Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane

Thomas Sinn, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Space structures nowadays are often designed to serve just one objective during their mission life, examples include truss structures that are used as support structures, solar sails for propulsion or antennas for communication. Each and every single one of these structures is optimized to serve just their distinct purpose and are more or less useless for the rest of the mission and therefore dead weight. By developing a smart structure that can change its shape and therefore adapt to different mission requirements in a single structure, the flexibility of the spacecraft can be increased by greatly decreasing the mass of the entire system. This paper will introduce such an adaptive structure called the Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM) concept which is being developed at the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory of the University of Strathclyde. An idea presented in this paper is to adapt these basic changeable elements from nature’s heliotropism. Heliotropism describes a movement of a plant towards the sun during a day; the movement is initiated by turgor pressure change between adjacent cells. The shape change of the global structure can be significant by adding up these local changes induced by local elements, for example the cell’s length. To imitate the turgor pressure change between the motor cells in plants to space structures, piezoelectric micro pumps are added between two neighboring cells. A passive inflation technique is used for deploying the membrane at its destination in space. The trapped air in the spheres will inflate the spheres when subjected to vacuum, therefore no pump or secondary active deployment methods are needed. The paper will present the idea behind the adaption of nature’s heliotropism principle to space structures. The feasibility of the residual air inflation method is verified by LS-DYNA simulations and prototype bench tests under vacuum conditions. Additionally, manufacturing techniques and folding patterns are presented to optimize the actual bench test structure and to minimize the required storage volume. It is shown that through a bio-inspired concept, a high ratio of adaptability of the membrane can be obtained. The paper concludes with the design of a technology demonstrator for a sounding rocket experiment to be launched in March 2013 from the Swedish launch side Esrange.

Conference

Conference53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu, Hawaii
Period23/04/1226/04/12

Fingerprint

Membranes
Solar sails
Pumps
Vacuum
Sounding rockets
Intelligent structures
Air
Sun
Propulsion
Spacecraft
Antennas
Communication
Experiments

Keywords

  • space structures
  • smart structures
  • Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM)
  • heliotropic orbits
  • piezoelectrics

Cite this

Sinn, T., & Vasile, M. (2012). Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane. Paper presented at 53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.
Sinn, Thomas ; Vasile, Massimiliano. / Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane. Paper presented at 53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.10 p.
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author = "Thomas Sinn and Massimiliano Vasile",
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Sinn, T & Vasile, M 2012, 'Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane' Paper presented at 53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, 23/04/12 - 26/04/12, .

Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane. / Sinn, Thomas; Vasile, Massimiliano.

2012. Paper presented at 53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane

AU - Sinn, Thomas

AU - Vasile, Massimiliano

PY - 2012/4/23

Y1 - 2012/4/23

N2 - Space structures nowadays are often designed to serve just one objective during their mission life, examples include truss structures that are used as support structures, solar sails for propulsion or antennas for communication. Each and every single one of these structures is optimized to serve just their distinct purpose and are more or less useless for the rest of the mission and therefore dead weight. By developing a smart structure that can change its shape and therefore adapt to different mission requirements in a single structure, the flexibility of the spacecraft can be increased by greatly decreasing the mass of the entire system. This paper will introduce such an adaptive structure called the Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM) concept which is being developed at the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory of the University of Strathclyde. An idea presented in this paper is to adapt these basic changeable elements from nature’s heliotropism. Heliotropism describes a movement of a plant towards the sun during a day; the movement is initiated by turgor pressure change between adjacent cells. The shape change of the global structure can be significant by adding up these local changes induced by local elements, for example the cell’s length. To imitate the turgor pressure change between the motor cells in plants to space structures, piezoelectric micro pumps are added between two neighboring cells. A passive inflation technique is used for deploying the membrane at its destination in space. The trapped air in the spheres will inflate the spheres when subjected to vacuum, therefore no pump or secondary active deployment methods are needed. The paper will present the idea behind the adaption of nature’s heliotropism principle to space structures. The feasibility of the residual air inflation method is verified by LS-DYNA simulations and prototype bench tests under vacuum conditions. Additionally, manufacturing techniques and folding patterns are presented to optimize the actual bench test structure and to minimize the required storage volume. It is shown that through a bio-inspired concept, a high ratio of adaptability of the membrane can be obtained. The paper concludes with the design of a technology demonstrator for a sounding rocket experiment to be launched in March 2013 from the Swedish launch side Esrange.

AB - Space structures nowadays are often designed to serve just one objective during their mission life, examples include truss structures that are used as support structures, solar sails for propulsion or antennas for communication. Each and every single one of these structures is optimized to serve just their distinct purpose and are more or less useless for the rest of the mission and therefore dead weight. By developing a smart structure that can change its shape and therefore adapt to different mission requirements in a single structure, the flexibility of the spacecraft can be increased by greatly decreasing the mass of the entire system. This paper will introduce such an adaptive structure called the Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM) concept which is being developed at the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory of the University of Strathclyde. An idea presented in this paper is to adapt these basic changeable elements from nature’s heliotropism. Heliotropism describes a movement of a plant towards the sun during a day; the movement is initiated by turgor pressure change between adjacent cells. The shape change of the global structure can be significant by adding up these local changes induced by local elements, for example the cell’s length. To imitate the turgor pressure change between the motor cells in plants to space structures, piezoelectric micro pumps are added between two neighboring cells. A passive inflation technique is used for deploying the membrane at its destination in space. The trapped air in the spheres will inflate the spheres when subjected to vacuum, therefore no pump or secondary active deployment methods are needed. The paper will present the idea behind the adaption of nature’s heliotropism principle to space structures. The feasibility of the residual air inflation method is verified by LS-DYNA simulations and prototype bench tests under vacuum conditions. Additionally, manufacturing techniques and folding patterns are presented to optimize the actual bench test structure and to minimize the required storage volume. It is shown that through a bio-inspired concept, a high ratio of adaptability of the membrane can be obtained. The paper concludes with the design of a technology demonstrator for a sounding rocket experiment to be launched in March 2013 from the Swedish launch side Esrange.

KW - space structures

KW - smart structures

KW - Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM)

KW - heliotropic orbits

KW - piezoelectrics

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M3 - Paper

ER -

Sinn T, Vasile M. Design and development of a deployable self-inflating adaptive membrane. 2012. Paper presented at 53rd Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.