Planar Space Structures

by M. J. Iremonger, Royal Military Coll of Science, United Kingdom,
T. S. Lok, Royal Military Coll of Science, United Kingdom,
M. E. A. Passmore, Royal Military Coll of Science, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


This paper describes a construction system which has a number of practical advantages for the development of space structures. It uses relatively thin materials folded into interpenetrated triangular units within a closed section. The resulting configuration is three-dimensionally stable and has good performance under bending and torsional loading. Planar system structures can be assembled from simple parts made of a variety of materials using basic folding, cutting and fixing techniques. An alternative slotted system is described, the continuity of which increases the efficiency of load distribution within the structure. Various methods for constructing a modular space station are described. Modules could be assembled on Earth or in space. A novel inflation method is proposed which would minimise the volume to be transported into space.

Subject Headings: Load distribution | Space structures | Space frames | Load factors | Space stations | Construction methods | Bending (structural) | Construction materials

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