University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Deployment Behavior of Roll-Stowed, Doubly Curved Membrane Shells in Zero-g

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

The implementation of roll-stowed, doubly-curved membrane shells in future space systems is of great interest to the space research community. These shells have inherent characteristics that will enable the design and construction of larger, yet lighter apparatuses than ever before. Chiefly, these shells offer the advantages of compact stowage, dynamic self-deployment, low density, low mass, and large surface area. All of these characteristics are primary concerns in today’s evolving space technology. One of the most applicable uses of this type of gossamer structure is in optic lenses. These shells have the ability to help overcome the limitations that currently exist when building space lenses because of their unique characteristics. In order to implement these structures in future space systems, a clear understanding of their behavior in the zero-gravity environment of space is necessary. The primary focus in understanding these shells is verification of deployment in zero-g. The characteristics that are most important to quantify during the deployment process is the time of deployment, and the shape characteristics of the shell during this period. Although testing of these shells has been performed in earth’s one-g environment, currently no shells have been tested in zero-g. We propose to test these structures in a zero-gravity environment in order to verify one-g testing and also to validate computer model simulations. This will be achieved by using videogrammetry techniques in order to capture the deployment behavior of the shells.

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Deployment Behavior of Roll-Stowed, Doubly Curved Membrane Shells in Zero-g

The implementation of roll-stowed, doubly-curved membrane shells in future space systems is of great interest to the space research community. These shells have inherent characteristics that will enable the design and construction of larger, yet lighter apparatuses than ever before. Chiefly, these shells offer the advantages of compact stowage, dynamic self-deployment, low density, low mass, and large surface area. All of these characteristics are primary concerns in today’s evolving space technology. One of the most applicable uses of this type of gossamer structure is in optic lenses. These shells have the ability to help overcome the limitations that currently exist when building space lenses because of their unique characteristics. In order to implement these structures in future space systems, a clear understanding of their behavior in the zero-gravity environment of space is necessary. The primary focus in understanding these shells is verification of deployment in zero-g. The characteristics that are most important to quantify during the deployment process is the time of deployment, and the shape characteristics of the shell during this period. Although testing of these shells has been performed in earth’s one-g environment, currently no shells have been tested in zero-g. We propose to test these structures in a zero-gravity environment in order to verify one-g testing and also to validate computer model simulations. This will be achieved by using videogrammetry techniques in order to capture the deployment behavior of the shells.