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Proceedings Paper

Numerical simulation of inflatable membrane structures
Author(s): Ramesh Kolar; Craig Whittinghill; Brij N. Agrawal
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Paper Abstract

Inflatable structures are effective in space applications, as they are weight, volume and cost competitive. For certain space applications, higher gains are obtained for the antennas by increasing their size. Higher gains often result in increased data throughput. These and other advantages lead to inflatable structures being considered increasingly for building large space structures. However, large inflatable structures are prone to surface errors arising from environmental factors, among others. In this context, piezoelectric films are used for the active and passive control. In this paper, we discuss numerical approaches exploring piezoelectric film. In order to explore the applications of piezoelectric films, a circular diaphragm is subjected to varying pressures and displacements are measured using laser instrumentation. The effects of applying voltage on the shape of the piezoelectric film subjected to pressurization are studied. The piezoelectric film is modeled as a large displacement/large rotation membrane undergoing small strains. This paper presents experience gained in modeling the piezoelectric film subjected to both thermal and pressure loads. The numerical results are presented in the form of graphs. The response is studied for applied steady-state temperatures for various pressurization levels. Certain thermo-structural instabilities were encountered in the modeling and the paper presents procedures used in circumventing such instabilities for the piezoelectric type of thin inflatable membranes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2001
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 4327, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (16 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.436561
Show Author Affiliations
Ramesh Kolar, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
Craig Whittinghill, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
Brij N. Agrawal, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4327:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
L. Porter Davis, Editor(s)

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