Stabilizing a missile radar antenna Using Axiomatic Design
This thesis work describes a brand new concept of how to, from a mechanical perspective,
stabilize/mount a radar antenna. The antenna must be able to rotate ±60 degrees around pitch
and yaw without disturbing the radar characteristics. At the same time the antenna diameter
must be as large as possible to enhance radar quality.
Axiomatic Design was applied as the work method which helped developing a brand new
concept of how to mount the antenna. This concept study was made for Saab Bofors Dynamics
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the lab ”Park Centre for Complex Systems” under
supervision of Prof. Nam P. Suh (MIT) and Jan-Gunnar Persson (KTH).
The invention process using Axiomatic Design resulted in a brand new concept. A fixed
sphere, in which the antenna can slide, eliminates the translational degrees of freedom. Two
linkages actuate the antenna by means of linear motors. A careful selection of joints eliminates
the last unwanted degree of freedom. Left are two rotational DOF, one around pitch and one
around yaw. Only the thickness of the sphere and the missile inner diameter limit the size of the
The radar disturbance is remaining low, since the additional disturbance is very low and the
same in every angle in the ±60 degree of freedom that the antenna has. That is achieved by
letting the antenna slide inside a sphere where the walls are equally thick all around the
required work space. The material of the sphere could preferably be the same as in the radome.
Oversteering is minimized since direct drive is possible. No transmission is needed.
The antenna has physical restrictions at 90 degrees. Since that is outside the work space it does
not affect the rotation mechanism.
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