Experimental testing of tape springs folded in three dimensions

Walker, S.J.I. and Aglietti, G.S. (2002) Experimental testing of tape springs folded in three dimensions At 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, The Second World Space Congress, Houston, TX, USA, 10-19 Oct 2002. 01 Oct 2002.


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One of the main drivers in satellite design is the minimization of mass, in the attempt to reduce the large costs involved in the launch of the spacecraft. However, the recent advances in micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) have allowed a further reduction in the mass of on-board equipment. With advances in micro ion propulsion systems for attitude control, and the miniaturisation of ground based mobile communications, the satellite power requirement does not reduce linearly with mass. This creates the need for photovoltaic cell areas larger than the surface area of the satellite bus. Therefore small satellite deployable structures become increasingly important. The major design requirements for such systems are reliability and low cost. The simpler the components of the system are (i.e. the minimum number of moving parts, lubrication etc), the more chance of the system meeting the design requirements. For this reason, there has been significant investigation into the deployment dynamics of tape springs folded in two dimensions, to form simple hinges which do not require lubrication and automatically locks in the deployed configuration. The present work focuses on using tapes springs to support a new conceptual area deployment design for nano/micro satellites. The deployment of this design incorporates bi-axial folding, which requires the tape springs to unfold in three dimensions. Little research has been carried out in this area. The design of a test rig to determine the properties of this three dimensional deployment is presented in detail. This rig measures both the bending and twisting moments produced from the three- dimensional fold. The combination of these two moments defines the main deployment properties of the tape springs and hence the final array. The experimental results will be compared to theoretical results produced using shell theory and non- linear, finite element analysis.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: AIAA IAC-02-1.1.07
Venue - Dates: 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, The Second World Space Congress, Houston, TX, USA, 10-19 Oct 2002, 2002-10-01 - 2002-10-01
Related URLs:
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng, Astronautics Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 22302
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 04 May 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:51
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/22302

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