CTD has built a 3m reflector demonstrator that validated key aspects of the design and was successfully range tested, thermal tested, and packaged and deployed multiple times. This reflector design uses integral reflector stiffeners fabricated with shape memory polymer (US patent 7,897,225). These stiffeners are heated to allow packaging of the reflector, then are cooled to hold the stowed contour. After launch, they are heated on orbit to deploy to the operational position. This unit demonstrated that the reflector could be heated for deployment with a low total power input, only 300W for a 3m reflector. The deployment was also highly damped and controlled, with full deployment of the reflector requiring roughly 20 minutes to complete

Center Fed Reflector Mosaic

TEMBO Reflector Deployment Video
Membrane Reflector Deployment Video
CubeSat Boom Deployment Video