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Development of morphing deployables for space applications

Walker, SJI, Santos, S, McDonald, A and Aglietti, GS (2010) Development of morphing deployables for space applications

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Inflatable technology is under continual development and advances in high strength fibres have pushed the limitations of these structures. This has led to their application in deploying large-aperture antennas, reflectors, solar sails and more recent large-scale inflatable spacecraft such as 'Transhab' and Genesis I and II. There is ongoing research into increasing the range of capabilities of these structures by enhancing the stiffness of the deployed structure. However, the lower stiffness and inherent flexibility of these inflatable structures also allows the structure to be morphed and controlled, which can be advantageous for a wide variety of applications. Initial research has previously been performed into integrating Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) with inflatable wings for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) allowing airfoil optimization for various flight regimes. The aim of this work is to investigate the integration of shape memory alloys into inflatable structures for space applications. This article outlines ongoing research work at the University of Southampton into the field of morphing inflatable structures. Various commercially available shape memory alloys have been purchased and initially investigated to determine fundamental parameters such as maximum achievable force, power required, controllability and repeatability of the motion. These SMA's are then attached onto the side of a cantilevered inflatable cylindrical boom, using various attachment configurations, to investigate what tip deflections can be achieved for a voltage input. The tip deflection results of these configurations are presented along with an assessment of the technology and the areas of further research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Walker, SJI, Santos, S, McDonald, A and Aglietti, GS
Date : 1 December 2010
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Oct 2016 11:00
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 13:18

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