Large deployable membrane antennas for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites have attracted much attention for their low mass, high packaging efficiency, and low fabrication cost. An extendible support structure (ESS) could be used to deploy and support a multi-layer membrane antenna in a precise configuration once it is deployed on orbit. In this paper, an ESS for a membrane antenna with several foldable frames is designed. The ESS can be synchronously deployed by a six-bar-linkage mechanism and several closed-cable loops. A kinematical model of the deployable mechanism is developed to obtain the optimal design of the mechanism for a goal of all foldable frames locked in a same plane after they are fully deployed. A dynamic model of the ESS is developed to investigate its dynamical performance. The goal of the simulation is to compare the dynamic performances of the ESS when the frames are regarded as rigid and flexible. The simulation results are obtained with symbolic dynamic analysis software DynaFlexPro.

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