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The main objective is to obtain a robust design concept for the main structure of the Top Floor. This concept is adequate to support different antenna lay-out (in terms of antenna number or configurations) with minimum modifications.
The robustness of this design should be reached at the same time as others important objectives:
The most remarkable benefits of the current design are highlighted below:
Modular concept adaptable with minimum changes to different configurations.
Possibility to board several missions in a common structure with a single qualification process.
MTF design can be considered as an extension of the payload module increasing the earth deck capability.
ITAR free design.
Easy assembly process with the corresponding cost and time savings.
Good mechanical performances with low mass.
Generation of an industrial dossier to be used systematically for all the products as basic design dossier.
The Modular Top Floor Antenna Assembly provides a common support for an increasing number of antennas (including reflectors, feeders and sub-reflectors).
This design is an important step forward on the ECE Top Floor Antennas experience, evolving from a mission specific design to a modular concept which employs standardisable building blocks.
The lower interface consists on a metallic ring easily adaptable to different interface requirements.
The geometries of the lower and upper masts provide a generic interface for RF components as well as the necessary robustness of the structure.
The solution adopted for the main platform support ensures a high versatility of the design, a good strength/mass ratio and a very stable TED behaviour.
The main supporting structure is made by the following sub-assemblies:
Interface ring and raising cylinder
Feed chain supports
Upper platform for sub-reflector support
The full development was split in two phases:
This development program has some interesting and challenging aspects:
Mitigate risks in TFAA structure when steerable reflector (load in cantilever).
To obtain a stable design in front thermal loads to provide good TED performances of the antennas.
To find an innovative design able to be adapted to several configurations through non dramatic changes in the structure.
Modular Top Floor development program has been closed on March 17, 2015.
Proposed design has been successfully submitted to a complete qualification test campaign.
This improved Top Floor Antenna concept is, therefore, ready to be used in commercial applications.