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Published March 2014 | public
Journal Article

Deployment Dynamics of Ultrathin Composite Booms with Tape-Spring Hinges


An experimental and numerical study of the dynamic deployment of stored strain energy deployable booms with tape-spring hinges made of woven carbon fiber composite is presented. The deployment consists of three phases: deployment, one or more attempts to latch, and a small amplitude vibration. Twelve nominally identical deployment experiments show that the deployment and vibration phases are repeatable, whereas considerable scatter is observed during latching. A high-fidelity finite element shell model of the complete boom is used to carry out complete dynamic simulations with the Abaqus/Explicit finite element software. These analyses provide detailed time histories of deformation and stress distribution. By varying the end conditions at the root of the boom and the viscous pressure loading on the surface of the hinge region, the analyses provide 1) an envelope of responses that bound the complete set of experimental observations and 2) responses that closely approximate actual experiments. The presented approach is fully general and can provide high-fidelity simulations for any kind of stored-energy deployable structure.

Additional Information

© 2012 by H.M.Y.C. Mallikarachchi and S. Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Presented as Paper 2009-2631 at the 50th SDM Conference, Palm Springs, CA, 4–7 May 2009; received 18 April 2012; revision received 24 December 2012; accepted for publication 24 May 2013; published online 14 February 2014. H.M.Y.C. Mallikarachchi thanks the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and California Institute of Technology for financial support. The authors thank Michael Sutcliffe (University of Cambridge) and Julian Santiago Prowald (ESA/Estec) for helpful discussions, John Ellis (Hexcel, U.K.) for providing materials, and Chiara Daraio, Alessandro Spadoni, and Jinkyu Yang for help with high-speed imaging.

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