Inflatable Cylinders for Deployable Space Structures

Mark Schenk, S Kerr, A. M. Smyth, S. D. Guest

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

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Inflatable space structures offer the prospect of compact stowed large light-weight structures, which can be inflated to their full dimensions once in space. After inflation the structures may be rigidised to ensure long term structural performance without the need to maintain the internal pressure. Inflatable cylindrical booms are an important category of space inflatable, and often form the structural members of larger structures. A promising method of compactly packaging inflatable cylindrical booms is the use of origami fold patterns. The geometry of the selected fold pattern affects the deployment characteristics of the boom. By modeling the fold pattern as a mechanism of hinged plates, a simple geometric incompatibility can be taken as a measure of the material strains during deployment; this approach enables the initial selection of suitable fold patterns. A series of experiments is set up to investigate the efficacy of the strain-rigidisation of the aluminium-laminate material used for the inflatable cylinders, and study the deployment characteristics of different cylindrical fold patterns. The work in this paper forms part of the InflateSail project to design a large inflatable satellite de-orbiting device to be launched on a 3U CubeSat.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventFirst Conference Transformables - Seville, Spain
Duration: 18 Sep 201320 May 2015


ConferenceFirst Conference Transformables


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