The proposed Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of the in-space production of large aperture antenna structures. The use of a novel open cell foam, previously developed for NASA space antennas, will allow the deployment of reflectors at low cost and very low transport volume compared to currently used technologies like solid metal or mesh reflector. The use of a foam substrate also dampens thermal expansion distortions of the reflector shape, assuring high surface accuracy. The shape accuracy of the antenna will be ensured by using Rigidization on CommandTM
technology to form a rigid mold from an inflatable. This approach allows to verify the correct antenna shape before the structure is stabilized using foam. The development effort will be supported by computer modeling of the necessary strength parameters for a very large antenna structure based on foam support.