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Experimental research on tape spring supported space inflatable structures

Experimental research on tape spring supported space inflatable structures
Experimental research on tape spring supported space inflatable structures
This paper presents experimental research that continues the development of inflatable hybrid structures for space applications. Inflatables provide a concept with much scope for further incorporation into the structures of future spacecraft. They offer considerable savings in mass and stowed volume for spacecraft, providing possible reductions in satellite costs. Existing boom configurations make use of inflatables including solar arrays and the NGST sunshield. However these typically soft systems could be improved by incorporating tape springs as structural stiffeners along the length of the boom, creating hybrid structures. This research builds on previous experimental work undertaken at the University of Southampton looking at cantilever inflatable and hybrid booms.

The focus of this research is to identify the structural performance improvement of adding tape springs to cantilever inflatable booms. This is achieved by tip deflection testing to determine the bending moment and rigidity performances of these structures allowing a comparison between the two technologies. Several hybrid booms are created and tested in various orientations to identify the optimal tape spring effectiveness. It was found that adding a pair of tape springs will increase stiffness of the hybrid structure by up to 4.9 times for an increase of 2.4 times the boom mass.
inflatable boom, hybrid boom, tape spring
0094-5765
316-328
Cook, Andrew J.
25e69c15-2f5b-42a0-b34b-86d800ce39fa
Walker, Scott J.I.
f28a342f-9755-48fd-94ea-09e44ac4dbf5
Cook, Andrew J.
25e69c15-2f5b-42a0-b34b-86d800ce39fa
Walker, Scott J.I.
f28a342f-9755-48fd-94ea-09e44ac4dbf5

Cook, Andrew J. and Walker, Scott J.I. (2016) Experimental research on tape spring supported space inflatable structures. Acta Astronautica, 118, 316-328. (doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.10.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper presents experimental research that continues the development of inflatable hybrid structures for space applications. Inflatables provide a concept with much scope for further incorporation into the structures of future spacecraft. They offer considerable savings in mass and stowed volume for spacecraft, providing possible reductions in satellite costs. Existing boom configurations make use of inflatables including solar arrays and the NGST sunshield. However these typically soft systems could be improved by incorporating tape springs as structural stiffeners along the length of the boom, creating hybrid structures. This research builds on previous experimental work undertaken at the University of Southampton looking at cantilever inflatable and hybrid booms.

The focus of this research is to identify the structural performance improvement of adding tape springs to cantilever inflatable booms. This is achieved by tip deflection testing to determine the bending moment and rigidity performances of these structures allowing a comparison between the two technologies. Several hybrid booms are created and tested in various orientations to identify the optimal tape spring effectiveness. It was found that adding a pair of tape springs will increase stiffness of the hybrid structure by up to 4.9 times for an increase of 2.4 times the boom mass.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 October 2015
Published date: January 2016
Keywords: inflatable boom, hybrid boom, tape spring
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384956
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384956
ISSN: 0094-5765
PURE UUID: a6fa0482-1515-47cb-b2d6-c9904af1fa82

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Date deposited: 10 Dec 2015 15:36
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:00

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Contributors

Author: Andrew J. Cook

University divisions

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