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Proceedings Paper

CASTOR damping experiment in-flight results
Author(s): Philippe Guay; Paul W. Bousquet; E. Courau; F. Mercier
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Paper Abstract

Over the past ten years, space structures such as optical systems, large antennae or sensitive microgravity payloads have increased their stability requirements. To answer this need, prediction and reduction of vibration levels have been widely studied. The 'CASTOR' truss experiment (French acronym for ChAracterization of STructures in ORbit) is mainly dedicated to the investigation of the dynamic behaviour -in zero g conditions- of a truss mock-up with various damping technologies. The performances of various dampers have been validated in flight, measurements compared with the predictions and the results analysed for different technological solutions. This project was developed under CNES management, and the final experimental work was performed in orbit by a French cosmonaut on MIR station during the summer of 1999. In the first place, the French space agency's interest in structural dynamics behind the CASTOR experiment will be recalled. The flight hardware will then be fully described and a short clip filmed during the PERSEUS mission in MIR will supported this. The truss test bench will be presented, together with the design drivers for damping the first structural modes below 100Hz. The dampers -which are efficient- are located in some strategic bars in the truss. Their performance has been optimized using an energetic criterion. This paper will then focus on the design of the damping, using either piezoelectric active control or passive energy dissipation in elastomer or fluid devices. Particular emphasis will be laid upon the excellent flight results obtained with all the various damping systems, and on the effect of in-orbit conditions. A comparison between the different technologies here tested will also be made with regards to performances achieved and their suitability for space applications. In conclusion, lessons learned during the development process will be highlighted and further work on spacecraft applications discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4331, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Damping and Isolation, (2 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432722
Show Author Affiliations
Philippe Guay, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
Paul W. Bousquet, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
E. Courau, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
F. Mercier, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4331:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Damping and Isolation
Daniel J. Inman, Editor(s)

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