American Society of Civil Engineers

Deployment and Structural Support of Space Membrane Optics System Using Rigidizable Conical Booms

by Arthur L. Palisoc, (L’Garde, Inc., Tustin, California), Frederick H. Redell, (L’Garde, Inc., Tustin, California), and Geoff Andersen, (United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs)
Section: Deployable Space Structures, pp. 946-953, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments: Earth and Space 2004
Abstract: The use of telescopic rigidizable inflatably-deployed booms for the space deployment and support of membrane optics for space shows great promise because of their light weight and small packaged volume. The telescopic boom deployment mechanism is extremely simple with almost zero parasitic mass for deployment control. We have shown on a subscale level that they possess excellent deployment reliability, package in a minimum launch volume, and cost approximately an order of magnitude less than equivalent mechanical deployable structures. The two major issues in the use of telescopically-deployed membrane optics systems are (a) rigidization scheme and (b) deployment control. The rigidization method chosen is the Sub-Tg: in the Sub-Tg method, rigidization is achieved by letting the Sub-Tg resin impregnated boom passively cool below the resin glass-transition temperature (Tg). The Tg is tailorable and the choice depends on the mission thermal environment. The controlled deployment is achieved by using a unique concentric packaging arrangement about the boom axis, similar to that of a telescoping tube. Controlled deployment of subscale rigidizable telescopic conical booms has been demonstrated in the laboratory for booms up to 7m long. In the present paper, we present the use of the telescopic conical boom concept with the Sub-Tg method of rigidization as applied to a membrane optics system with an optical error-correction system.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Aerospace engineering
Support structures