Georgia Tech develops space antenna

RF scientists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta developed a towel-bar-sized radio antenna to provide communications to as many as two astronauts waiting in a cramped air lock aboard the future International Space Station. Called the Orlan antenna, the 2-foot device must withstand huge temperature swings, bashing by space packs, and serve as a hand and foot hold for astronauts clambering into space. The antenna is especially for use with astronauts wearing Russian-designed space s

Jul 1st, 1998

RF scientists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta developed a towel-bar-sized radio antenna to provide communications to as many as two astronauts waiting in a cramped air lock aboard the future International Space Station. Called the Orlan antenna, the 2-foot device must withstand huge temperature swings, bashing by space packs, and serve as a hand and foot hold for astronauts clambering into space. The antenna is especially for use with astronauts wearing Russian-designed space suits, which unlike U.S.-designed suits carry no communications antennas of their own. Locating the antenna was especially difficult, Georgia Tech scientists report. They found the special "loop" design couples a sufficient amount of RF energy to the astronaut, rather than reflecting it off the walls of the air lock`s resonant cavity. - J.K.

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