Modular Inflatable Composites for Space Telescopes

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019

Aman Chandra, Jekan Thangavelautham

(Submitted on 31 Dec 2018)

There is an every-growing need to construct large space telescopes and structures for observation of exo-planets, main-belt asteroids and NEOs. Space observation capabilities can significant enhanced by large-aperture structures. Structures extending to several meters in size could potentially revolutionize observation enabling technologies. These include star-shades for imaging distant objects such as exo-planets and high-resolution large aperture telescopes. In addition to size, such structures require controllable precision surfaces and high packing efficiencies. A promising approach to achieving high compaction for large surface areas is by incorporating compliant materials or gossamers. Gossamer structures on their own do not meet stiffness requirements for controlled deployment. Supporting stiffening mechanisms are required to fully realize their structural potential. The accuracy of the 'active' surface constructed out of a gossamer additionally also depends on the load bearing structure that supports it. This paper investigates structural assemblies constructed from modular inflatable membranes stiffened pneumatically using inflation gas. These units assembled into composites can yield desirable characteristics. We present the design of large assemblies of these modular elements.

Comments: 8 pages, 10 figures, IEEE Aerospace Conference

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:1812.11667 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1812.11667v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Jekan Thangavelautham 

[v1] Mon, 31 Dec 2018 02:10:08 UTC (762 KB)

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