The national interest in large radio and radar telescope systems spans the entire engineering and scientific community, and there is every indication that the country will embark upon the construction of still more of these systesm in the near future. Radio and radar astronomers now require very large mechanical devices. The system specifications lead to structural criteria which are unique and outside the immediate interest and/or capability of most of the structures community.
Radio and radar telescopes and the radomes that may protect them are often enormous structures. Their design presents extremely complicated technological problems. These instruments must operate with precision in varied environments and environmental conditions. Radomes must protect radio and radar antennas without seriously interfering with the incoming information.
The Office of Naval Research and MIT cosponsored an international conference in 1967 on the structural problems associated with large radio and radar telescope systems, the proceedings of which are collected here. The papers in this books deal with the problems outlined above from several points of view. The contents of the papers can be grouped roughly as follows:
1. Requirements and standards for supporting structures, tracking equipment, antennas, and radomes.
2. Design and performance of existing systems.
3. Theoretical analysis of the structures of supporting structures, antennas, and radomes. In some cases the analysis is made for a structure under stress. Computer techniques are described for several problems.
4. Methods for evaluating actual or predicted performance of various structures. Here again computer techniques are employed.