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Autonomous Deployment of a Solar Panel Using an Elastic Origami and Distributed Shape Memory Polymer Actuators

Chen, Tian and Bilal, Osama R. and Lang, Robert and Daraio, Chiara and Shea, Kristina (2019) Autonomous Deployment of a Solar Panel Using an Elastic Origami and Distributed Shape Memory Polymer Actuators. Physical Review Applied, 11 (6). Art. No. 064069. ISSN 2331-7019.

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We introduce a metamaterial-based self-deployable system with a rotational periodicity. As a demonstration, we propose an autonomous solar panel array that is programmed to self-deploy in response to changes in the surrounding temperature. We achieve shape reconfiguration and structural stability by exploiting the physical properties in the constituting material and the architecture of the wedge-shaped unit cell. The unit cell consists of one arm of the elastic “flasher” origami and a pair of scissor mechanisms. First, kinematic analysis shows the difference between the theoretical behavior and behavior considering the physical dimensions. This is used to optimize the expansion ratio. Second, the deployment mechanics are enabled through the shape-memory effect inherent in the underlying polymer. A viscoelastic constitutive model is constructed to accurately predict the self-expanding behavior. Lastly, the collapsing and deployment dynamics are discussed. Bifurcation is observed during folding, leading to two different end states, a disk or a cone. By investigating the energy landscape of the system, an apparatus is introduced to enable the disk-shaped folding. A two-stage expansion is observed during deployment. The system first rotates and then expands radially. The resulting system is three-dimensionally (3D) printed, achieves an expansion ratio of 1000% in under 40 s, and shows excellent agreement with simulation prediction both in the collapsed and expanded configurations.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper : Focus
Bilal, Osama R.0000-0003-3803-5084
Daraio, Chiara0000-0001-5296-4440
Shea, Kristina0000-0003-3921-2214
Additional Information:© 2019 Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI. Received 22 October 2018; revised manuscript received 14 April 2019; published 28 June 2019. C.D. acknowledges support from the Army Research Office Grant No. W911NF-17-1-0147 and the Caltech-JPL President’s and Director’s Fund Program. The authors thank Jung-Chew Tse for fabrication support. The first author acknowledges fruitful discussions with L. Zimmermann.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-17-1-0147
JPL President and Director's FundUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190306-105123015
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93573
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:06 Mar 2019 19:27
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:55

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