Panel structure for quick deployment and transportation of folded configuration for stowage and elongated unfolded configurations

Ref-Nr: TDO0046

Deployable panel structure

Technology abstract

An International Organisation is offering a panel deployable structure which was originally developed for space radars. The deployable structure itself can however be applied in many different terrestrial applications since this technology advantages are based on the mechanical design. Some applications could be for the quick deployment and transportation of humanitarian aids, for disaster response, oil & gas off-shore facilities and live Broadcast.

Technology Description

An International Organisation is offering the technology for a panel structure for deployment which was originally developed for space radars. The deployable structure itself can however be applied in many different terrestrial applications since this technology is based on mechanical design.
The actual readiness depends on the different kind of expected applications as some fine tuning and precision of the panel deployment are needed. The proposed technology comprises panels hinged together for deployment between folded configuration for stowage and elongated unfolded configuration. Such configuration permits to transport this structure to altitudes with small dimensions and then deploy when needed.

Innovations & Advantages

At present, some methods are commonly used to deploy a panel, these are mainly the following:
• Fragmentation equally and storage over each other.
• Using semi-rigid forms by wires stretched
• Use of Shape memory materials
• Unconventional forms (inflated sphere, textile layers…)
This invention has the advantage of having an optimal form of deployment and a shape which favours its application for antenna surface for solar panels, reflection, lighting, etc..
Its main advantage consists in the use of a structure that provides transmissions minimising directed and unwanted side lobes. Also, the elongated unfolded configuration of the panel structure completely eliminates complications due to differential powering of individual elements of array and reduces the degree of differential powering, thus dropping unwanted sidelobes to acceptable levels.

Further Information

This offer is related to a deployable panel structure originally developed for an array antenna comprising two sets of panels hinged together for deployment between a folded configuration for stowage and an elongated unfolded configuration. This invention covers the deployment of panels, the structure for that deployment and its main applications as antenna, radar or reflector. The development of this technology in recent years has reached its peak between 2004 and 2007, with a decreasing trend in the last 6 years. However, since 2010 more developments have started in this field. The mechanical design is at the basis of the technological factors that encourage this technology, however some further adaptations may be required depending on the terrestrial application for which it is needed.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

Currently this technology is particularly well suited for deployment at altitudes, in space or from an airship or from a lighter-than-air vehicle (e.g. balloon).

The main applications of this technology related to non-space applications could be for the quick deployment and transportation in the following areas:
• Humanitarian Aid
• Disaster response
• Military & defence
• Oil & Gas off-shore facilities
• Live Broadcast
Its multipurpose use as radar, communications antenna or reflector, as solar panel array will give the main competitive advantage. Considering lower size scales and changes of materials, there may be other applications, exploiting the shape and support deployment for application to indoor scenarios like theatres, advertising, display or window dressing.