Vol 21, No 2

Research on the panel adjustment method of an active main reflector for a large radio telescope

Zheng-Xiong Sun, Jin-Qing Wang, Lin-Feng Yu, Wei Gou, Guang-Li Wang


Abstract The surface accuracy of a large parabolic antenna is an important indicator to evaluate the quality of the antenna. It not only directly affects the antenna’s aperture efficiency, thereby determining the shortest wavelength that the antenna can work, but also affects the main lobe width and side lobe structure of the antenna pattern. Microwave holography is an important method for parabolic antenna profile detection. In this article we adopt a new algorithm to adjust the panels for the large radio telescope with an active main reflector through the TM65 m antenna’s aperture phase profile. The panels of the TM65 m radio telescope is in a radial pattern with 14 rings. Each corner of the panel is fixed on the screw of the actuator to move up and down, and the adjacent corners of the four panels share an actuator. We use the method of plane fitting to calculate the adjustment value of every panel’s corner. But one actuator, which simultaneously controls the common corner of the adjacent panels, will have different adjustment values according to the different plane fitting equation based on adjacent panels. In this paper, the adjustment value of the adjacent panels’crosspoints are constrained to be equal to the constraint condition to calculate each actuator’s adjustment value of the TM65 m radio telescope. Through multiple adjustments and application of the new algorithms, the accuracy of the TM65 m antenna reflector profile has been improved from the original 0.28 mm to the current 0.19 mm.


Keywords microwave holography — radio astronomy — surface deviation — least squares method

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