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Deployment Dynamics of Foldable Thin Shell Space Structures

Pedivellano, Antonio and Pellegrino, Sergio (2021) Deployment Dynamics of Foldable 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 ItemJournal Article
Pellegrino, Sergio0000-0001-9373-3278
Alternate Title:Deployment Dynamics of Thin-Shell Space Structures
Additional Information:© 2021 by Antonio Pedivellano, Sergio Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Published Online: 4 Jan 2021. The authors thank Dr. Xiaowei Deng (University of Hong Kong) for providing the Abaqus subroutine implementing the IMP membrane formulation, Alan Truong (Caltech) for building the strip prototypes used in the experiments in this paper, Charles Sommer (Caltech) for assisting with the deployment experiments in vacuum, and Fabien Royer (Caltech) for help with the bending tests of the strip prototypes. Financial support from the Space Solar Power Project at Caltech is gratefully acknowledged.
Group:GALCIT, Space Solar Power Project
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Space Solar Power ProjectUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Space Structures; Finite Element Modeling; Longerons; Bending Stiffness; Finite Element Software; Thin Shell Structure; Kinetic Energy; Ball Bearings; Principal Stresses; Solar Cells
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
AIAA Paper2021-0299
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210514-081314705
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Official Citation:Antonio Pedivellano and Sergio Pellegrino. "Deployment Dynamics of Foldable Thin Shell Space Structures," AIAA 2021-0299. AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum. January 2021.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109127
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 May 2021 15:47
Last Modified:02 Aug 2022 17:50

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