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.
© 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.