High Gain Antenna 
    The Lunokhod spacecraft has three types of antennas, a high gain directionnal antenna, a medium gain conical antenna and four low gain antennas situated around the Lunokhod body. The work started with the high gain antenna for which I have produced three blueprints which are reproduced in figures 1, 2 and 3. These blueprints can printed on an A4 paper, the scale being 1/10. It is to be noted that the high gain antenna motor supports the magnetometer. Because of the metallic mass of the lunokhod the magnetometer is installed at the end of a 2.3 m boom that is stored along the lunokhod body and extended while on the lunar surface. Figure 3 shows the magnetometer assembly onto the high gain antenna motor and the lunokhod body.

High Gain Antenna Motor

I have started the work by building the high gain antenna motor. For this I have used mainly styrene. This is my first utilization of styrene, I used cardboard (I may still use some) before but having seen the brilliant work of David Weeks with my own eyes and how you could easily model very complicated pieces with exciting details, I have decided to use it by myself. The first results are really encouraging and I hope the rest of the high gain antenna will be as neat as what I have done so far. Contruction of the High gain antenna motor is represented in figures 4. For this construction I used styrene sheets of 0.25, 0.4 and 0.75 mm thickness. For some parts like the top of the motor in figure 4e I simply sticked together 3 circles of 0.75 mm styrene and sanded the edge to give it its rounded appearance. Once the various parts assembled I put a bit of putty to suppress all possible flaws. Before building the main connectors and the X-Ray detector (figures 6), I made a few details around the motor as shown in figures 5. The next step was the contruction of the various connectors as shown in figures 7.

The next step was to build the support structure to the Lunokhod chassis and body. The attachement to the motor is an assymetrial cone, I then used several circles of 0.75 mm styren to shape this part (figure 8a), the motor is then attached to the chassis through a metallic and conical pillar. For this I used a pinewood stick that was shaped into a lond and narrow cone (figure 8b). All flaws were covered with putty.

Before fixing the motor it was necessary to paint it since this would have been very difficult while manipulating the whole rover. Result is shown on figure 9. The antenna motor is then fixed to its support structure (figures 10), on the pole a couple of connectors have also been added (figure 10a) and on the motor itself attachment pins have also been added (figure 10b). The magnetometer support structure (blueprint in figure 3) is also built prior to fixing the motor onto the Lunokhod (figure 11). The rotating device that allows the magnetometer to rotate from its stored position to its working one will be built once the antenna motor is fixed onto the lunokhod.

The final steps for the high gain antenna motor was to fix it onto the lunokhod body as show in figures 12, to paint it in chrome (figures 13) and eventually to connect the various wires (figures 14). Building the high gain antenna would be the next thing to do.
Fig 4a, b, c, d, e, f, g : Construction of the high gain antenna motor - January 2004
Fig 5a, b : Details around the high gain antenna motor - January 2004
Fig 6a, b : Building the X-ray detector - January 2004
Fig 7a, b : Construction of the connectors - January-February 2004
Fig 7c : Construction of the connectors - February 2004
Fig 8a, b : Construction of the antenna motor support structure - February 2004
Fig 9 : Painting the antenna motor - February 2004
Fig 10a, b : Assembling the support stucture - February 2004
Fig 11 : Building the support structure for the magnetometer - February 2004
Fig 12a, b : Fixing the Antenna motor - March 2004
Fig 13a, b : Painting the support structure - March 2004
Fig14a, b, c, d : Completed high gain antenna motor - March 2003
Photos and blueprints by Vincent Meens - January - March 2004

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High gain antenna