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Published September 2002 | Published
Journal Article Open

Deployable Tensegrity Reflectors for Small Satellites


Future small satellite missions require low-cost, precision reflector structures with large aperture that can be packaged in a small envelope. Existing furlable reflectors form a compact package which, although narrow, is too tall for many applications.An alternative approach is proposed, consisting of a deployable "tensegrity" prism forming a ring structure that deploys two identical cable nets (front and rear nets) interconnected by tension ties; the reflecting mesh is attached to the front net. The geometric configuration of the structure has been optimized to reduce the compression in the struts of the tensegrity prism. A small-scale physical model has been constructed to demonstrate the proposed concept. A preliminary design of a 3-m-diam, 10-GHz reflector with a focal-length-to-diameter ratio of 0.4 that can be packaged within an envelope of 0.1 x 0.2 x 0.8 m^3 is presented.

Additional Information

Copyright ©2002 by A. G. Tibert and S. Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Presented as Paper 2001-1261at the AIAA Gossamer Spacecraft Forum, Seattle, WA, 16–19 April 2001; received 19 November 2001; revision received 29 March 2002; accepted for publication 18 April 2002. This research was partially supported by the Defence Evaluation Research Agency, under a program sponsored by the British National Space Centre. Financial support from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for A.G. Tibert's visit to the Deployable Structures Laboratory, University of Cambridge, during the year 2000 is gratefully acknowledged.

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August 21, 2023
August 21, 2023