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An early concept of the Solar Probe (reborn as Solar Probe Plus then Parker Solar Probe) used a parabolic antenna with a heat-resistant nadir facing side to double as a heat shield.

While sourcing this answer on Solar Probe Plus's mission design, I found in Chapter 9; Miscellaneous Other Antennas the substantial discussion of a unique design. The section begins:

9.1 Solar Probe Antenna

William A. Imbriale

Although the Solar Probe Mission is in a state of limbo at this time and there are no plans to fly this antenna, it represents such a unique design that it is worthy of being included.

Figures 9a, b are shown below.

Reading the chapter makes it seem like the development of the antenna got much further than I originally thought. For example, it shows a prototype of the antenna's feed assembly.

Was a full-scale prototype made for the Heat Shield/Antenna?

Alternatively, were any major parts of the design created, such as the parabolic dish?

Or did the antenna not get past the component-prototyping stage? Alternatively, have there been further feasibility studies since the concept was dropped for Solar Probe?

Photographs or diagrams beyond those shown in the link above and here below would be ideal.


Early NASA Solar Probe high gain antenna doubling as a radiation shield

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