Science. Near zero CTE antenna segment for large radio telescope.
Previous Limiting Technology
Steel and/or aluminum has too large of a thermal expansion coefficient and would be too heavy for a large, movable structure.
Design and engineer a near zero CTE, out-of-autoclave antenna segment while maintaining adequate strength, stiffness, and affordability. A primary objective was meeting a very low, aggressive cost target.
Rock West carefully researched affordable materials that fit into the performance requirements and then created design concepts that kept labor hours restrained. The final design met stiffness, CTE, and cost requirements. Design study, testing, and analysis were incorporated.