A TSU student has invented an inflatable balloon-antenna

Artem Kamenev, a student at the Faculty of Radiophysics under Professor Vladimir Yakubov, intends to create a cheap and easy antenna to provide high-quality communication in open space. With this project, he won the third All-Russian Engineering Competition.

- Today, parabolic reflectors are often used to communicate in open space, - said Artem Kamenev. – It is necessary to maintain an accurate parabolic shape for their smooth operation that is quite difficult for antennas with a large diameter. Furthermore, they may deform.

The TSU scientist proposed an inflatable antenna design, which has a spherical shape and therefore it is easy to assemble and transport. This uses less material and therefore the cost and weight of the antenna will be lower than existing analogs.

Also, the design advantage is a high rate of deployment, which reduces energy costs. An antenna-ball with a diameter of 2-3 meters will be exposed in orbit for 2-3 minutes, while the analogs do this for 5-6 minutes.

The device will be developed by 2018; the researchers are now selecting the most appropriate materials for it. After that, they will submit an application for a patent and will negotiate with the companies to establish production. Antennas will be installed on local satellites to provide high-quality communications in open space.