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Proceedings Paper

Control of space structure thermal deformation: an overview
Author(s): Hugh L. McManus
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a preliminary overview of the issues relevant to the use of active structures technology for the control of thermal deformations in space structures. Space structures often have extreme dimensional stability requirements, and are exposed to a severe thermal environment in orbit. This environment causes temperature fluctuations and distributions that can lead to unacceptable structural deformations. The orbital environment, its thermal effects on structures, and the resulting deformations are reviewed with examples. It is shown that use of ultra-low coefficient of thermal expansion composites can reduce deformations to low levels, but the deformations that do occur are very difficult to predict. This motivates the addition of active structures technology to actively sense and counteract these deformations. It is found that this is practical with current technology under some circumstances. Problems that must be overcome in sensing and mechanical coupling are also reviewed, as are linkages between thermal and structural dynamic problems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 1993
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1917, Smart Structures and Materials 1993: Smart Structures and Intelligent Systems, (8 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.152791
Show Author Affiliations
Hugh L. McManus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1917:
Smart Structures and Materials 1993: Smart Structures and Intelligent Systems
Nesbitt W. Hagood; Gareth J. Knowles, Editor(s)

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