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Published November 2014 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Design of Ultrathin Composite Self-Deployable Booms


Recently developed analysis techniques for thin shells that can be folded elastically and are able to self-deploy are used to develop an iterative design approach for this type of structure. The proposed approach considers a series of potential designs and then evaluates, for each trial design, key performance parameters through a complete simulation of its folding and deployment behavior. This design approach is applied to a boom concept consisting of a thin-walled tube in which two tape-spring hinges are made by cutting diametrically opposite slots; the geometry of the slots is fully defined by the length, width, and end diameter of the cuts. A design for a two-hinge, 1-m-long, lightweight self-deployable boom that can be wrapped around a small spacecraft is developed; the hinge geometry is chosen such that there is no damage during folding/deployment of the boom, and also the boom becomes latched at the first attempt. The chosen boom design is successfully validated experimentally.

Additional Information

© 2013 by H. M. Y. C. Mallikarachchi and S. Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Presented as Paper 2011-2019 at the 52nd IAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Denver, CO, 4–7 April 2011; received 29 August 2013; revision received 23 November 2013; accepted for publication 19 December 2013; published online 27 May 2014. The authors thank Michael Sutcliffe (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) for helpful discussions and John Ellis (Hexcel, United Kingdom) for providing materials for this research.

Additional details

August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023