Multibody dynamics for biologically inspired smart space structure

Thomas Sinn, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Structures in space are often just serving a single purpose. By developing a structure which is able to change it properties and adapt to changing environmental conditions, the costs of space missions can be decreased significantly. The design and simulation of such a structure is presented in this paper. The developed structure consists of an array of interconnected cells which are each able to alter their volume due to internal pressure change. By coordinated cell actuation in a specific pattern, the global structure can be deformed to obtain a desired shape. A multibody code was developed which constantly solves the equation of motion with inputs from internal actuation and external perturbation forces. During the inflation and actuation of the structure, the entities of the mass matrix and the stiffness matrix are changed due to changing properties of the cells within the array based on their state and displacement. This paper outlines the principles behind the developed code and gives examples in two dimensional and three dimensional space.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2013
EventAIAA SciTech 2014 - Washington, National Harbor, Maryland, United States
Duration: 13 Jan 201417 Jan 2014


ConferenceAIAA SciTech 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNational Harbor, Maryland


  • multibody dynamics
  • smart space structure
  • biologically inspired design


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