Two years after Thales contacted them, Multiplast has delivered the 2 first COAST WATCHER 100 radar antennas to be completely manufactured in carbon fibre.
In late 2008 the radar division of Thales contacted Multiplast to offer their collaboration in the design and manufacture of the first production carbon radar antenna in the world. The COAST WATCHER 100 is a coastal surveillance radar aimed at an international market.
Franck Martin, in charge of research and development for the COAST WATCHER 100 with Multiplast: “…The challenge was to implement technology guaranteeing great precision in shape, in the region of a few tenths of a millimetre for a part attaining a scale of roughly 4.5 metres, with low weight, excellent repeatability and very little strain in strong winds. Only a part moulded in carbon could meet these criteria.”
A milled carbon mould, dimensional inspections using a laser tracker at all stages of manufacturing, and the use of a carefully chosen carbon fibre were what enabled us to deliver a prototype meeting such challenging specifications.
Frédéric Perret, manager of the COAST WATCHER programme with Thales: “Thales’ innovative strategy consisted in retaining a “carbon professional” for the development and production, rather than a specialist in standard antennas. Due to the substantial environmental constraints related to antennas, we focussed our choice on Multiplast. The full collaboration between the technical teams, as well as the responsiveness and flexibility of Multiplast, enabled us to develop and produce the two first models of the antenna according to deadline. Since then, the radiofrequency measurements carried out by Thales have confirmed the radiating requirements and perfect reproducibility.”
After undergoing different tests, the prototype was accepted and approved by Thales. Dominique Dubois, Managing Director of Multiplast S.A.S.: “…This programme shall be spread over a period of 20 years with the production of roughly two parts per month. Beyond the design of the antenna itself, we turned our attention to the industrialization process of complex parts in small numbers. A whole section of the workshop is dedicated solely to this programme for which we have developed very specific mouldings.”
First exhibition at the JEC show 2011.
This equipment will be shown to the public for the first time, at the Multiplast stand (hall 1 L073) during the Journées Européennes du Composite (JEC Composite Show). This composite show will also be an opportunity to make a name for ourselves with clients wishing to find innovative solutions to their industrial problems.
JEC Composites Show
Paris, Porte de Versailles
From Tuesday 29 to Thursday 31 March 2011
Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Stand Multiplast Hall 1 L73
Contact: Yann Penfornis