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Thales Raytheon Systems’ GM200

Unique Hydraulic Auto Lock Cylinders Raise Portable Military Radar

Hydraulic cylinders raise antenna in mobile radar system.

The Thales Groundmaster 200 is a mobile military radar system by Thales Raytheon Systems, the joint venture between Thales and Raytheon in France. The GM200 is an autonomous tactical radar solution for Air Surveillance and Control. It is small enough to be embedded in a standard 20-ft ISO shipping container, transported by air, fitted entirely on a tactical vehicle, and operational in a short time.

Hydraulic equipment from French supplier Quiri is used to lift and maintain the mast and radar antenna. There are three operator positions for deploying the radar when mounted on a truck. Each Ground Master 200 radar system has one Quiri double-acting cylinder to push it up from its stored position to the low position and two synchronized telescopic lifting cylinders that push it up to the high position.

Thales Raytheon Systems’ GM200 is a tactical Air Defense Radar that provides an accurate detection against targets from very low to high altitudes and from short to medium ranges, whatever the environment.

The double-acting cylinder for low position rotation has a 400-mm stroke and 120 kN compression force. The telescopic double-acting cylinders for lifting and deployment provide a total stroke of 3,500 mm and 30 kN compression force. A 5.5-kW embedded hydraulic power unit has a double-outlet pump that supplies the telescopic cylinders with equal flow for extension and retraction operating pressures from 40 to 160 bar.

The cylinders themselves have electroless-nickel plated piston coating and accumulators that can handle the extreme environments specified by the military, with working operating temperatures from −40° to 30°C.

A single double-acting cylinder provides rotation in the low position. Two synchronous telescopic lifting cylinders lift to the high position.

Unique Auto Lock

Quiri’s auto-lock system acts as a brake in case of emergency overload situations. The system is based on the principle of the elastic expansion of metals under fluid pressure. With it, locking loads can reach 300 tons for an unlimited amount of time in infinite locking positions, and it is insensitive to vibrations and temperature variations.

Typical hydraulic auto lock systems have collars surrounding the cylinder that expand under pressure, grab onto a rod, and have a wedge shape that prevents the rod from retracting into the cylinder. Quiri’s system is different.

It contains a female part with a bore diameter inferior to the diameter of the male part on which it is mounted. A friction lock is created by elastic deformation of the used metals. For the system to unlock when the cylinders are desired to move again, apply hydraulic pressure evenly between the two surfaces in contact to expand the cylinder walls.

Positioning is achieved by two types of Quiri auto lock hydraulic cylinders and a 5.5-kW HPU.

This system makes it possible to lock in any direction—translation-rotation or simultaneous translation and rotation—over long strokes independent from the propelling system.

Quiri’s auto lock is factory-mounted either to linear cylinder rods or pistons. In rods, the locking capacity is independent of the efforts carried out by the cylinder. Piston mounts are used in aggressive environments when the rod needs to be protected.

Debbie Sniderman is CEO of VI Ventures LLC, an engineering consulting company. She can be reached at [email protected].

Click here for more information on Quiri’s Industrial Hydraulic Systems.

Click here for more information on the Thales Groundmaster 200.

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