An Antenna Made for a Typhoon

An Antenna Made for a Typhoon: Air Force Space Command’s satellite tracking and controlling detachment at Andersen AFB, Guam, operates a unique space watch antenna—it’s cover is durable Kevlar, shaped into a giant pingpong ball-like frame by air that’s pumped in by blowers. The Air Force plans to “blow up” more. The new structure, which is meant to withstand up to 195-mph typhoon winds, keeps its shape via computers that measure external wind speeds and then adjust the internal pressure accordingly. Even if flying debris penetrates the structure, it will not deflate, says Maj. David Hanson, commander of Det. 5, 22nd Space Operations Squadron. Personnel enter the antenna structure through an air-lock chamber.