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Propagation of Elastic Folds in the Deployment of Thin Shell Space Structures

Pedivellano, Antonio and Pellegrino, Sergio (2021) Propagation of Elastic Folds in the Deployment of Thin Shell Space Structures. In: AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics , Reston, VA, Art. No. 2021-0299. ISBN 9781624106095.

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This paper investigates the deployment behavior of lightweight flexible space structures consisting of thin shell components. An extensive and detailed study of a symmetrically folded structure that dynamically deploys by releasing its stored elastic energy is presented. The challenges involved with ground testing of this structure are discussed, and a suspension system that allows propagation of the elastic folds is proposed. The dynamics of two 1 m-scale structural prototypes was measured using high-speed Digital Image Correlation. It is shown that, for the tests considered, the elastic folds remain stationary and behave as elastic hinges, resulting in a symmetric and repeatable deployment. Deployment experiments in air and vacuum showed that air mass significantly affects the dynamics of the structure, slowing its deployment by 70 %. However, this effect becomes negligible if the deployable structure is not covered by a film. A finite element model of the deployment is presented. The effects of air are approximated by an added mass to the structure, calculated through simple geometric arguments. This model shows good agreement with experimental results without increasing the associated computational time.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Pellegrino, Sergio0000-0001-9373-3278
Additional Information:© 2021 by Antonio Pedivellano, Sergio Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
AIAA Paper2021-0299
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210112-105612128
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Official Citation:Propagation of Elastic Folds in the Deployment of Thin Shell Space Structures. Antonio Pedivellano and Sergio Pellegrino. AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum. January 2021; DOI: 10.2514/6.2021-0299
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107435
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Jan 2021 19:06
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:02

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