Re: Giant Inflatable Antennas in Space

Alan Anderson (
Mon, 22 Jan 96 09:22:54 EST (Dave Mullenix) writes:
>Does anybody know the inclination for this flight?

I believe the May SPARTAN flight will be near the minimum inclination
for a KSC launch, about 28 degrees.  Not favorable for many of us.  I 
might just take a trip south that week!

>I've often wondered what would happen if you took two H-U-G-E sheets
>of mylar, aluminized one of them and then locked them both into a giant
>embroidery hoop and pumped a little air in between them.  Does anybody
>know how to calculate whether it's possible to inflate the aluminized
>sheet into a parabola this way?

Yes, that's exactly what they're doing.  For inflatable antennas like 
this, the "embroidery hoop" you mention is usually designed as a very
skinny inflatable donut around the edge of the structure, pressurized 
enough to hold its shape against the *slightly* pressurized lens shape
in the middle.  The mylar sheets for this experiment were extremely 
carefully fabricated to yield the desired shape when inflated.

Alan Anderson              Delco Electronics
                    Remanufacturing Services
        Test Equipment System Software Group