Inflatable 'Beach Ball' Satellite Antennas

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KA0HCP, Aug 7, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-3
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: abrind-2
  1. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Article about US Army orders for inflatable 'Beach Ball" satellite antennas for Special Operations Forces.

    Concept could be useful for portable operation ham operations. Can someone develop a homebrew design and publish in QST?

    Project Steps:
    -'Borrow" the kids beach ball "Just for the winter"
    -Glue aluminum foil or aluminized Mylar to bottom half of ball
    -Build Patch or Can type antenna for feed. Velcro to top
    -Practice deep breathing exercises, or find a buddy who is a brass instrument player!

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
    AK5B likes this.
  2. KI5AAI

    KI5AAI XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    "Consisting of five one-year ordering periods, the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract"..

    Dang: IDIQ is contract speak for "Give us your money and we will do whatever you ask of it as long it 'might' pertain to the original contract" Great way for SOCOM to use one contract for other me. Been there LOL

    Back to the OP: sounds like an interesting weekend project. I would love to make one.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've done IDIQ contracts with SOCOM, and it was all legitimate production of finished products that were already designed, tested and approved for fielding by SOCOM. Nothing shady or attempting to circumvent federal procurement law. All of our design and development work was done on Time & Material contracts.

    For those not familiar, IDIQ = Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity. Essentially this is a pre-approved contract that allows for rapid order and delivery of products as needed by the organization.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  4. KI5AAI

    KI5AAI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did not say it was shady or illegal...just me experience sir. :)
  5. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    C or Ka or Ku band fixed location and geosats
    2 meters and LEOsats... Why? An Arrow type (hand held) would work better and allow for 'tracking' the bird.

    Looks neat.

    Practial for Hams bands? IMO, not so much.

    If you want to stuff - how about this?

    The AV 2040-2 is a foldable, manpack, high gain, UHF Satellite Communication (SATCOM) antenna designed for special military missions where portability and high gain are required.

    Here a ham (N2QG) that uses this .mil rig for satcom
    AK5B and KI5AAI like this.
  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've not seen a Beach Ball Antenna actually in use, but I've heard that they work well. In theory, they should be quite easy to make IF you have a means of joining the panels together. However, if I were going to build a portable sat dish, I think I'd use an umbrella type structure. They are easy to build using common tools and materials.... and have a long history of use by NASA, and a lot of military and governmental agencies.

    About IDIQ- I've done a lot of IDIQ work, and while it can be a pain-in-the-backside, it does give the government a ready contractor / vendor when they need one quickly.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
    KI5AAI likes this.
  7. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    See the slight divot around the equator?


    That is where the reflector is attatched inside.

    WD4ELG and AK5B like this.
  8. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  9. KG5RZ

    KG5RZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    That is an AN/TRC-80B radio terminal set that was in service from the late 60s to the early 80s. The big blob on top of the van is an 8 foot diameter inflatable parabolic dish for 4.4 to 5 gigahertz. Everything old is new again.
    AK5B likes this.
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    KD0CAC and AK5B like this.

Share This Page