This research explores a segmented parabolic antenna that can change its physical shape via shape memory alloy actuators, thereby altering its radiation pattern when transmitting a signal. The parabolic dish has been discretized into an origami pattern to make use of the naturally compliant fold regions, about which shape memory alloy wires create moments. Modeling of antenna deformation is accomplished via Abaqus considering SMA wires contracting due to temperature change as a manifestation of the shape memory effect. An electromagnetic analysis of the deformed antenna follows in ANSYS-HFSS to determine the antenna gain in all directions around the structure. The computed radiation pattern is projected onto a goal shape (e.g. the contiguous United States) to determine the degree to which the shaped broadcast pattern matches that of a desired broadcast area. Finally, the design is iterated using an efficient global optimization algorithm to ascertain an actuation schedule that generates the most conformal broadcast pattern. Traditional optimization algorithms such as genetic or particle swarm may require thousands of designs, particularly when many design variables are considered. The efficient global optimization algorithm employs far fewer designs by fitting surrogate models to the data and only testing points where large improvement is expected, thus reducing design optimization time. The evolution and improvement to an antenna will be discussed for an antenna making use of eight, 16, and 24 SMA linear actuators to most optimally broadcast to only the United States while avoiding signal spill-over into other regions, and the lessons learned can then applied to match broadcast pattern based on other countries as well.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.