Structural Characterization of an Articulated-Truss Joint

by Thomas R. Sutter, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
K. Chauncey Wu, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
Kevin T. Riutort, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
Joseph B. Laufer, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
James E. Phelps, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


A first generation space crane articulated-truss joint was statically and dynamically characterized in a configuration which approximated an operational environment. The articulated-truss joint was integrated into a test bed for structural characterization. Static characterization was performed by applying known loads and measuring the corresponding deflections to obtain load-deflection curves. Dynamic characterization was performed using modal testing to experimentally determine the first six mode shapes, frequencies, and modal damping values. The static and dynamic characteristics were also determined for a reference truss, which served as a characterization baseline. Load-deflection curves are presented for the reference truss, and the articulated-truss joint mounted in the test bed. The static and dynamic experimental results are compared to analytical predictions obtained from finite element analyses. The load-deflection response is also presented for one of the linear actuators used in the articulated-truss joint. Finally, an assessment is presented for the predictability of the truss hardware used in the reference truss and articulated-truss joint based upon hardware stiffness properties which were previously obtained during the Precision Segmented Reflector (PSR) Technology Development Program.

Subject Headings: Displacement (mechanics) | Dynamic analysis | Joints | Curvature | Finite element method | Dynamic loads | Load tests | Static loads

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