Parametric Design of Conforming Joints for Thin-Shell Coilable Structures
This paper addresses the problem of designing and building structural connections (joints) for ultra-thin shells employed in large coilable structures for space applications. A conforming joint design concept for ladder-type coilable thin shells is proposed. A parametric design tool was developed to study the geometry of two joints that become overlapped in the coiled configuration as a function of the coiling radius and joint radii. Parametric design results are validated through finite element simulations. The proposed design tool provides a high level of design flexibility and is of interest in the spacecraft design process making use of ultra-thin shells.
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